Any smart marketer will tell you that developing and launching a killer campaign is only half the battle. The real work begins in measuring the effectiveness of those marketing efforts and calculating your ROI. Digital marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) are a way for digital marketers to set campaign goals and are essential in monitoring campaign performance and driving changes to the digital strategy that maximize results.
Sit in on any monthly reporting call with one of our clients, and you’ll hear us throw around enough acronyms to make your head spin. As proponents of data-driven digital strategy, we often get asked about what KPIs should be used when reviewing campaign performance. Frankly, we get just as many questions about what those KPIs actually mean.
Ergo, we’ve created this fabulous digital terms glossary. In it, you’ll find a mix of general digital marketing terms, tactics and success indicators. Read up, casually use a few of them in the next conversation with your marketing team and sit back and watch their amazement at your newfound digital knowledge.
A/B testing – Method used to compare different versions of ad imagery, copy, landing pages, etc. to determine which perform better.
Attribution – Determine which touch point is responsible for a conversion so ROI can be calculated.
CMS – Content Management System. An application that supports the creation and modification of digital content. Examples include OmniUpdate, Cascade, Ingeniux, WordPress)
CPC – Cost Per Click. How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click.
CPL – Cost Per Lead. How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each lead generated.
CPM – Cost Per Thousand impressions. Shows how much it costs to serve 1,000 ad impressions.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management tool. A system used to store and manage prospective student data. Examples include Hubspot, SalesForce, Slate, Ellucian Recruiter)
CTA – Call to Action. Including a call to action in your ad copy or on your landing page increase the likelihood that you will engage users to complete the desired action. Examples include “Learn More”, “Click Here”, or “Download Now”.
CTR – Click-Through-Rate. The percentage of total impressions, shows how often people who are served an ad click on it.
CVR – Conversion Rate/Ratio – This indicates the percentage of users that complete your desired action, such as visiting your website or submitting a form.
GA – Google Analytics. This tracking software allows you to view website analytics such as page views, clicks, time spent on site, conversions, etc.
Geofencing – A location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action (like displaying an ad) when a mobile device/user is within a virtual boundary set up around a specific geographical location.
GTM – Google Tag Manager. This system allows you to quickly and easily update tags and code snippets on your website for traffic analysis and marketing optimization.
Frequency Capping – Setting a limit on the number of times an ad is shown to a user within a given time period.
Impression – the number of times an ad has been served (regardless of whether the user has seen or interacted with it)
Lookalike Audience – A target audience created by mapping key attributes of your current perspective student population to other users across social channels.
LTV – Lifetime Value. Knowing the lifetime value of an admitted student is important when determining ROI from digital advertising. Factors such as Alumni donations and family legacies should also be considered.
MOM – Month-Over-Month. Looking at how campaign performance data compares from one month to the next is an effective way of measuring the success of your digital advertising efforts.
Pixel – A short snippet of code added to your site to track user activity. Used to measure results of digital advertising efforts.
PPC – Pay Per Click. A pricing model where advertisers pay based on the number of clicks received in a campaign.
Programmatic Advertising – When ads are bought based on a set of predefined parameters. Uses data to ensure you’re reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
Remarketing/Retargeting – these terms are used interchangeably and refer to serving ads to people who have previously visited your website.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing. Paid marketing to increase visibility in search engine results pages.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Optimizing website content to improve site volume and traffic by increasing visibility in natural/organic search results.
SQR – Search Query Report. Shows how your ads performed when triggered by actual searches within the Search Network.
View Through – this metric is used to measure a user’s behavior after they’ve been served an ad. View through conversions are leads generated from users taking the desired action at a later time, not by clicking on the ad directly.
YOY – Year-Over-Year. Looking at how campaign performance data compares from one year to the next is an effective way of measuring the success of your digital advertising efforts.
Download our guide to launching smarter digital advertising campaigns, which includes benchmark data by digital platform and program type, as well as tips for optimizing and energizing your digital efforts.