It suggests that brand awareness is the new measuring stick of a successful marketing campaign, and that only the first set of eyeballs are the ones you pay for – everything after that is word of mouth.
It’s also a follow-up piece to an earlier article Jim wrote suggesting that ROI (return on investment) on marketing is a bogus term.
While they’re both interesting reads with some valid (and not so valid) points, the idea that ROI and metrics are difficult to measure isn’t quite true. Nor should you only be measuring by brand awareness (although this is definitely a measurement gauge for social media).
In fact, social media can offer some of the best metrics for ROI around. All you need to do is set your success guides – what you want to achieve and how long you want to spend achieving it – and then measure your results against that.
A key component to many (if not most) social media campaigns, blogger outreach programs can offer some of the best mileage and results of any marketing tool. Measuring your success isn’t too difficult, either:
- How many bloggers wrote about you?
- How many comments did these posts receive?
- How many social shares did the post get?
- What was your traffic pre- and post-outreach?
- How much product did you have to provide for bloggers versus how many sales did you receive?
One of the darlings for any product launch, service or business, Twitter not only offers instant eyeballs but great returns as well. Again, measuring your impact is relatively simple:
- What was your retweet value?
- How often was your hashtag used?
- How many times was your vanity URL used?
- How many new (genuine) followers did you get while your promotion was on?
- If you used something like Sponsored Tweets, what was the cost versus click-through and conversion?
Fast becoming the key destination for many businesses and their products, Facebook offers some great built-in tools as well as demographic options to help gauge a campaign:
- How many new fans did you make over how many you targeted?
- How many times was your promotion message liked?
- If you built a Facebook application, how many times was it installed/shared?
- Were you successful reaching your target demographic (Facebook Insights can help you here)?
- How much did you spend on a Facebook ad and how did click-throughs and new sales/customers compare?
YouTube and Video Sites
More than just a fun place to see kids hurt themselves on bikes, YouTube is a key tool in any marketing campaign now – just ask the companies that used it to such effect during this year’s Super Bowl. Questions to ask:
- How many views did you get?
- How many Likes and Favourites did you receive?
- How many downloads did you get (on video sites that allow downloads)?
- How many embeds has your video seen elsewhere on the web?
- How many subscribers did your channel attract?
- If your video had a call to action with a vanity URL, how many times did this happen?
- How many social shares did you get?
As marketing evolves, so the different ways to reach an audience combine. Mobile marketing is the perfect complement to social marketing and measurement can easily be achieved:
- Did you use a push SMS system to drive traffic to a mobile-friendly site? If so, how many views did that account for?
- Did you use QR codes, and if so, how many times were they used?
- How many downloads did your mobile app receive?
- How many check-ins were used on Gowalla and Foursquare?
- What was the most popular operating system (this can tell you a lot about your audience’s demographic and buying options)?
These are just some of the immediate ways you can measure how successful your goals were met. There are more still – monitoring tools and more defined analytics are other ways. It all depends how your goals are set and how you define success. Then compare man hours and financial outlay versus return to see how successful you were.
The point is, a lot of marketing can come down to luck and circumstance as much as brilliant strategy. I’ve seen some great campaigns flounder while crap ones succeed – timing and a welcoming audience are key.
However, one thing you can control is measurement. And with social media and mobile marketing, measuring metrics has never been easier.
How about you – how are you measuring your campaigns and defining success?