How to Successfully Measure Your Digital Marketing Goals with Vanity Metrics

Nov 30, 2018 -- Posted by : admin

Vanity metrics

If you’re looking to up your marketing game, chances are that you’re looking for a solution that can move your business forward and increase profits. Digital marketing may seem straightforward upfront, but the truth is that there are many pieces working together to create an effective brand promotion plan.

Most people are aware of the benefits that aspects like Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization, and various forms of paid advertising have to offer. What’s a little less clear are the benefits of vanity metrics - aspects like social media likes, follows, shares and the like. While these marketing campaign measurement metrics might not be easily quantifiable, they are still important to keep in mind when evaluating the effectiveness of promotion efforts. Let’s talk about why.

The Vanity Metric Conundrum

Before we dive into how exactly you can use vanity metrics to better evaluate your marketing campaign’s effectiveness, let’s discuss the inherent problems with this type of data.

Unlike aspects like SEO or CRO, it’s exceedingly difficult to tie these metrics directly to a return on investment. The reason for this is that likes, shares, follows, and other types of engagement don’t usually correlate to actual conversions and sales.

With the word Vanity in the name, it’s pretty easy to see that these can be viewed as metrics that look impressive and make marketing teams feel good, but often have very little impact on directly increasing profits.

We realize these metrics may seem like a waste of your time at this point, but worry not - there’s a time and a place for putting stock in this data, and we’ll discuss why below.

The Benefits of Vanity Metrics

While you might not be able to tie vanity metrics directly to profit, that doesn’t mean that you can just outright ignore them. In truth, there’s some real importance to these “feel-good” metrics, as likes and shares can give you key insight into consumer sentiment, user engagement, and overall brand awareness.

Many Social Media posts are made with the intention to drive traffic to a company’s online presence and increase sales. However, pretty much any post on a company’s wall has inherent value in its ability to connect with users and draw them further into the brand’s sphere of influence.

Let’s break down how these aspects of digital marketing are an integral part of any comprehensive brand promotion plan.

Understanding Consumer Sentiment

Photo showing marketing team experimenting with vanity A/B testing

A company’s reception in the eyes of the public is incredibly important. Even minor missteps with the way that the company behaves and interacts with their customers can tank sales, as negative news travels around the web at an incredible pace.

Being active on social media is an incredible way to get a sense of how customers perceive the brand. Metrics like the number of likes and the emotion of comments can be difficult to connect to sales, but they can help shape the company’s future engagements and marketing efforts. It’s in this way that these metrics can increase profits - by indirectly shaping the company’s future plans.

Measuring User Engagement

While likes on a Facebook page don’t necessarily correlate to the degree of profit for the company, they do give a sense of the activity and hype around the brand and the likelihood to convert in the future.

Using metrics like follows and shares is a great way to implement some vanity A/B testing and figure out how exactly the company can continue to up their social media game.

If a post is seeing significantly more activity and engagement than previous efforts, it’s a good sign that the company should move their advertising in that direction. Creating two separate advertisements and seeing which is better received can help the business better understand their customers - and that understanding has major implications for the way leadership moves the company forward. From the development of new products to the approach of a marketing campaign, vanity A/B testing has its hand in nearly all aspects of a company’s operations.

Spreading Brand Awareness

Advertising company discussing marketing campaign measurement metrics

Some companies may be able to survive with their existing customer base alone, but every business benefits from getting the word out and securing more customers. Because metrics like social media engagement give companies an idea of how their campaigns are performing, they can guide marketers to more effective advertisements.

Brand awareness is significantly enhanced by one specific part of these enhancements: sharing. While it’s possible that new customers could stumble across the social media profile of the company by default, oftentimes the most powerful advertising tool can be your existing customers and followers.

It might be difficult to tie a share to a sale, but there’s no denying that continuing the spread of brand awareness puts the product in front of more eyes. In many ways, digital marketing is a numbers game. There’s no realistic way to ensure that every site visit is a conversion, so the best method of addressing that issue is increasing traffic.

Effective analysis of a vanity metric can give the company a sense of whether they are doing an adequate job of getting the word out about the products or services that they have to offer.

Vanity Metrics: An Important Part of Any Campaign

Do vanity metrics have a direct result on profits? Maybe not. They are still valuable, however, in their ability to give your business an overall sense of how they are perceived, as well as increasing the exposure of the brand as a whole.

So, maybe it’s time to revisit your marketing campaign. There’s no doubt that more traditional aspects like SEO and CRO should be front and center, but there is incredibly valuable vanity data that is ready and waiting to take your company’s online presence to the next level.

While profit is the goal of any business, make sure you don’t neglect the “softer” side of marketing when building out your next campaign. With a more holistic approach that remains grounded in data, you’ll see marked improvement in your brand’s perception and growth.

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