April 17, 2017, posted by Kevin Smith
Return on Investment: Content and Social Media
Demonstrating a return on investment for your marketing has always been an important, yet tricky thing to do. In fact, that’s why we started our Ad Math video series.
Further evidence of the return on investment challenge comes from some new research by TrackMaven, which claims that while most marketers feel that it’s getting easier to prove the impact of their marketing, just over 25% of them feel capable of their ability to prove the value of their marketing.
The research found that the largest challenge marketers faced, specific to showing a return on investment, was attributing social and content to revenue at 71%. According to MarketingCharts.com, past research has shown that social media and content marketing are among the most difficult channels to measure for ROI. In fact, within the US, only 1 in 5 CMOs can demonstrate the impact of social media quantitatively.
- Clear UTM tagging across all of your content CTAs. This, along with a proper analytics set-up, is the most important thing you can do in order to paint a clear picture of where the value is coming from in your marketing. A strategic approach to tagging will allow you to develop a flow of what content and social creative are effectively moving people towards deeper engagements with your brand. From there, if you can’t track sales directly, establish conversion points where you can determine the cost (time and effort) for each channel or post to deliver your customer to that point.
- Understand your social media reach. All of the major social networks, except Twitter, offer metrics showing you how far your posts are reaching. (See our Ad Math Video: What is Reach?)
- Track your brand mentions. If your brand name is fairly unique, you’ll want to set-up alerts in Google Alerts (free), or see where you’re being mentioned using a paid tool like Mention. This will allow you to gauge if any of your content is extending beyond your owned properties. Depending on where your being mentioned, and in what context, you could draw a parallel to a similar media placement if you had paid for it.
Lastly, the key to understanding how effective any of your marketing is, whether it’s content, social, or paid media is to have a clear understanding of your marketing goals and what each channel and tactic are trying to achieve. At IQ, we’re strong believers in journey mapping, which allows us to think through the entire purchase process with our clients and isolate the goals, tactics, and key metrics that matter within each phase of the consumer journey.