07 Sep 2017

Measuring Amplification ROI: 5 Keys to Success

September 07, 2017Content Marketing

To amplify content is to utilize paid and owned media channels that promote your brand’s best performing content. This can grow your digital reach and encourage users to return to your sales funnel. The context of today’s discussion will include the following paid media channels – paid search, display, paid social, organic social, and lead nurture tactics.

How can I measure the ROI of my amplification efforts?

Heard this one before?

You made your case for Content Amplification and you built your brand a strategy; you’ve implemented processes to not only develop blog content, but to promote it within specific verticals on LinkedIn; you’ve taken your owned YouTube video content and used it to generate audience engagement on Facebook; you even developed specific landing page content to correspond to new email workflows pushing content to decision stage audiences.

Now comes crunch time…

1. Are your efforts creating engagement?

2. Is that engagement resulting in revenue?

3. If so, what’s your return vs. other channels (paid search, organic, display, etc.)?

To answer these questions and save your content amplification strategy for future generations, you need to have a full understanding of how amplification efforts are impacting your bottom line. More specifically:

1. How does engagement relate to on-site and off-site activities?

2. How does on-site and off-site behavior relate to revenue for your organization?

Today, we’ll share 5 of the most important steps in measuring amplification strategy ROI.

#1. Begin with the end in mind.

A familiar mantra: Before any successful amplification effort is started everyone involved must agree on the objective. For example:

  1. Site visits
  2. Social engagement (likes, shares, comments)
  3. Form fills
  4. Phone calls
  5. Transactions
  6. Appointments
  7. Request for Estimate
  8. …and the list goes on.
Without a clear and measurable result, it can become very difficult to calculate #ROI later in the process. Click To Tweet

#2. What does success look like?

Along with selecting a specific action goal for your amplification efforts, you must also decide the threshold for success to know when and where you should continue your efforts.

For example, knowing conversion percentages, average order values, and profit margins on specific services and products is essential when establishing a minimum return on investment that would warrant continued investment in amplification.

Before any successful #amplification effort is started, everyone involved must agree on the objective. Click To Tweet

Whatever that threshold is – 2:1, 3:1, 10:1 – set your goal at the beginning of your strategy roll-out and before spending a dime and remain as flexible as possible once you discover what real-world return looks like.

#3. Understand your audience’s intent.

This is a commonly missed step we uncover where ROI is being measured within each stage of the customer’s journey with the exact same metric and not necessarily specific to the action relevant to their stage in the buying process.

For example, expecting “transactions” to come from every user in every stage of the customer’s journey from every channel is not reasonable. This can lead some marketers to trim budget from Awareness or Consideration stage efforts that were greatly influencing the bottom line even though direct transactions were not being attributed.

content amplification journey

Learn more: How to Improve Your Customer’s Journey for More Leads & Business

Here’s an example asset and amplification scenario:

  • User Journey Stage: Awareness
  • Media Channel: Programmatic display targeting
  • Content’s Role: Provoke emotional reaction
  • Measurable Success Action: ?
Measuring-Amplification-ROI-Vehicle
Example asset from Mercedes-Benz

By correctly guessing the user’s intent at this stage it would allow you to select the correct measurable for success, such as:

KPI’s:

  1. Click-thru rate (CTR)
  2. #Hashtag mentions/shares
  3. Referral source engagement behavior

In the example above, it would not be appropriate to attribute an ROI action such as “Test Drive Requests” – even if that is the ultimate goal of this particular conversion funnel. The user has only just become aware of the product and is most likely not yet committed to it as a solution to a potential want or need. As the user will most likely be inspired to research we may target them again with different content and measure a different KPI.

#4. Tag and track your efforts.

If you have not already heard of UTM parameters – you’re already behind. UTM’s are simple tags that are appended to the end of a link URL, they allow you to add details about where and what the user may have seen just prior to the click that brought them to your site.

Measuring-Amplification-ROI-UTM
List of parameters you can add to your URLs from Google

Without understanding the source, campaign, and content that brought the audience to your site for a specific action, it will be very difficult to optimize which of your amplification efforts are yielding engagement and transactions, and which are not.

#5. Establish an ROI formula.

The obvious revenue sources, transactions (ecommerce data), notwithstanding, you need to determine what site or profile activity is being tracked and how that activity may relate to on-site and off-site action.

Here’s a simplified scenario:

  1. A brand observes that for every 10 referrals from their social profile they see a newsletter signup. (10% CVR)
  2. For every 10 newsletter sign ups, they typically see a user make a purchase online within 30 days. (10% CVR)
  3. The Average Order Value for an online sale is $175.
  4. Working backward, $175 in revenue requires 10 newsletter sign ups and 100 referrals.
  5. Simplifying, for every 100 referrals the brand sees $175 in revenue.
  6. Simplifying further, each social referral = $1.75 ($175/100 = $1.75)

Using this established ratio, we can establish a simplified ROI formula for determining if a paid social effort is profitable or not, even if we aren’t seeing direct transactions from the social post.

Amplification example on Facebook:

  1. Paid Social Cost Per Click = $.50
  2. Paid Social Click Revenue = $1.75
  3. Paid Social ROI = 3.5:1 ($1.75/$.50)

If 3.5:1 meets your required ROI goals, you should be able to continue and even expand your audience and have enough data to help build internal support for your efforts.

Similar formulas can be applied to events such as phone calls, form fills, driving directions, appointment setting, tours, and store visits.

Learn more: 6 Ecommerce PPC Best Practices to Improve Your Advertising ROI

Summary

While not every scenario features the amount of data and action points necessary to calculate a successful ROI formula, in our experience there is very often opportunity to create and track additional events and activities to assist with calculating return on investment.

We hope these 5 steps help your client or brand take another step towards content amplification success!

ampcamp-noshadow

Get Ready For Content Amp Camp

Pssttt…Something new is coming soon…want to get a sneak peak? Check out the pre-registration page for Content Amp Camp, a 2-week eCourse that will be set out into the wild in late September!