Seven digital marketing KPIs your firm needs to start using

Anyone who knows marketing, knows the need to prove a return on investment, or return on marketing spend, in order continue to receive budget for various marketing activities. However, where the legal buying cycle is long, slow and complex, how do we show or prove ROI? 

The answer is by defining a set of KPIs, around the areas of 'activity', 'reach' and 'engagement', which will contribute to an understanding of where the value lies in your digital marketing. 


  • Multiple touch points: Planning beyond a single communication through a single channel is really important to ensure you reach the broadest cross-section of your target audience as possible. An example is for events: you send your initial invitation email, but you don't stop there. You follow up with reminders to those who haven't RSVP'd, and with confirmations to those who have. You send further details and a reminder the day before, and then follow up with an evaluation after the event has taken place. The same is true for a marketing campaign – try to identify 3-5 touch points with your audience (including auto-responders) across channels as they're not all going to be able to engage with your communications at a single point in time. 


  • Set a 'reach' goal: How many people in your target audience do you want to have reached with your communications? Defining this up front gives you a target to aim for. Once you've run a couple of campaigns, you'll get an idea of the audience you expect to reach, and this can feed into the planning stages.
  • Unique visits: An obvious one, but identifying the number of unique visits to your online properties is key to ensuring you understand the reach of your content marketing – and make sure you filter out your internal network IP range, too, otherwise you're skewing your results.
  • Understand your social channel analytics: Use Twitter? Then activate Twitter Analytics. Use LinkedIn? Then measure your impressions. Feed using HootSuite? They've got analytics too. Remember, if it's online, it can be measured. 


  • Average time on-site: The more time a visitor spends on your site, the more they're able to read. Screen-reading takes place around 200 words per minute, so you can work out how sticky your content is by the time they spend on your site. 
  • Average number of pages per visit: Generally, the more pages visited, the more engaging your content - although be careful your content is not too difficult to find. Take a look at your user journeys to work out how people navigate, and make key 'call-to-action' content as easy to access as possible.
  • RT / Share / Like / Favourite: These social metrics define engagement and so the more they're liked and shared, the wider the visibility and reach of your content. 

Setting up these KPIs helps you assign a revenue figure to your digital marketing. Take the cost of the thought-leadership piece, and then divide it by your various metrics. E.g. you've spent £5k, so if you get 1,000 unique microsite visits, that's £5 per visit, or if you receive 10,000 LinkedIn impressions, that's £0.50 per impression…

It's a good way to focus the mind on marketing value!

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