How to Measure the ROI of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

How to Measure the ROI of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns


When you spend money on digital marketing, you want to know that marketing budget dollars aren’t being wasted. You need to know for sure your digital marketing efforts will increase sales.

That’s where determining your digital marketing ROI, or return on investment, comes in.

It’s like a report card for your marketing campaign, and you want to get positive ROI metrics, as that means your campaigns are performing successfully.

So Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy Working?

To know if your marketing efforts are working, you need to assess everything involved in your marketing campaigns, and include the marketing costs from all areas. Again, like a report card, it isn’t accurate and won’t give a full picture if some marks weren’t added yet or inputted correctly, or they were based on a course you weren’t even in!

It’s fairly simple to calculate online marketing ROI, but it can be difficult measuring digital marketing ROI. It can be hard getting accurate numbers, as well as getting data across different marketing channels.

What Do Digital Marketing Campaigns Include?

For measuring ROI, digital marketing campaigns will include all of your branding and marketing, including organic and paid campaigns, search engine or website work, email, social media, SMS text message marketing campaigns, and any other ad campaign or outreach initiative.

Many companies forget to include both organic and paid campaigns, which is like missing marks on your report card.

But How Do You Measure Digital Marketing ROI?

To measure ROI in digital marketing, you also need to make sure you’re measuring the right things, in the right way – or getting marks for the right class.

Digital marketing campaigns often have a multi-pronged approach, and many initiatives are long term, so it can be hard to get an accurate snapshot of whether your digital marketing campaign is working.

The business you’re in will affect how easy or difficult this is. Direct online sales with trackable links from ads makes it easier to track and know how much revenue has come from those ads.

However, make sure to not fall into the trap of thinking that being able to track those campaigns more easily to measure success makes them more successful than a long-term, brand awareness campaign or similar initiative. For the same initial investment, paid ads may provide immediate results that are easily measured based on ad spend and converted clicks, but dwindle over time, but a long-term awareness or organic campaign can provide ongoing results for a longer period, and can support and boost other efforts.

Social media ROI or content marketing efforts, for example, are harder to measure. These aim to boost brand awareness by making your brand more visible and familiar, but trust and relevancy are critical, too. Customers might know your name, but if they don’t trust or respect it, they won’t buy.

Use the Right Metrics

To measure your digital marketing success, you have to understand your digital marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators. You also have to have a firm grasp of what success actually is for your brand, since this varies by company. You might be aiming for click-throughs to your website if you are new and just looking for visibility, or you may be looking at improving your conversion rates.

There are several digital marketing metrics, such as cost per acquisition or lead, customer lifetime value, but not all are appropriate for every business, so it’s important to have the right metrics for your individual digital marketing strategies.

We’ve isolated two key metrics you should track – cost per exposure, and cost per engagement. These are critical for understanding and gauging success.


Your exposure – or your reach – is how many people are seeing you. This might not seem that critical, but several exposures or impressions are necessary before people start to become familiar with you, and are more likely to trust you. The recognition that comes with a lot of exposure is necessary to convert people to buyers.

At Barker Social, we use a tailored Cost Per Exposure metric to calculate ROI for all of your social media marketing spend, such as content creation, ad management, boosting, and more, assessed against your total reach across all social media platforms and the Google Analytic reports for your website. This is a good digital marketing ROI, since it gives a good overall impression of what it’s costing you to get your name known.


Getting people to know you is a critical first step, but then you have to get them actively engaged. Whether you’re getting people to ‘like’ you, or more actively commenting, sharing, or mentioning you, your brand gains traction.

You can measure this data against your social media costs, such as content creation, ad management, and so on. This gives you a valuable metric that shows the impact of your total marketing costs for social media.

Use Your ROI Calculation Data

If your report card shows you are getting a 95% in math, but 60% in chemistry, you know where you should try to improve. Similarly, you should look at your metrics, not just to see how you’re doing, but how you can improve.

Measuring exposure and engagement are two of the most important metrics. With them, you can examine the relationship between exposure and engagement and track that over time, to provide insights and forecasting. These insights and key performance indicators measure the effectiveness and growth of the marketing campaigns, and highlight areas to tweak.

If you have questions about your ROI, or are wondering if you are getting a good marketing ROI, talk to our experts at Barker Social. We’ll help you get the data you need for informed decisions, and boost your ROI, with better digital marketing performance and a reduced marketing investment.