On February 5, 2016 Meritus Media Inc launched the #DigitalPR Twitter chat. Our first guest was Rebecca Lieb, strategic advisor, research analyst, author and columnist. I asked Rebecca questions based on her recent research report for Altimeter Group about content, measurement and KPIs:
Q1: Why are marketers finding measurement to be the single most formidable content marketing challenge? What is it about measurement that seems to stump them?
A1: Measurement is marketers number one stated need in content marketing, but there is confusion over which KPIs to pursue – there’s too much focus on sales over other ROI metrics and a proliferation of disparate tools.
How to measure, what to use to measure, integrating measurement tools with other software – lots of obstacles. and, of course, KPIs.
Q1A: So if it’s the #1 need and the #1 challenge, how do we help marketers measure better?
A1A: Think more broadly about what to measure beyond sales that delivers business value & $$. See this chart: bit.ly/1PXNcR8
And please avoid volume metrics – such as likes and shares. Use metrics you can take to the CFO!
Q2: Do KPIs also apply to PR? Is measurement in # still “soft” metrics or are we making data-driven decisions? Please give examples.
A2: Of course there are KPIs for PR, e.g. share of voice, brand sentiment, influencer relations. I’m about to start researching that!
There are plenty of data-driven decisions possible, e.g. developing content based on what resonates w the target audience. The Seattle Seahawks measured what content works in social channels, grew owned media to be more than just an adjunct to broadcast.
One of my fave case studies is Sony Europe deflecting customer calls to web with content, saving call center $350k in just 2 weeks. Now that’s a metric you an take to a CFO! Unilever saved $10M by implementing a tool globally, saving workflow duplication.
Content can speed R&D and product development – Aussie Dominos crowd-sources pizza recipes and splits sales revenue with the creators.
A Tech company paid influencers to create and share content with their networks. By doing this they achieved paid media reach for a fraction of the usual cost.
It can boost customer experience and ease the path to purchase? @ offers all kinds of tools to help buy glasses.
Q3: How should brands be setting KPIs?
A3: Digital transformation is taking place across the organization. Content and Digital PR can touch many areas. KPIs can relate to areas other than marketing. HR, for example. Can content help attract candidates, retain workers? Think Culture of Content – content comes from all over the organization, especially public-facing departments like PR, research, product, sales. To get divisions across the org to contribute to #, KPIs must incorporate their goals, not just yours.
Any brand that links content to real biz results has good KPIs. There are many sub-categories in my chart.
Q4: Your report says that measurement focus is often too narrow. Can you explain that?
Too many organizations and companies measure sales only. Sales matter. Sales are vital. But other KPIs matter too, and can be measured in $$. It’s so important for sales teams to contribute to #. What are the pain points? Objections? Needs? They hear it every day
Sales, marketing & PR need to align closely. Content can’t be created in a vacuum – it requires input, flow, dialogue. also, Content can be reformatted & repurposed to work for different constituents. Once it’s made, maximize the value
One company whose sales relied on merchandising in bricks & mortar stores, moved their business almost entirely online with content: demo videos.
Q5: How do we tie our KPIs to business objectives?
A5: Need to go father than sales. Customer support. Sales staff in retail outlets. Anyone public-facing in an org can help with content. Ensure KPIs relate to business metrics correlating to $. How much did we save?
A community of fans has value – they can serve other fans, but you have to quantify that support in $ terms. Can be media spend, time, energy, customer support. A mobile service in the UK has entirely dispensed with customer support, it’s all user-to-user and is saving lots of money.
Fans can also help spread your content – and cutting paid media cost is a great Digital PR metric. So too is reach & targeting – also quantifiable. There’s also S\sentiment & share of voice. “Engagement” is still a very fuzzy metric that needs definition to be valid. Is it views, time spent? I’m not against it, but define it.
Don’t discount the digital channels that have become less sexy w age, e.g. search & email, in calculating content valu
Once you can prove value of content you might just get more budget for it, too.
Q6: What tools do you suggest for a small biz, medium and large?
A6: Content measurement tools can range from free, e.g. Google to expensive & complex. Its’ a confusing landscape as EVERYONE has dashboard now. You’ll need specific tools to measure # deeply, of course – integration gets to be a big concern
Join us next week Friday at 1 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern for another #Digital PR chat.