Which Key Performance Indicators Should You Monitor?

February 15, 2023
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All digital marketing campaigns need KPIs or key performance indicators. Often, profitability is the goal of a campaign, so it is the primary KPI for an agency. However, it is not the only one you can use.

There are multiple channels in a marketing campaign, which require different strategies and tools. Content, which you find in all marketing materials online, is another significant factor in campaigns’ success. However, measuring its impact isn’t easy. Here are things to keep in mind about measuring content KPIs.

Who Are the KPIs For?

Identifying stakeholders who need the KPIs will let you narrow your focus. There are so many ways to measure campaign success online, and you don’t want to bombard the company’s leaders with data they can’t use for strategies. Or worse, give them misleading information.

People from different levels will also have different concerns, which means different KPIs. For example, a social media manager would want to know the number of shares and social conversions each post in their campaign gets. However, the company’s CMO would prefer overall figures about leads, revenues, and conversion rates. 

KPIs for B2Cs

Business-to-consumer companies aim to sell products and services, so the most important metrics for them are sales, revenue, and ROI. Other KPIs that might matter to B2Cs are ROAS or return on ad spend, cost per acquisition, conversion rates for SEO and social, user engagement, and customer retention. 

In a larger B2C company, digital marketing KPIs like SEO conversion rates don’t matter as much since they likely have brand equity. However, for smaller companies, especially ones still building their presence online, indicators of online growth are valuable. The more people know about them or search their products, the easier it would be to justify running other types of campaigns.

KPIs for B2Bs

B2B companies have longer business cycles, and buyers of their services are more like partners instead of customers. Before the budget for a product or service gets approved, the project manager must conduct feasibility studies, scout for suppliers, and present their proposals to different executives.

There are also further meetings between the companies involved, covering negotiations, NDAs, and product demos. The sales journey for B2Bs looks more like the one for real estate agents instead of B2Cs—lead generation matters just as much as sales and revenue.

Even leads that don’t bring in a sale are still valuable for B2B companies since they can provide contact or demographic information and possible referrals.

These types of companies are less interested in their brand performing well on social media. However, larger B2Bs with a marketing budget might also include SEO and social engagement in the KPIs they monitor.

KPIs for Publishers

Online publishers of news and entertainment media, blog owners, and similar organizations get their profits from advertising. They have to make their website attractive to B2Bs, B2Cs, and agencies.

In some instances, publishers have paid subscriptions, making it easy to track where they’re making conversions. Mostly, though, their money comes from PPC ads, paid partnerships, and sponsored posts.

Since businesses want their ads in front of as many prospective buyers as possible, publishers must show that they have plenty of traffic. Furthermore, the goal is to get the ad to people likely to click through to the advertiser’s website. Social shares, comments, and other metrics for engagement are also important to publishers.

KPIs for Agencies

Agencies use various content types in their campaigns, from blog and social media posts to white papers and pay-per-click ads. All of these contribute to sales, but agencies are also interested in measuring how each strategy works in a given context.

What makes an agency unique is that it uses the services it is selling to market itself. As such, you can argue that the performance of their campaigns matters even more to them. 

It also matters where the buyer is in the funnel. Some strategies work in the early stages, while others are more for clinching the sale. Agencies also pay attention to that and create materials that correspond to different stages. While sales, revenue, and return on investment matter to agencies, other KPIs are also crucial for their strategies.

Cost per acquisition, media mentions, leads generated, return on ad spend, and lifetime value are important considerations when building a marketing strategy. Note that some of these KPIs aren’t meant for conversion—sometimes, agencies aim to increase brand awareness or generate leads without closing a sale right away.

Agencies are interested in creating shareable, relatable content. They want inbound links, so KPIs related to A/B tests, press releases, and email click-through are vital. Getting a post to trend on social media won’t always lead to conversions, but they increase brand recall, which means higher SERP rankings in the long run.

Beyond the Crucial KPIs

Take note that you don’t need to limit yourself to certain kinds of KPIs just because your business depends on them. The only reason why some indicators matter more is that they easily translate into goals and objectives for the business. However, you can always apply other KPIs.

For example, a publisher can also use PPC ads to increase their reader base. Pairing it with a promo will help attract bargain-minded buyers. Meanwhile, B2Cs can also use lead generation. Many e-commerce stores have mailing lists, and they send these customers announcements on sales, new collections, and more.


Your choice of a performance indicator depends on how much you know your audience and the industry. However, no matter what type of business you have, you can use all KPIs to measure success for your company.

The only time you might misuse a KPI is if you select a metric for success based on what works for other companies or for the market as a whole instead of what would bring more revenue or sales to your business. True success can only come from alignment with your company’s broader goals.

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