Paid Advertising Key Performance Indicators for Event Professionals
Written by David Bannerman, Senior Paid Media Manager
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play a pivotal role in assessing the effectiveness of campaigns. By monitoring and analysing these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of their paid advertising efforts.
However, the KPIs you focus on to determine whether or not a campaign is performing well all depends on what you want to achieve.
At Tag Digital, we measure certain KPIs based on a campaigns objective that allow us to fully optimise campaigns and maximise performance from our campaigns in order to achieve the desired results.
For example, by focusing on cost per conversions for visitor registration campaigns, we can allocate our budget accordingly to ensure we can take advantage of low conversion costs which help us maximise the number of registrations we achieve.
Why Is It Important To Set Goals
First of all, it is crucial to establish a clear objective before you launch your paid advertising campaigns as this will ultimately affect your strategy.
For example if we set a goal of conversions/registrations, we are not going to focus the majority of our budget on a Top of the Funnel (ToF) campaign on the Google Display Network where we know that we can get more traffic to our website at a lower click cost compared to search.
Similarly, we would not run a branded search campaign if the objective was to raise awareness of the event. Users searching for our targeted keywords here are already familiar with the event.
Bid strategies play a key role in our advertising campaigns. This is us effectively telling the ad platforms what we want them to help us achieve.
We wouldn’t ask Google Ads to maximise our conversions when web traffic is the goal. Therefore, our bid strategies are also determined by the objective we set prior to the launch of a campaign.
With well-defined goals, we can continuously optimise campaigns for better performance. By monitoring KPIs in alignment with the goals of the campaign, we can make data-driven decisions to improve performance.
Understanding Paid Advertising KPIs for Event Success:
Definition: An impression is counted when your ad is seen. The number of impressions you have can give you a good idea of the reach and viewability of your ads.
Importance: A great KPI to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns where awareness is the goal. By measuring the number of impressions on your campaign, you have a good idea of how many times your ad is being seen by your audience.
When the objective of the campaign is brand awareness, we would optimise to get as many impressions as possible. This lets us know that the ads are constantly being seen.
We would also use impressions from a branded search campaign as a good indicator of how well our brand awareness campaigns are performing.
If you have a notoriously low search volume for brand keywords, if we start to see this rise, it is an indication that more users are being made brand aware and then searching for your brand.
Definition: A click is counted each time a user interacts with your ad by clicking on it and going through to the desired landing page.
Importance: The number of clicks gives a good idea of how effective the ad placements and targeting are. If clicks are high, this can indicate your ads are appealing to the audience.
If the objective of the campaign is to get web traffic and build out your remarketing audiences, we would aim and optimise towards getting as many clicks as possible.
3. Click Through Rate (CTR)
Definition: This is the percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it. This is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions and then multiplying by 100.
Importance: Click through rate is a KPI that gives us a good indication of how relevant the ad is to the audience we are targeting.
A high CTR can suggest that the ad is very strong and that targeting and messaging is all on point. A low CTR suggests the audience are not reacting well to the ad.
When optimising campaigns, we would look to see what audiences have the highest CTRs.
This is a good indication that these users are finding the ads more relevant and so we would push the budget towards those audiences.
We would also look at making changes to the ad that would make it more relevant to the audience in an attempt to increase the CTR.
Definition: Conversions are counted when a user takes the desired action after clicking on your ad. This can be registering for an event, downloading a piece of content and more.
Importance: When the goal of the campaign is to get conversions, this is one of the most important KPIs to focus on. If a campaign is not converting, this lets us know we need to take a look at a number of factors.
This could be keyword targeting on Google, Ad copy. We can also measure this alongside CTR to identify if there are any issues with the website that are affecting user experience.
For example, if the CTR for the ads are high but the campaigns are not converting. This suggests either misleading ad copy, or a problem with the website.
If the objective is to get as many conversions as possible, we can use this KPI as a guide on where to spend our budget.
We would normally spend the majority of our budget on the campaigns where we are seeing the best results. This avoids increasing the overall cost oper each conversion.
5. Cost Per Conversion (CPA)
Definition: This measures the average cost of acquiring a conversion. CPA can be calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the number of conversions.
Importance: When setting a target number of conversions for an advertising campaign this is accompanied by a target CPA. CPA is an important KPI as you want to make sure the average cost of your conversions are low enough to still maintain a good return on investment.
CPA is a great forecasting tool for looking at what is currently costing to achieve results on the platform and being able to let clients know the potential results they can achieve from further investment.
This has helped in the past where we take advantage of a low CPA by investing more to really supercharge the results of the campaign.
6. Cost Per Click (CPC)
Definition: This measures the cost of each click a user makes on your ad. This is calculated by the total cost of the campaigns by the total number of clicks.
Importance: Getting clicks at as low a cost as possible is important to making the most of your budget.
Users can’t convert until they get onto the website and so the lower the cost of your clicks, the more users you will get on the website which can increase the number of conversions you are able to achieve.
Similar to CPA, this can be a KPI that is great for forecasting to accurately predict the final results of your campaign.
It is also great for identifying how competitive some auctions can be. If a keyword has a high CPA compared to other similar keywords, this is an indication that many competitors are also targeting or bidding on this keyword.
It is at that point we can decide if it is worth spending budget there or if we could get better results by focusing on getting more clicks on lower cost keywords.
7. Impressions Lost To Budget
Definition: The percentage of impressions you were not able to show for based on when your daily budget runs out.
Importance: The number of impressions you lose correlates to the number of potential clicks to your website you miss out on.
This KPI is a good indicator that your budget was too low to serve all impressions available for that day because your daily budget ran out.
This is also where competitors will have the opportunity to serve for these impressions.
By seeing how many impressions are lost to budget, this will give a good idea of how much extra budget you can push to a campaign and then using CPA as a guide, you can estimate how many more potential conversions you will get for this budget.
How Do We Set Targets?
Before launching a campaign, how do you know what a good target CPA would be? When the campaigns are launched, how do you know if your CTR is an indication of relevant ads or irrelevant ads?
This is where benchmarking comes in. Across all industries and objectives, the benchmark for each KPI will vary.
Some of this information is available simply by conducting a Google search although, as event professionals, the data isn’t always specific.
If you run a food event, you may only get food industry benchmarks on Google. At Tag Digital, we run events marketing campaigns across multiple platforms, Industries, Locations, and Objectives and campaign type. We compile all the data from these campaigns to make our very own benchmarking report.
For example, you could be running an event in the business services industry. A search on Google for the average CPC across this industry would tell you, depending on where you get your information from, that this average is £4.40 (WordStream).
The benchmarking report at Tag Digital, being event specific, will tell you that the average CPC for an event in the business services industry is actually £0.77.
In summary, before running an advertising campaign, make sure you have decided on one objective. This will allow you to identify the KPIs you want to optimise towards when the campaigns go live.
If you are already running paid campaigns, use the KPIs listed above and their definitions as a starting point of what to focus on depending on what results you want to achieve from your campaigns.
Every year, Tag Digital run 100,000+ paid digital marketing campaigns, specific to events, across 40+ countries. Do you want access to our one of a kind benchmarking data?
We have aggregated this data and processed it to create a data set to be used for benchmarking and to determine “what’s good looks like” across different industries, regions and objectives.
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