Understanding and Applying the Most Important KPIs for Your Business


When creating business decisions, you must have a method to measure its success. More often than not, small businesses only use their income to measure how successful their campaigns are. This applied to PR campaigns that every business needs to boost their income. But you have to understand that beyond the income, there are also other factors such as brand awareness and trust that you need to improve to create a stable source of income.

If you’re wondering the best key performance indicators or KPI for marketing campaigns, here are the eight most used and effective ones that can help you with your business.

Media Impressions

Best for: Brands that can afford media placements with a high reach potential

Among the items on this list, media impression is perhaps one of the oldest yet still effective ways of launching a successful PR campaign. Typically, PR teams will set a benchmark or the total target impressions to declare the campaign a success. However, it can be not easy on media, such as product placements in videos where viewership does not necessarily translate to seeing the product placement.

The accuracy of this KPI can be a bit on the lower side compared to the others on this list. Still, it’s one of the easiest to check and, thus, can be highly cost-effective, especially for brands who can afford product placements on highly viewed media.

Key Message Inclusion

Best for: Brands that want to attract new customers

Experts emphasize creating a product that solves people’s problems. You want to present your product as something your target customers need. This is why critical message inclusion is becoming one of the best ways to measure if your marketing campaign is attracting new customers.

When people face problems, they don’t immediately search for brands that can solve their problems. Instead, they look for ways of solving their problem. You want your brand to appear in articles that advise people who are experiencing the problems that your products can solve.

These key message inclusions show that people, especially those in media who can affect the population’s opinion, trust that your product can do what you designed it to do. People experiencing a problem that your products can solve are more likely to buy from you than your competitors.

Target Media Secured

Best for: Increasing brand popularity among the target audience

Using a list of publications, a company can coordinate the most effective ways to reach its target audience. This helps you focus your marketing efforts towards enticing the people who are more likely to buy your products.

This KPI is a measurement of how well your brand is being received if publications willingly write or mention your products and services without any transactions between you. Appearing on these publications often, especially if they have an audience who are your target customers, can mean that your products are widely popular among these people.

While it can be obvious, you also have to consider negative comments about your products. While positive reviews show a successful media campaign, negative comments can damage your brand. You also have to consider “lukewarm” reviews that are neither positive nor negative and determine how much those reviews can affect your company.

Share of Voice Among the Competition

Best for: Brands with close competitions

Your product will inevitably have competitors. The more people who buy your competitor’s products, the less income you’ll be getting. This might not be a problem for startup companies who are just focused on brand awareness, but it’s one of the things you should focus on as your business grows.

Share of voice is a KPI method of measuring media mentions or online chatter about your brand and comparing it to your competitors. It can show you just how well your brand is performing against your competitors and if you need to change certain things to gain more income.

Just make sure that you are not comparing your brand to a company with a much more extensive reach than yours. Otherwise, your KPIs will often be on the low side. On the other hand, don’t compare your products to competitors who are much smaller than you since doing so will not offer valuable insight into your marketing campaigns.

Choosing a suitable competitor to compare yourself with can be difficult. But if you’re having a hard time doing so, maybe no other companies affect your business that much. Having no obvious candidate can show that other companies selling the same products are too big or too small to be considered a competition. You can use other forms of KPIs to measure your success instead.

Increased Web Traffic and Sales Lead

Best for: Brands that want to determine which press generates the most conversions

It is standard among PR teams to ensure that the brands they contact will translate to conversion after doing business with them. However, simply having media placements all over the internet is not an efficient way and might be more expensive than your company can afford.

By measuring how many people use a unique link from another website, you can check which generates the most web traffic. This directly translates to how effective the brand placement is on that website. Measuring this KPI will help you eliminate websites that are not giving you the target web traffic, which can save a lot of money on your marketing budget.

The problem with this KPI is that it takes a while before a customer makes a transaction. After seeing a product on an article or a video, they will not immediately head to the store to buy your product. Instead, they might take some time to research more, or they will buy when it’s convenient for them. You have to consider this factor when computing for this KPI.

High SEO Rankings

Best for: Brands that want to generate organic traffic

While media product placement and backlinks are both still helpful in ensuring a successful PR campaign, your website’s SEO ranking can be another valuable and cost-effective way of promotion. Nowadays, many companies have dedicated blogs on their websites to attract new customers. Of course, anyone who reads the blog will know that these are promoted materials since they came from a company. Still, if they already trust your brand, it becomes an avenue to gather more information on how valuable your product can be.

This can also be used for pushing down negative sentiments about your brand. People rarely scroll through the second page of the search engine results page or SERP, and thus, it is a helpful tool for avoiding the spread of controversies or any other unwanted mentions.

Social Media Shares and Engagement

Best for: Brands who want to stay relevant to new generations

An estimated 4.480 billion active users are on social media [https://backlinko.com/social-media-users] in 2021, which has been steadily increasing since 2015. This is a vast pool to get the most impressions as it’s easy for people to share any content with their friends or followers.

However, the downside is that it’s difficult to go viral. Many factors, including algorithms, can affect the impressions on your post. For people who want to know about your brand, having a social media account for your business can still boost customer trust.

Social media engagement also does not necessarily translate to a sale. While this method can effectively measure brand awareness, it lacks other forms of a successful marketing campaign. However, if your company is starting up, it’s undoubtedly an effective method of checking how well people recognize your brand.

Improved Brand Awareness or Sentiment

Best for: Understanding the current view on your brand

Do you have a luxury brand? Or is your target audience more of the lower-income demographics? Are people who you want to sell aware of your products? Or is it appealing to another group of people? Understanding how the public views your products can give you an idea of what steps you should take to improve your marketing campaign further.

Brand awareness is fundamental since it is one of the most reliable KPIs that can show if your brand is seen in a positive light by people. But this reliability can sometimes be expensive, so it’s only advisable for more prominent companies who have the budget to spare to use this KPI.

Final Thoughts

Getting a high score on these KPIs means that you’re on the right track in your business ventures. But you don’t necessarily need to improve all the KPIs. Instead, focus on those that give your company the most benefit based on your plans and goals for the journey.

Each KPI benefits certain phases of your company, so you need to understand each of them and apply the ones you need. Furthermore, if you have the budget, you can run multiple KPIs to make a more well-informed decision for plans on your marketing campaigns.


  • What is a Key Performance Indicator?

Published on: 2021-12-21
Updated on: 2022-05-26

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.