Metrics are powerful. They outline clear parameters for what success looks like. It’s not enough in terms of communications or stakeholder engagement, a topic I know well, to throw broad Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around like “this will be effective” or “we will increase brand awareness.” The question is or should be, how will we know when we’ve been successful or if we’re not successful, and that’s where metrics play a role.
Now, if only 1) determining metrics and 2) agreeing upon metrics was easy to do!
When determining metrics for communications, marketing, branding, and so on, the reason a lot of organizational leaders find this hard to do is that these strategies are usually a long game. It can take years to build trust and merely seconds to destroy it. So, with that in mind, what kind of metrics should we consider to benchmark what success looks like. Here are a few communications pillars and metrics to get you thinking.
Building a brand or reputation takes time. After all, you need to consistently communicate with your partners, audience, stakeholders, etc… your core values and who or what you are as a company. Considering the noise and brands competing for attention, this can be slow to build which is why we titled this section brand “building.”
If you’ve built a house, you know the foundation takes the longest to construct and from there, you then build up. To establish a metric, we recommend you set benchmarks – where are you now in terms of:
Website traffic, and
Determine how you will measure those benchmarks, because things like sales are easier to measure than social license, and then in a year’s time, come back, take the same measurements, and see how you’ve progressed. You’ll then be able to adapt your strategy to pick up what is low, celebrate and maintain what is doing well, and retool your strategy as needed to reach your goals.
This is a tricky one because awareness is so… nebulous.
Awareness is good and a solid communications strategy will help build awareness but will also include a clear and measurable call to action. It’s no good to have people be aware about you, but never be asked to do business with you. That’s why awareness on its own is a meh metric.
When measuring awareness, think more to what your outcomes are and why awareness is important to your organization. This could be to generate sales for your products or services, increase visits to your website, amplify your engagement on social media, and so on. But if you don’t have a solid call to action or easy way for them to do business with you, then awareness on its own is worthless.
Please be realistic on the importance you place on awareness.
Attention! This is the meat!
What are you really trying to accomplish? What are your goals overall as an organization?
A communications specialist worth their weight in 24K gold will help you create a plan to reverse engineer that pathway to success and how communications and engaging stakeholders will play a role. Did you know that testing out your call to action can be huge too? Social media buys can make it easier to test out a call to action where you can see what offer, or call to action, made the greatest impact to your target audiences, and what didn’t. Testing your call to action for various audiences will help you fine tune your plans to drive sales, attract the right employees, generate leads, and reach the goals you are trying to accomplish.
Make metrics a part of your strategic conversations moving forward. Get your team aligned so they know the targets you’re trying to hit and the role they play. Then review potentially each quarter to see if you’re on pace.
Are you curious as to how a communications strategy will help you save time, money, and increase your chances of reaching your goals? Our team has worked with non-profits organizations, companies, and individuals looking to amplify their impact and many times that starts with communications with metrics! Schedule a 30 minute phone call by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk about how we can clarify your purpose and message to amplify your impact and metrics for success.