What KPI’s should your media company be tracking in 2024?

By: David Arkin
December 19, 2023
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It’s one of the most common questions I get asked by clients as we discuss traffic and audience trends and what editorial teams are focused on.

What KPI’s should we be tracking?

My answer: Focus on the areas that most align with your business’s goals and don’t overdo it on what you’re tracking. Track what you can effectively take action on.

I often will come across these very elaborate metric reporting sheets and for a very large or complex media company, I guess they make sense. But for the majority of companies, focusing on a few metrics that are meaningful, meaning they are directly tied to what you’re trying to do as a business, is more impactful. I want to guide you through metrics you could think about measuring in different areas of your business. (Surprise: We have made a spreadsheet you can download at the end of this story).

Website metrics

Regardless of what your business goals are, you should be measuring core areas like views, users and sessions. They talk to the general health of your content and in one way or another, will play a part in driving your digital business.

Acquisition metrics: I think it’s really important to know how your content is being consumed and that’s why I like showing what your acquisition pie of traffic looks like. Today, you want a balanced diet in this chart so seeing areas that you need to feed more, can be beneficial.

Newsletter metrics

Back to the keep it simple approach, there are a few metrics worth tracking when it comes to your newsletter and they are pretty basic: Subscribers, opens and clicks.

If you are in the process of acquiring emails through pop ups on your site or paid social media campaigns, it would be smart to show how many emails you are collecting each month and then measuring how those emails are performing vs. the rest of your emails. This can help ensure that your efforts are resulting in quality emails.

Social media metrics

Based on the downgrading of publishers’ content on Facebook, if you are going to track your performance on social media — and you probably should — it’s a good idea to focus on more than links.

If video is an area that you are focused on, look at metrics like plays and reach. Interactions are one of my favorite metrics because they really do talk to how engaging your content is.

Digital subscriptions

This post is about metrics that your editorial and audience (content) teams should be looking at, so when it comes to digital subscriptions for your entire business there are likely a host of metrics you should be evaluating.

But for your editorial team, understanding how your digital subscription business is performing is important and that’s why I like showing metrics like monthly recurring revenue and total stops and starts.

While it’s not a metric, one of the most important areas to focus your editorial team around is content that is most popular with digital subscribers and the kinds of stories that are being read before someone decides to purchase a subscription or opts not to.

Here’s a KPI spreadsheet for you

We have built a handy spreadsheet you can download that will allow you to customize KPIs that are most important to your organization. Click here.

We help many media companies evaluate the metrics most important to their business and build metric reporting that can be turned into actionable results.

Contact me today so I can share how we can help you. Email me at david@davidarkinconsulting.com

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