9 new performance marketing metrics to measure how you’re impacting revenue

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Neil Stoneman

06. 06. 2023 | 8 min read

9 new performance marketing metrics to measure how you’re impacting revenue

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Performance marketers love engagement metrics because they feel specific. 

Ask one how a project is going and they’ll describe success in terms of traffic, sign-ups, downloads and conversions (or go even deeper into session length, click through rate and CRO). 

But ask them to quantify how they can show how it’s starting a journey towards revenue and things suddenly get slippery.

On the surface, it’s not a controversial statement that content should always make a clear, measurable contribution to revenue. 

The reality is a lot of marketers are restricted to measures defined by their analytics tools to show the impact of creative work. 

They measure what they can instead of what they should: how marketing inspires prospects to take action.

New performance marketing metrics to model engagement against spend

There’s nothing wrong with using out-of-the-box analytics metrics as a baseline. 

But at most you’ll get a list of names and a paper trail of digital actions – actions that are too surface level in isolation to prove a scientific link between how your marketing inspires prospects to take action, and what that action is worth in terms of revenue.

The good news is you can draw much firmer conclusions by combining elements of that paper trail to surface new insights.

We’ll get to our list of nine metrics that translate engagement into impact in a moment. But first it’s helpful to get really clear on what you want to know. And for us, that’s invariably about quantifying how (and to what degree) prospects are galvanized by content. 

WTF does galvanized actually mean?

At Velocity we talk about the ‘galvanizing story’ in our messaging – ‘an idea that shocks someone into action’. But how do you measure whether (or when, or how, or why) somebody has been galvanized? 

We’re not salespeople. We don’t have the luxury of clear cause and effect – of direct conversations followed by ink on a contract.

We also don’t run focus groups for readers of our work, or follow it down the rabbit hole of social media to gauge public opinion (thank God). We don’t hover behind our client’s prospects with a microphone and camera, ready to ask ‘how did that make you feel?’. 

Instead, we need to get a little creative to infer our contribution to a prospect taking action. Let’s start by mapping out the questions we’d need to answer to calculate our impact with a high degree of confidence: 

  • Who do we want to take the action? (Who in our target audience is most relevant?)
  • What actions do we want them to take? (What defines a galvanized interaction?)
  • When do we think that action will take place? (Where and when should that galvanized action take place?)
  • What’s the value of said action? (What is the revenue impact of that galvanized action?)
  • How can we influence that action? (This is the most important, and something we’ll dig into shortly)

If you’re familiar with conversion rate optimization (CRO) you’ll recognize some of these. But that’s a term built on fast, straightforward conversions. In B2B, CRO often means gating content (something we generally avoid recommending) and driving demos. 

But measuring how content truly influences the buying decision in B2B is far more nuanced – especially when you ditch content gates altogether and unlock your content for all (something we almost always recommend). 

We’ve been developing in-depth and valuable content performance metrics designed to articulate that nuance. And you can see our strategy and offerings that we have been developing in line with our B2B performance marketing process. Here’s what we came up with. 

Nine Metrics to translate engagement into impact

Audience – who’s taking the action? 

One of the first things we need to consider is how to generate enough volume from the right target demographics.

Critical User Volume

How many users do we need to reach for our content campaign to deliver a return? What is the critical mass that will drive the galvanized experiences needed for commercial outcomes? 

CUV = (current traffic / target traffic) *100

Target Audience Success

How many users fit our target audience? We need to provide some proof that we’re reaching the right groups via our audience analytics and set up. 

TAS = (target audience / total audience) *100

Actions – what actions are we looking to inspire?

The next thing we need to measure is how galvanizing the experience was for our audience. This means metrics that gauge how people experience the content. 

Galvanized Engagement

How many visits deliver an experience that drives both engagement and return users? This relates to the overall experience of the content. 

GE = (page views / unique page views) *average time on page 

Defined Customer Journeys 

If we’re running digital content, there’s usually a commercial next-step to push users towards. This ranges from visiting a product page to more specific conversion pages and content like contact forms and demo requests. 

DCJ = (defined journeys / total ongoing journeys) *100

Engaged User Conversion

What is the conversion rate of people who engaged with content as opposed to site averages? We’d hypothesize that galvanized users will convert more than the others at a very favourable ratio. 

EUC = engaged conversion rate : average conversion rate

Timing – when do we think the actions will take place? 

