Running campaigns and producing quality content is the bread and butter of good communication specialists. Yet, the often opaque nature of measuring the success of a particular action can be difficult without the right metrics in place.
So why is measurement important and how should you approach it?
Micro-level objectives can help achieve overall goals.
Why set up measurement metrics?
For communication practitioners to successfully reach macro-level goals and objectives, the operational level needs to be planned out first.
If your overall goal is to improve brand awareness, for instance, there have to be specific micro-level strategies and objectives in place to achieve this. Add to this the fact that communication practitioners frequently endeavour to achieve attitudinal or behavioural changes with target publics, and the issue's complexity increases.
In a nutshell, setting up adequate measures enables effective and accurate progress overviews, insights into which strategies might need adjustments, where potential risks lie and how the target publics respond to particular communication channels.
What should be measured?
While there are many different approaches to tracking progress, reach and engagement of the target public with a campaign's tactics are arguably the two most useful.
The reach includes everything from social following, search impressions and click through rates to traffic channels, demographics and geography of the target public. As such, reach metrics should consider the number of followers, what sources are used to access your message and who exactly the audience is made up of.
Engagement measures on the other hand analyse active actions such as shares, comments and likes of specific content. They also indicate how long users spend at a specific content and at what point they disengage with a particular message.
How to approach measurement correctly
Knowing that a well-structured metric is a first step to successful insights.
From there, setting smart objectives needs to take utmost importance. Whether it is for a one-off campaign, or regarding the overall communication strategy of your company – having a clear guideline as to what you want to achieve is essential.
A good objective will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive. "To increase social media following of the company", is a statement that, while expressing the end-goal, doesn't give specific direction as to what success is defined as. Comparatively, "to increase the company's social media following by 10% in the Asia-Pacific region by January 1., 2017" explicitly states what success looks like.
Inevitably, having measures defined before executing any strategic action will enable accurate progress tracking. Moreover, it'll produce more successful campaigns as understanding of successful tactics grows.