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Without metrics, it would be impossible to measure how well our online campaigns were doing. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of measurements and key performance indicators, however, we should first be aware of the steps that must be taken in the marketing funnel towards our objective.

The Marketing Funnel Model

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Using this model will make campaign measurement much easier. Here are some of the key steps in the funnel laid out in a bit more detail.

Awareness (traffic, visitors, fans, followers)


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A huge part of your digital marketing campaign, it won’t hurt to see eyeballs on your final film. But beware, as it will depend on the type of traffic that you get and not just the general traffic you get that will give you a sense of how many people are actually watching your trailers, stills, and other content.

Acquisition (click through rate, cost per click, and cost per lead)

The next step after you have a decent traffic rate is to figure out how much it costs to actually get that traffic. Placing a banner advertisement in the New York Times or Deadline for your film might be way more expensive than placing one on another influential private blogger’s web page. You’ll want to make sure you are hitting the right audience with however you plan on advertising, however, or risk wasting a lot of money on the wrong kind of audience.

Conversion (conversion rate, email address acquired, app downloads)

Depending on the type of content strategy you are running, you might find asking your website visitors for their email as a viable marketing strategy. The cost towards conversion will be something you’ll want to measure during your campaign.

Retention (engagement or visits over time)

Does your content keep viewers wanting more? And this might necessarily not be about the content in your film but about how you choose to deliver the content. If you aren’t getting repeat visitors on your Facebook page, perhaps it is because your core audience would prefer to consume their content in full through an email interface.

Referral (invites shared, invites accepted, and social sharing)


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This is the big kahuna of the marketing funnel. Organic sharing (or content that was shared by the user without you having to pay anything) is a great way to figure out how “catchy” the content is. If you start to obtain multiple shares for an image or video you post, you might want to look closely at what it is about the content that is causing people to spread it around. Once you have figured it out, you can start to create more content that replicates this kind of success.

So now that you’ve had the chance to get a better, more detailed glance at the marketing funnel, let’s go through some common KPIs or Key Performance Indicators you can use to measure how well your online marketing campaigns are going.

Common KPIs in Digital Marketing

Although you can create almost any kind of KPI to measure a custom marketing tactic, if you are just starting out, then you’ll want to start out small. Here are five that have proven most useful by independent filmmakers:

View Through Rate

If you are looking to market on YouTube, the view through rate or VTR measures how many people viewed your trailer past the opportunity to skip it. As a result, this measurement gives you a sneak peek into the percentage of people that had their perception of your film changed as a result of being served by the video. The VTR shows you that if someone doesn’t click on the ad, it wasn’t a wasted view since action could have been taken later via a pixel that tracks if the viewer searched for the video on Google or went to your website.

Cost Per Acquisition

The cost per acquisition metric measures how much you paid towards obtaining an acquisition from an ad impression, click, or form submit. By placing a tracking pixel on your conversion or email signup page, you can follow the user from advertising click to email sign up form and get a true understanding of your audience’s behavior to better optimize your process.

Cost Per Lead

The cost per lead is a measure of how much you paid to get a sign up from your core viewer. The advantages of this measurement are that it tells you how effective you are in pulling your audience down the marketing funnel as well as informs what potential opportunities for future engagement you may have.

Video Completion Rate


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The Video Completion Rate or VCR measures how many times a video was played to completion. This is especially helpful when utilizing YouTube advertisements-the closer you are to 100% completion, the better and more engaging the video was. Additionally, some other metrics like how many times the video was skipped or rolled over, expanded, or changed volume can give you some insight into how engaged viewers were.

Cost Per Click

One of the most popular metrics, cost per click or CPC is the cost for an advertisement to be clicked on. Typically it is used to price a digital campaign upfront or on the backend on search engines or social media. You can use this metric to set a daily budget for how many users you want your advertisement to hit. It is, however, important to follow up on the quality of clicks by tracking post-click site engagement-you’ll want to engage with a qualified or loyal audience for your site engagement.

While this is by no means an exhaustive summary of the metrics you can use in marketing your film online, it is a wonderful starting point for those just starting out on this journey. But where exactly can we find all of these measurements and how can we get started today? In the next post, I’ll answer these questions by diving into Google Analytics so stay tuned!