Tag Archives: measurement

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Saturday Sessions

Tons of great info on Saturday - including some audience targeting from Antiques Roadshow

Tons of great info on Saturday – including some audience targeting from Antiques Roadshow

It was a rainy day in Austin, but that didn’t slow the super strong lineup of speakers and events on a Saturday. Here are the most memorable takeaways from Day 2 of SXSW 2017:

Jim’s Take:

  • My first session of the day included representatives from Major League Baseball and the WWE discussing the future of providing content direct to consumers. It was interesting to hear how large brands are constantly working to push streaming/live content to their audiences, and how the target is constantly evolving based on audience needs. The most interesting comment was how consumers have built-in expectations about pricing and flexibility of the packages based on how they currently pay for Netflix or Hulu. The takeaway is knowing your audience and what their expectations are before working on a model that doesn’t meet their needs and, one that ultimately will fail because your customer’s expectations don’t align.

Read more after the jump…

Skills That Are Needed for Today’s Communications Jobs

My colleague, Karla, and I recently had the opportunity to speak to a class of college students as part of a PR 101 class. The students, most of whom were studying communications with an emphasis in PR, were interested in how to get hired once they graduated from school. As we described what a “typical” day looks like for us, we also shared some of the critical skills that are needed to work in marketing communications today.

What Matters:

Read more after the jump…

Marketing Metrics 101: Five Simple Steps

We get the question often, and it comes in several forms:

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

“What should we be measuring?”

 “We’ve got all these followers, but what are we doing with them?”

 “There are so many metrics, but which are the most important?”

“People saw our message, but what does that mean?”

The advent of digital marketing and social media is great because it allows us to measure an infinite amount of metrics.  The downside is determining which metrics are most important, and not wasting time on all of the other statistics. Here are five simple questions to ask when identifying the metrics that will matter most: Read more after the jump…

5 Social Media Resolutions for 2013

I’ve never really cared for New Year’s resolutions. My take has always been, “If you want to do something, just start today. Why wait for January 1st?” But since budgets and annual marketing/communications plans tend to start anew on January 1st, I’m making five social media resolutions for myself, and my clients.

1)   Measurement & Metrics: Put a Stake in the Ground…Today.

Most of my clients are forward-thinking enough to have some form of measurement process in place – the New Year is a good time to reassess that process. What do you want to accomplish via social marketing in 2013? Are you following the appropriate metrics to track your progress? Are you actively tracking any metrics? Now would be a good time to put a stake in the ground – we’ll all be thankful we did when we have results to celebrate in March. Think of this like your resolution to get into swimsuit shape by spring.

2)   Get to Know My Followers/Audiences Even Better

A lot has changed since January 2012. Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and even Facebook’s privacy settings have come a long way (for better or worse…), and users are constantly changing their habits. Not to mention the fact that individuals are most likely becoming burnt out on information, making it harder to have a meaningful interaction with the people in your online community. Reassess what they want to talk about, what they want to read/watch/interact with – and how those wants might be different from platform to platform. This is similar to your, “Stay in touch with my friends more frequently” resolution.

3)   Define the “Action” I’d Like My Community to Take

Conversations, engagements and page views are all great, but what action do you want your followers to take? Purchasing a product? Visiting a website, or visiting a retail location? Sharing your posts? If you define the action, your social media/content plan will become infinitely clearer. Your “spend more time with my family” resolution is a lot more attainable when you tie it to something tangible like, “eat dinner at the dining room table at least twice a week.”

4)   Invest in Quality Content

I beg of you, it’s time to stop saying, “content is king” and start acting on it. Assign resources and budget to meaningful content creation in 2013. If you know what your community wants, what action you’d like them to take and what metrics you’re tracking, then spending time and budget on dynamic content to connect those dots will be more than worth it. I like to think of this as the “stop talking about it and get it done” resolution.

5)   Be More Social, Have More Fun

Don’t let all this talk about metrics/content/audiences/goals consume you so much that you forget a fact that has not changed in the past year: it’s still “social” media. Resolve to interact with people more often. Post a quick “congrats,” “cool!,” “you rock,” and “where did you find that?!?” more often. Promote colleagues, partners and friends; share interesting and useful content from others; and generally talk more about others than yourself or your company. After all, is there a more noble resolution than, “Putting others before yourself?”

Jim Licko is a senior director of social media and digital strategy at GroundFloor Media. He often has a short attention span and likes to make resolutions at all times of the year rather than waiting for New Year’s Day.

