What Is The Most Important Metric in Digital Marketing & PR

Digital Analytics

Measurement and analysis should be an integral part of your organization’s digital marketing and public relations strategy. Information learned from this process can be crucial in helping you determine next steps and grow your organization’s outreach. Yet, with so much data available to measure, it can be easy to get misdirected or lost.

So what is the key measurement metric in digital marketing and PR? That answer, as seen in the examples below, has everything to do with your organization’s objectives.

My Organizational Objective Is to:

Provide Information to Stakeholders

Many essential services in the public sector exist for this very reason: to provide important information to the public that is both easy to find and understand.

Toronto Public Health’s “DineSafe” website provides restaurants with easy-to-follow guidelines on food safety.

What should I measure?
User experience – For an informational, “how-to” website, you may consider asking visitors to take part in a quick, anonymous – and optional – on-page survey. Ask visitors if they found the information you provide helpful. You can then use the survey results to determine whether or not you need to make changes to the webpage content.

Engage Stakeholders

Organizations that are dependent upon community participation, such as unions and associations, often encourage engagement amongst stakeholders via social media, email, web content, etc.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) maintains website comment boards and an active social media presence to encourage engagement amongst its due-paying members.

What should I measure?
Online engagement – There are many ways to measure engagement amongst stakeholders, including on your website (e.g. the # of user-submitted comments and posts; # of forum participants), social media (i.e. # of comments, shares and likes), and number of webinar participants.

Provide Online Support Services

Organizations with this objective specialize in providing online services to populations in need. These organizations often feature support tools on their websites.

The website for the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario provides support tools, quizzes, mobile apps and a forum to help those with gambling issues monitor their urges.

What should I measure?
Use of resources – You should measure the number of people who are using your support tools. Getting feedback, through the use of an end-of-service survey, will also provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of your support tools.

Increase Cause Awareness

Most – if not all – non-profits are dedicated to spreading awareness of their particular cause or mission. As such, it is critical for these organizations to have succinct communications and maximum community outreach.

Evergreen, a non-profit organization, uses its website and online resources to spread awareness about urban environmental issues.

What should I measure?
Bulk traffic and impressions – More than any other objective, bulk website visits and social impressions matter here. However, if you want to measure loyalty to your organization, not just awareness, you should pay attention to your website’s number of return visitors, and your number of email subscribers and social media followers.

Build a Dedicated List of Subscribers/Contacts

Organizations utilize email subscribers for various means, often fulfilling many of the objectives listed in this article.

Canadian political parties like the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP rely on large email subscriber lists to raise awareness of issues, galvanize supporters and solicit donations.

What should I measure?
“Email Sign Up” clickthrough rate – What percentage of a webpage’s visitors are clicking on the email sign-up form? A low percentage is a good indication that your website content needs improvement. You can also measure this clickthrough rate on your landing pages, webinars and any online content or offering that requires a visitor to submit contact information.

Learn how to get more subscribers with digital marketing

Increase Online Transactions

Many organizations use their website or a third-party to sell event tickets, course registrations or solicit donations.

The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies (UTSCS) allows potential students to purchase and register for courses directly on its website.

What should I measure?
Transactions – Obviously, the most important metric here is the number of users making transactions, which is tied directly to your objective. This is called a “macro conversion”. However, you should also measure “micro conversions”, which are indirectly tied to the overall objective. In the case of UTSCS, a micro conversion may include the percentage of a webpage’s visitors who are clicking the “Register” button. A low percentage can indicate weak content.

Did you find the information in this article helpful? How do you measure your digital marketing and PR efforts? Leave a comment below to discuss!


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