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July 12, 2016

Everybody likes cookies, but they don't travel well. Measuring mobile ROI isn't as easy as it was to get that delicious desktop data—but tracking a mobile ad's impact beyond the click is important. For a long time, click-through rate was the main way to measure the ROI of mobile campaigns, but click-through rates are notoriously low. Mobile campaigns are often even more effective than desktop campaigns (as comScore found), and we've come a long way in understanding how to tie them to ROI. Ahead are five strategies to connect awareness to ROI and truly show the success of your campaign.

1. Brand Lift
Measuring mobile ROI beyond the click starts with an assessment of your campaign's overall impact on brand lift. Brand lift loosely means an increase in audience awareness and can include brand awareness, brand perception, and brand recall.

Brand lift metrics will answer a larger question about your mobile campaign: Is it making a difference? It's most commonly measured through surveys and research. Adweek reported just a few months ago on a few companies testing out using mobile IDs to serve users surveys after they'd seen an ad. The surveys measured how much they remembered and whether they were considering buying the product.

While likely more expensive to measure, the data will inform your company's overall understanding of mobile campaigns' effectiveness. Use metrics like this to identify where your mobile ads are most effective in impacting brand perception so you can continue to build on your strengths.

2. Social Media
Mobile advertising and social media are increasingly interconnected, with ads featuring campaign-specific hashtags, landing pages incorporating sharable content, and separate mobile ads designed for each social media platform. By creating these strong social ties to your mobile campaigns, you can augment your campaign performance data with social media statistics. Red Bull's Shorty-Award-winning #PutACanOnIt campaign engaged their customers in an interactive way that encouraged sales and brand awareness—and hashtags are a great indicator of brand approval.

3. Conversions
Being specific in determining what constitutes conversions, and tracking them, is vital to understanding ROI from your mobile campaign. A conversion doesn't necessarily mean a sale. Conversions can be also be form fills, quote requests, subscriptions, and more, depending on your campaign and strategy. Conversion goals are often spelled out in an ad's call-to-action.

Deciding what you want your audience to do after clicking on the ad will provide insight into the ad's effectiveness. If your conversion is a purchase or quote request, go a step further and assign sales and profit data to your mobile campaign.

4. View-Throughs
What about measuring ROI for those who see your ads but don't click on them? This is where view-through data comes in. These metrics are also important, because without them, you're only seeing a portion of your campaign's impact.

The Drum's article on mobile attribution is a good place to start learning how to gather data on view-through conversions, what the challenges are, and what you can expect. The Drum also discusses the important differences in looking at in-app data, which often can identify stats about an individual device, and mobile web data, which cannot. Analyzing both your in-app and mobile web data is vital to making sure you're getting the full picture of your campaign.

5. Interaction Rates
Likes, comments, and CTAs are all types of interactions, and, as Aflua recommends, you can find your interaction rate by looking at your total number of interactions, then dividing that number by the total views on that piece of content. By compiling data on the ads' overall interactions, you can provide insight into the campaign's value and impact, then see how your results stack up to industry standards.

Mobile ad campaigns are a powerful tool to reach your audience, and you're no longer confined to a few metrics to measure mobile ROI. With these analytics at your disposal, you should be able to provide rich insights into your campaigns' effectiveness.

Need a Shortcut?
1Combine your ad data with social media data for a fuller picture.
2. Define exactly what is considered a conversion for this campaign so that you can track it accurately
3. Measure overall impact through brand lift and view-throughs.
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