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The three most critical marketing metrics to measure right now

July 3, 2020 SEO No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Regardless of your industry, the marketing strategy you are currently executing is completely different from the marketing strategy you had in place just six months ago.  
  • The situation that has unfolded over the last few months has thrown “business as usual” out of the window.
  • Budgets are tight, events are canceled, and your buyers’ needs have dramatically changed in the last few months.
  • Credly’s VP of Marketing, Adam Masur shares three of the most critical marketing metrics to measure in these unique circumstances.

When it comes to your marketing efforts, there are specific numbers you should be constantly tracking and working to improve. Yet, regardless of your industry, the marketing strategy you are currently executing is completely different from the marketing strategy you had in place just six months ago.  

The situation that has unfolded over the last few months has left marketing teams in every industry at a loss for the best way to move forward. It is no longer “business as usual”. What works today may not work tomorrow, so marketers must be prepared to pivot quickly during this time of uncertainty. And we don’t expect that to change any time soon. Even when the pandemic is over and things start returning to “normal,” everyone is going to have to adapt to what the new “new world of work” looks like.   

As you start to navigate a new way of marketing your product or services following the COVID-19 outbreak, you must reevaluate your strategies and develop a new plan of action. Budgets are tight, events are canceled and your buyers’ needs have dramatically changed in the last few months. Given the unique circumstances, here are three of the most critical metrics to measure right now.  

Metric one: Cost per acquisition

Familiarizing an audience with your product or service and converting them to a paying customer comes at a price. Even in the best of times, I may argue that cost-per-acquisition (CPA), which measures the aggregate cost to acquire just one paying customer, is the most important metric. When it comes to how you’re spending your precious marketing dollars during this time, your CPA has to be top of mind.  

These days, it’s possible that you’re encountering prospects with different risk tolerances, at different stages of product knowledge and purchase intent. It’s a great time to rethink ad copy and realign landing pages with more focused, more compelling, and more relevant content. It’s also a great time to look for the emergence of new keywords that have suddenly become more important in your customers’ minds. The best way to optimize your CPA is by addressing your audiences’ immediate concerns directly, and continuing the dialog until they’re ready to take the next step. Your quality scores will thank you for it. 

Marketers have chased vanity marketing metrics like ad clicks from the beginning of time. But, most marketing teams can’t rely on metrics with empty promises. If you haven’t seen any of your numbers moving lately, maybe you aren’t looking hard enough. Maybe it’s bounce rates, session length, pages viewed, or the number or site visits before filling out a form–there’s something to be learned. Now is the time to test your hypotheses to figure out what’s changing in your customers’ worlds, and address these topics directly. You’ll get a better picture of the true health of your business rather than a false sense of success.  

Metric two: Social media engagement

It’s always been hard for marketing teams to truly measure social media interactions, but social media is a critical avenue for establishing and developing organic relationships with your audience in today’s digital world. With billions of active users, social media provides modern marketers with more exposure, improved traffic, and increased brand loyalty. 

Engagement on social media platforms can present itself in various ways: shares, likes, comments, and reposts are all the digital marketing metrics used to gauge your audience’s level of engagement. By tracking social media engagement, you have a better idea of your content’s reach and if it’s landing in front of the right people.  

You can’t just rely on hard numbers. The sentiment, intent, objections, and accolades are all there for you to learn from, but you have to invest the time to dive in beyond a high-level engagement graph.  Understanding how your audience is interacting with that content allows you to readjust your message as needed and create valuable interactions that continue to push your brand forward.  

Focusing on your social media strategy right now helps your brand maximize limited resources. With tight budgets, authentically engaging in social media can help your team meet your audience where they are, provide valuable information, and generate meaningful relationships.  

Metric three: Website traffic 

Regardless of what the business landscape looks like, one goal every marketer has is to drive traffic back to their company’s website. While every marketing channel–inbound, outbound, events, social, content–brings in new leads and new prospects, it’s unlikely that anyone becomes a customer without visiting your website.  

That’s why it’s not enough to drive traffic to your home page. You want to see that those people are visiting multiple pages, engaging with your content, and finding what they need to make the decision that’s right for them. Only then will they take the step to try, buy, or fill out the form that connects them with your sales team. 

While marketers are working with limited resources and under unprecedented circumstances right now, we have to remember that so are our buyers. Marketers have to lean into actionable metrics from their website traffic, including bounce rate, average session duration, and pages per session. Are pages that used to get 100 visits a month, now getting 100 visits a day or vise versa? It could be a sign of your buyers’ shifting needs or priorities.  

Spend the effort to get a clear understanding of your buyers’ current situation. Rely on data and analytics, and check your work by engaging and actively listening. Evaluating how these important marketing metrics are faring provides insight into how your overall strategy is doing and helps you allocate resources while still connecting with your audience in a meaningful way.  

When it comes to marketing your product or service in the current climate, you have to be proactive. Marketers who are able to pivot, use data and analytics to guide their efforts, and tap into the new needs of their buyers will continue to be successful as we enter the new world of work.  

Adam Masur, Vice President of Marketing at Credly, is driven by a passion for optimizing the way marketing teams and technology work together to grow businesses.

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