Building a Series Launch Dashboard: Tracking and Measuring Show Success
July 29, 2021
Before you launch your show out into the world, you’re going to want a way to track and measure performance. Otherwise, how will you know how well it’s doing or whether you reached your goals?
Enter: your series launch dashboard, which will help you stay consistent with tracking progress, determine where you need to make changes, and see where your efforts are succeeding.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how we approached building such a dashboard for Show Business, our latest series all about how to make binge-worthy content. We tapped Jean Merlain, Marketing Operations Manager, and Evanna Payen, Senior Growth Manager, to spill all of their secrets to success. Let’s dive in!
How we’ve measured series success in the past
Wistia has a long history of creating binge-worthy content to build brand affinity. Though we’re super proud of our productions and the quality of the content, we knew we had some work to do on the reporting front. We didn’t always exactly know whether a show was “good” or “working” the way we wanted it to.
“We didn’t always exactly know whether a show was “good” or “working” the way we wanted it to.”
For other launches, we’ve monitored metrics in platforms like Google Analytics and Mode — but those efforts were a bit siloed and didn’t paint a complete picture. We also sourced a lot of data from the Wistia platform (subscriber growth, video engagement, etc.) but didn’t track or share much on the individual marketing campaigns.
4 steps to creating a series launch dashboard
Show Business was our biggest show to date, so we really wanted a clear idea of how the content was resonating with our audience and supporting our brand goals. We wanted a way to marry data from multiple sources so different teams could quickly understand the metrics that matter most. We also wanted more insight on what marketing activities were working to support series growth.
Here are the four steps we took to come up with our dashboard:
1. Determine your goals: What do you want to learn?
If you’ve ever heard the advice to begin with the end in mind, that’s what we did here by starting with our goals.
Instead of getting bogged down with all of the available metrics, first ask yourself, “What do we want to learn from our dashboard?” This can help shape your dashboard so that you’re only tracking the most meaningful-to-you metrics.
“First ask yourself, ’What do we want to learn?'”
We took this approach when building our dashboard and asked multiple stakeholders across different teams to weigh in on what information would help them. This helped us understand what was important to different teams and allowed us to paint a holistic picture.
What’s important to your team will likely be much different than what was important to our team — and that’s ok! Even our own goals shift from show to show. There’s no one-size-fits-all dashboard for tracking success.
Here are a few things we wanted to learn with “Show Business”:
- How many users are visiting the landing page?
- How many of those users are submitting their email addresses on the landing page?
- How much time do people spend on the landing page before they sign up?
- What marketing channels are most effective at driving show registrations? (Breakdowns for email, social media, organic search, etc.)
- How much time do people spend on each video?
- Which category do people spend the most time with?
- How many people complete the entire series?
- Are people clicking on the additional resources?
- What episodes are driving the most engagement with additional resources?
- What percentage of viewers take (and pass) the quiz?
- Profile of people that register for series (job title, company size, industry, etc.)
- How many viewers are existing customers versus new contacts?
- What’s the breakdown of customers by plan type?
- What impact does the show have on the sales pipeline, including generating new leads, new deals, deals closed, and revenue growth?
It’s tempting to track everything under the sun and feel like you’re doing great work. But starting with questions first ensures that you’re only tracking things with the most meaningful outcomes. If, for example, you don’t need to know how many visitors take a certain action, tracking and reporting on that information is not a good use of your time because those numbers ultimately don’t matter.
“We met with stakeholders early in the show planning process to figure out our goals and the most important metrics that would let us know if we were on track to hit our targets. We wanted to limit what we track and present to the team so we can quickly show what’s working and where we need to pivot.”Jean Merlain
Marketing Operations Manager, Wistia
2. Map out key performance indicators (KPIs)
Now that you know what questions you want answered, it’s time to map those questions to metrics you can actually track. You’re essentially taking the information you uncovered in step one and asking, “Ok, now how can we measure this?”
It might also help to organize these questions and metrics into buckets, as we did below.
Here are the metrics we mapped for “Show Business”:
Landing page performance
These metrics are readily available in Google Analytics.
- How many users are visiting the landing page? → Sessions, Source/Medium, Device Type
- How many of those users are submitting their email addresses on the landing page? → Conversion Rate
- How much time do people spend on the landing page before they sign up? → Time on Page
- What marketing channels are most effective at driving show registrations? (Breakdowns for email, social media, organic search, etc.) → Source/Medium
These metrics are pulled from Wistia and Google Analytics.
- How much time do people spend on each video? → Time watched, Engagement
- Which category do people spend the most time with? → Time watched, Engagement
- Where are people dropping off? → Time watched, Engagement
- How many people complete the entire series? → Time watched, Engagement
- Are people clicking on the additional resources? → Time watched, Engagement
- What episodes are driving the most engagement with additional resources? → Clicks, Referral Path
These metrics are pulled from our quiz provider.
- What percentage of viewers take (and pass) the quiz?
- What percentage of people that pass the quiz share to social?
Marketing and sales performanceThese details are pulled from HubSpot and Salesforce.
- Profile of people that register for series (job title, company size, industry, etc.) → Contact details
- How many viewers are existing customers versus new contacts? → New versus Existing
- What’s the breakdown of customers by plan type? → Plan Type
- What impact does the show have on the sales pipeline? → Contact creations, deals created, deals closed, deals in pipeline, MQLs created
3. Build your dashboard
Get excited — you finally get to apply all of that research we just did. It’s now time to build your dashboard!
Remember, you’re likely going to be pulling data from multiple sources, so it’s helpful to have an analytics solution that can combine all of this data into a single view.
At Wistia, we pulled data across Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce, social media, and our own platform into Databox to create one seamless dashboard. We chose Databox because of its data visualization capabilities, which allow us to share top-level insights in a digestible way.
The Growth team at Wistia owns marketing analytics, so Evanna worked with our Director of Media to put the dashboard together. She sought feedback from stakeholders along the way to ensure we were tracking the appropriate metrics and presenting them in a way that was easy to understand.
Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way. Maybe you find that you’re trying to accomplish too much in your initial dashboard and you need to scale back to only high-level takeaways. For large or ongoing series, team-level dashboards might be valuable and easier to manage.
4. Schedule regular reporting
Now that the dashboard is built, you want to be consistent with using it by making routine reporting a priority.
Having a single source of truth for our series has made reporting much easier. Evanna owns the reporting process and sends out updates via email and Slack on a bi-monthly cadence. She gathers high-level updates across teams and shares top takeaways, along with a link to the Databox dashboard for folks to explore on their own time.
“Show Business is unlike anything we’ve ever done. We’re trying new tactics, promoting across various channels, and working cross-functionally in a remote world. There are a lot of moving parts, so we made sure to clearly define goals in our marketing strategy before kicking off the project. And because we defined those goals, we can track and report on our performance. With regular reporting, we’re able to effectively communicate results across teams, share insights, and make informed changes as needed.”Evanna Payen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Wistia
In addition to keeping various teams in the loop on how our series is performing, we use the dashboard to inform our marketing strategy. For example, we noticed social media has been a top referral source for finding new viewers — so we pivoted our efforts to really lean into the platforms that are performing best.
Set your series up for success
There’s no single right way to determine the success of your episodic content. Instead of tracking everything possible, start by thinking about what information you need and then map those questions to metrics that matter. By focusing on the most impactful metrics, you’ll be able to quickly identify what’s working, where you need to iterate, and what highlights to communicate to the broader team.