Some days, it feels like we marketers live in a frenzy of numbers – from data analytics software that tracks every click on our websites to the colorcoded charts embedded in every social media platform we’re on.
Even our personal lives are minutely tracked, with wristbands measuring every step we take. All this data can be incredibly valuable of course. It can tell you whether or not a certain marketing campaign was successful, or give you a nudge when you need to get up and walk around the block a few times.
But in our obsession with numbers, we’re not always measuring the right things.
As marketers, we want to know about everything. But there’s a danger in wasting our time measuring the wrong things. And – let’s face it – isn’t it nice to let go from time to time? It sure is. That’s why I’m giving you permission today to stop measuring these 3 marketing metrics.
1. Social media follows
I know, it feels great to see that little number on your Facebook fan page or beside your Twitter profile ticking upward. But the number of followers you have means nothing if they’re all unengaged – or, worse, spambots. Plus, Facebook is now famously a pay-to-play platform, with only a tiny percentage of your content actually showing up in your followers’ feeds.
Measure this instead: Engagement
In order to learn whether or not your content is valuable, measure how many people share, like, and comment. These are the engaged fans your brand needs! If every one of your posts debuts to silence, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. The only thing that matters is engagement.
2. Website traffic
Page views are all well and good, but unfortunately it’s too easy for those views to be coming from people – or bots – who aren’t your core customers. Digging into bounce rates will tell you a bit more about whether or not the people clicking onto your page are finding any value there, but in the end you still won’t know much.
Measure this instead: Conversions
What you want to know is what are people doing while they’re on your website. Are they clicking on your calls to action? Are they putting your products in their shopping cart? Are they downloading your free special report? It doesn’t matter if you have low numbers of page views if your conversion rate is high – that just tells you you’re attracting the right people to your website. But if your page views are high and your conversions almost nonexistent? Then you have a serious problem.
3. Email opens
The number of people who opened your email is an unreliable indicator of how successful your email marketing campaign was. It tells you whether or not you had a catchy subject line, but it doesn’t tell you how many people only opened it to unsubscribe, or whether or not they found your content useful.
Measure this instead: Clickthroughs
A much more valuable measurement in email marketing is how many people performed an action based on your email. Did they click through to read your latest blog post or sign up for your webinar? That’s what really matters.