Everything you always wanted to know about paid metrics (but were afraid to ask).

Effortlessly turn your paid metrics into actionable insights and report on them to your client or boss.
Letizia Zappa
January 11, 2022 - 6 min. read

We’re sorry for breaking this to those of you who chose this career as a way to escape math and analytics, but numbers are crucial in marketing – as much as creativity is.

And we cannot stress this enough!

Creating powerful content is obviously important, no doubt. But how will you ever know if your latest Instagram post is actually powerful? By asking your boss? By asking that one very creative friend of yours?

Nope, you do it by looking at numbers.

In order to know if a post was successful, you’ll need to look at metrics such as reach, number of reactions, comments, shares, and clicks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, the mere introduction of this blog post about metrics.

Why? Because metrics are even more relevant when your brand spends real dollars to promote content!

Organic reach, especially on Facebook, is at an all-time low due to algorithm changes and increasing competition on the platforms. This calls for companies to advertise even more on online channels. While posts’ metrics are important, paid metrics on a content level are even more crucial, as — sadly — are all of those things in life where real money is directly involved.

Read on to get some guidelines on how to best collect paid metrics, turn them into actionable insights, and finally report on them to your client or boss.

One thing to remember before we dive into the list is that it is good practice to look at paid metrics on a post level. Of course, it is important to have a look at your campaign and ad performance but when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of a specific creative, looking at the spend aggregated on a post level will help you greatly.

Spoiler alert: We will be mentioning Falcon’s very own Measure module in this post. 😉

The top 5 paid metrics that matter.

We know there are so many metrics and so little time, so here are the most important paid metrics to focus on, the ones you cannot really miss when you are trying to evaluate the success of content you’ve posted.

1. Conversion rate (CR)

In the online world, a conversion is when a user completes a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. CR tells you how frequently such conversion happens out of all the times it could happen. By looking at this metric you’ll realize whether your content is good at driving actions.

2. Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures how many times someone clicks on your ad in comparison to the total times the content was shown. CTR is a crucial metric as it clearly shows whether a promoted post is compelling enough to make people click on it.

3. Cost per Click (CPC)

CPC measures the advertising costs divided by the number of clicks on the promoted post. This metric helps you determine the quality of your content as well, as usually CPC is very high when an ad is ineffective at making users click through. It is very important you have a benchmark for this metric so that you are able to compare costs for different types of content.

4. Engagement

Of course, engagement is also a very important metric to look at when assessing the performance of a paid post. By engagement, we mean the number of paid reactions, comments, shares, or any click on an interactive element (i.e., hashtags, links, RSVPs, etc.) on the promoted post.

5. Frequency

As much as it is important to know how many users were exposed to your promoted content, it is also critical to understand how many times on average a user saw your promoted content. Did the average see the post once? Twice? This metric is especially relevant when your goal is to raise awareness.

Turn metrics into actions.

Now we’ve come to the part of the article that unveils a secret truth, a secret know-how: How exactly can you turn the metrics you collect into actionable insights?

Here are the best practices you can follow to move from collecting ‘just’ data to solid knowledge that can guide your future actions.

Start with ‘small data’.

While it is useful to identify a range of data sources to build insights, start with the best data (metrics) that speak the most to you. Take inspiration from the metrics listed above but also figure out which ones can help you measure your specific goals or suit the types of formats you’re using. For instance, if the content format you are measuring is a video, then view through rate will matter a lot.

Get data organized in dashboards.

User interface plays a great role in understanding metrics. A clean overview can help you greatly and for this reason, it can be a good idea to use a template to easily get started with building your metrics dashboard.

With Falcon’s Measure module, you will find amongst the different templates a ‘Paid Performance’ dashboard, which is an excellent starting point. You can also customize the template by dragging and dropping specific metrics and building a dashboard where you can get an overview of the data that matters the most to you.

Benchmark, benchmark, benchmark!

To really understand if the performance of a paid post is good or bad, you need to compare it with other results.

  • Compare posts: First and foremost, it is natural to compare your new post to previously promoted ones. Comparing them side by side will allow you to understand which ones proved to be more successful. In Measure dashboards, you will find that posts are displayed one after the other in chronological order so that you can easily compare paid metrics.
  • Breakdown by channels: Of course, it is also important to measure how content performs depending on the channel where it was promoted. A post that got lots of success on Facebook may not perform as well on Instagram. This is why it is important to shape your content depending on the channels you are using. By breaking down the metrics by channels you will make informed decisions about this going forward.
  • Check in regularly: Paid metrics shouldn’t just be looked at as if they were “before and after” snapshots. Assess metrics and performance regularly during a campaign or project to make sure you are on the right track and can tweak your strategy when you see a post is underperforming.
Share and keep the team looped in.

Finally, it is important to share performance results across your marketing team. From Content to Growth, every team member should know how paid posts are performing in order to keep improving. Of course, if you are working on behalf of a client, sharing results is even more critical.

With Measure, you can easily share your dashboards both with colleagues working on Falcon and those who do not have access.

By keeping all the information you need in a clean and simple overview, it will be much easier to come to solid conclusions about which creatives and channels are better at creating value for your company.

Meet Measure’s new Paid Metrics.

In a world where getting organic reach is more and more difficult, promoted posts are a great tool to raise awareness and consideration towards your brand.

This is why we’ve enhanced our Measure module to include the brand new Paid Metrics — a robust set of metrics coming from your Facebook ad accounts.

Measure was made to provide you the best overview possible of your cross-network social media metrics and KPIs in real-time. Now, you also get a simple and easy way to look at how your sponsored posts are performing.

That’s a wrap!

Your paid efforts need to be data-driven not just to report on performance to your client or boss, but also to constantly strategize and improve. If you’d like to see how Falcon can help you turn paid metrics into actionable insights effortlessly, talk to our social media consultants today.