Measuring Success

Measurement and analytics usually fall under the bailiwick of SEO and Marketing firms, but tracking and understanding numbers is equally important in PR in order to better understand how your messaging affects your target audience and how well you are engaging with that audience. Whether you are new to analytics or a seasoned pro, here are a few items to consider when analyzing traffic and how to make the most of the numbers.
Step number one: Leverage Analytics 
Neglecting to gain access to clients’ analytics so that you are able to measure successes can impact your opportunity to tout progress. Sure, many factors contribute to increases in traffic but why should Marketing, SEO or WebDev get full credit for driving customers to your clients’ sites? Being proactive about baselining (establishing pre-campaign stats); annotating when news coverage, social media pick-ups and events occur; and tracking up-tics in traffic are paramount to ongoing PR opportunities and further client successes. Take this one step further by creating unique URLs and landing pages for your PR endeavors to ensure that you can really target traffic and check traffic sources (social media, specific publications/blogs where articles have run, etc.) to fully capitalize on your efforts.
Step number two: Get creative about how you measure successes
Pure traffic volume is certainly the primary way to measure success in any PR campaign. If you can show increases in unique visitors, returns and overall visitor traffic to client properties, you can clearly celebrate “wins” in your favor. But there are other, less obvious ways to ring the bell when it comes to success in PR campaigns. If you can look beyond the basics, you can not only demonstrate progress but can get a fuller understanding as to how messaging resonates with your audience and at what level they engage the brand. There are many ways to get creative about measurement. Here are just a few:
  • Twitter List-to-Follower Ratio: Trends indicate that Twitter users leverage lists to offset “experts” from other resources they are simply following. If you have a high list-to-follower ratio, that can indicate that the materials you are presenting are deemed more informative, interesting or valuable and that your tweets are cutting through the churn. 
  • Re-Tweets, Shares and Link Click-thrus: Audience engagement can be further assessed through analysis of Re-tweet, Shares and Click-thru metrics. High figures in these key categories can indicate how well your messaging resonates with audiences and how well engaged they are with your brand. If your posts are being distributed frequently by your listeners, you can be sure that what you are saying is having an impact.
  • Measure interactions: Creating a two-way dialog between your brand and your customers is paramount to tout success in the social media space. If you can create engagement (as you or your organization defines engagement internally), you can really start to crow about your effectiveness in the marketplace. High volumes of comments per blog post, Facebook post, YouTube placement or Pin demonstrate engagement and are great ways to demonstrate campaign successes. Tweet-this, shares, +1s and the like from your blog are also great ways to measure how well you are reaching an audience and how well your message is resonating. Stay creative with how you measure successes to show the full breadth of your benefit to your clients or senior management.

Step number three: Be sure you are measuring what you WANT to measure
There are some pitfalls in the numbers game to avoid, or about which to at least be aware of when setting up your campaign and analyzing information along the way. One trap comes in the form of Facebook “Likes”. Often times, clients express a desire to increase their fan base and see their pure number of “Likes” as a measure of how they are engaging with an audience. Sure, this is one measure of success but are these fans engaged? If a campaign is created to generate “Likes” and that campaign relies upon users “Liking” (or “like-gating” as some call it) the brand in order to participate (for example, in a contest), you may drive pure numbers but probably aren’t generating an audience that has a true affinity for the brand. Plus, this type of campaign (though seen all the time on Facebook) is actually in violation of Facebook policies. 
The inverse is also true. Often times, companies get concerned that the stats showing the number of pages visited on their site is deplorably low. They get focused on this particular metric and struggle to find ways to drive traffic deeper into their site (not, in and of itself, a bad tactic, incidentally) neglecting to recognize that their site is primarily a blog with the majority of the content served up on the homepage. The site structure has created the situation where people, particularly more frequent visitors, don’t NEED to dive deeper into the site to access material. Better measurements for clients with sites of this type would be “amount of time spent on site” and “returning visitors”. 
In short, be sure to establish campaign goals and how to best measure and report successes at the onset to be sure your campaigns are being measured thoughtfully. Keep your focus on engagements in the social space to ensure that you are developing active participants in your conversations. And don’t be afraid to look creatively at numbers to measure the true success of any PR campaign. There are a lot of metrics available to measure, and ensuring that you’re tracking the right numbers that will impact your overall goals is the most important first step.