21 January 2020

Which KPI Is a Vanity Metric?

Are you patting yourself on the back because you just landed 500 new social media followers? Are you pleased about thousands of page views? What about 100 new subscribers in a week? As a B2B SaaS marketer, it’s crucial that you understand which KPI is a vanity metric and which KPI is the real deal so you can use meaningful content marketing metrics to grow your business. 

In this video, we’ll walk through 3 examples of KPI vanity metrics to ditch, and we’ll cover which KPIs to use instead.

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Which KPI Is a Vanity Metric? (Transcript)

Hi SaaS marketers! Emily Amos here from Uplift Content.

It’s no secret that brands face stiff competition nowadays, and it may be tempting to tout how many followers your company has on social media—but that doesn’t necessarily help your business. In this video, we’ll talk about which KPIs you should be measuring, and you’ll learn which KPI is a vanity metric. 

What is a KPI, anyway?

KPIs, or key performance indicators, measure successes and areas for improvement. KPIs enable companies to set strategy, allocate budget, analyze competition and demonstrate accountability. As a B2B SaaS marketer, it’s crucial that you understand which KPI is a vanity metric and which KPI is the real deal so you can use helpful data to grow your business.

Find out which KPI is a vanity metric

Vanity metrics may make your company look good, but they don’t move you closer to your goals. Relying on these stats can call your credibility into question and distract from strategic priorities that truly benefit your bottom line. Here are 3 examples of which KPI is a vanity metric.

Example #1: Social media followers

You may have an impressive number of followers, but does it mean they’re engaging with your content? Search Engine Journal says you’d be lucky if 0.0035% of your followers see what you post nowadays. So instead of using this KPI vanity metric to measure success, track how many people are clicking, commenting on and sharing your content—that’s where the real value lies.

Example #2: Website views

It may make your boss happy to hear that your website is getting tons of views, but this KPI vanity metric doesn’t paint the whole picture. Instead, focus on where your website visitors are coming from, what devices they’re using, how long they’re staying on the site and how many pages they’re visiting. This will give you actionable insight to make strategic decisions. You’ll also want to up your SEO game, so check out these SaaS SEO tips.

Example #3: Newsletter subscribers

It’s great to have a lot of newsletter subscribers…but only if those subscribers are translating into leads, or better yet, revenue. Ensure your newsletters include meaningful calls to action, and track the clicks on those instead. Boasting about a high subscriber count may deliver instant gratification, but the long game of nurturing leads is what reaps the true rewards.

Now that you know which KPI is a vanity metric, you can focus your time and effort on useful benchmarks that drive results. Your colleagues and customers will thank you for it.

Thanks for joining me SaaS marketers. Until next time!

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Emily Amos, founder of Uplift Content
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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