What is the best time and place to ask users to continue their journey? Where do we need to pay particular attention in order to keep their journey running smoothly? 

Compelling Conversion Points

Where in a content journey do conversion interactions take place? Is it in context-driven CTAs or in a ‘next steps’ slide at the end of the content itself? What kind of micro-copy seems to deliver the goods most consistently?  

Dead Exit Rates

The evil twin of compelling conversion points. Where is it that people are leaving the content experience, but not to visit somewhere effective or commercial? 

Impact – what’s the value of the action? 

What is the impact of content-inspired action, on a piece-by-piece basis? How does content-inspired action in: 

Content Value 

In commercial user journeys you need to understand the value of conversions. If you can put a value on your core conversions (a focus for us), then you can measure the impact of content directly.

CV = projected revenue + total goal value / unique content views

Content Opportunity Rate 

What proportion of opportunities result from content experiences? And how many content experiences do you see per opportunity? And more specifically, which content experiences drive opportunities that tend to land vs. those that don’t?

COR – total opportunities / content experiences *100

The next step: influencing the action 

That’s a pretty comprehensive view on how we want to approach metrics – detailed, insightful and several layers deeper than page views or emails captured. Putting these in place means that content-driven marketing becomes accountable to revenue through clear performance indicators.

But of course, the biggest piece of the puzzle is having great content to measure in the first place. So how do you ensure you’re working together as a team to make the best stuff possible? 

This could be a whole blog post in itself. Maybe it will be. But for now, we’ve captured a quick-fire checklist of factors that keep performance marketing and creative disciplines aligned throughout the production process:

Before content is created

  • Super-strength creative ideas: the idea at the heart of your content needs to be established in the first instance. What is the value exchange for your audience? How have you made their day better? What’s in it for them? 
  • Defined content goals: What do you want the project to deliver? Is it broad brand awareness? Driving demand generation? Engaging a specific subset of your overall audience? Once you have this in place you can shape the content to deliver on these goals, and measure success with only the most relevant metrics.
  • Core media planning: Content doesn’t sit in a silo; it’s not just a case of getting some eyeballs on the piece and hoping for the best. Whether it’s media partnerships, paid promotion, organic SEO-drivers or your social feeds, planning the wider campaign in parallel with the content sitting at the heart of it influences the actions you inspire.

Building the content 

  • Powerful, engaging storytelling: This is where creative teams shine. You have the format to work in, and the creative idea that sits at the heart of it. The next step is to make this compelling. Whether that’s the copy, design elements or developer magic, here is where you shape the best possible version of your marketing. 
  • Clear, creative micro copy: The smallest character counts can often have the biggest impact. Social copy, subject lines, CTAs – these can drive prospects onwards or stop them dead in their tracks. Regular measurement, especially combined with A/B testing, can light the way to bigger impact. 
  • Impactful CTAs: Linked but important enough to stand on its own is the power of good CTAs. Context, expectations and clear value need to be baked in – vague promises won’t give readers the impetus to move forward.
  • Analytics set-up: While the content is being developed, analytics teams should be busy working on what to measure based on the content and goals.  Customizing Google Analytics and other systems is critical here; you won’t be able to measure everything you need using standard setups.
  • Analytical integration: This works in tandem with establishing the analytics. In short, it’s making sure that the content itself has the right links, digital hooks and data functions in place to be able to feed into the performance analytics you need. 

Once content is live 

  • Campaign optimizations: It’s never too early to start learning – but leaving optimization to the end of the campaign is definitely too late. Instead, an ‘always-on’ approach can course-correct underperforming marketing in-flight. From the content itself through to its promotion, optimizing maximizes bang for buck at every stage. 
  • SpinCycle approach: You should be learning from every campaign. Once finished, reconvene, reflect and tweak your assumptions, your tactics and your processes to iron out issues and optimize your output.

A sea change

And there you have it: our blueprint for a new standard of content measurement that illuminates and aligns with true financial impact. 

It looks complex, but it’s a pretty intuitive step-by-step process that follows the natural life cycle of a campaign. Try it out for your next one. 

With a bit of self-reflection and specialist team coordination, you can link content to opportunities won – and keep the numbers in your back pocket the next time someone scoffs at the idea of marketing impacting sales. 

With these smarter, deeper metrics, we’re aiming to do just that. 
For more information on how we can turbocharge your performance (and use these metrics to make clear our tangible impact), take a look at our performance marketing page.

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