What is a KPI?

What is a KPI
Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar

In marketing lectures, webinars and keynote speeches you may hear the term ‘KPI’ a lot. In a recent conversation I had a colleague ask me what a KPI actually was and how I use them. So I thought I would talk about that here briefly.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is nothing more than data points along the way to help you determine whether or not you are reaching your goals. The key is that you are making progress on the way to a strategic goal.

KPIs are talked about a lot when we talk about measuring social media efforts. Since there is no Easy Button on measuring social media, each company needs to determine what success looks like for them with their social media marketing and determine what data points they are going to collect along the way.

A KPI is going to be different than a metric measurement. For example, let’s say you are trying to get more leads and you are going to do that by publishing a really informative eBook. If you are using Twitter to promote an eBook you are distributing – your number of Twitter followers would be a metric but the number of eBook downloads that were referred from Twitter would be a KPI.

There are zillions of things you can measure, especially in the world of online marketing. If you focus more on KPIs that are moving your bottom line or getting you to your goal – you will have a better assessment of how well your internet marketing campaign is going.