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Measuring the Impact of Earned Online Media on Business Outcomes: A Methodological Approach Presentation to the IPR Measurement Summit October, 2009 Itinerary Brief overview of how web analytics work and how they can benefit PR professionals

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measuring the impact of earned online media on business outcomes a methodological approach

Measuring the Impact of Earned Online Media on Business Outcomes: A Methodological Approach

Presentation to the IPR Measurement Summit

October, 2009

itinerary
Itinerary
  • Brief overview of how web analytics work and how they can benefit PR professionals
  • Practical steps for how communications teams can use “out-of-the-box” web analytics
  • How more advanced statistics can be used to integrate web analytics and other forms of media measurement to help communications team target the correct online audiences and optimize messaging strategies
  • Review a case study of how Context Analytics used web analytics to help a client optimize their online communications around an online financial services product
  • Shortcoming of web analytics and emerging uses
standard media metrics
Standard Media Metrics

Sentiment

Outcomes

Website traffic

Demand generation

Revenue

Web Analytics

Share of voice/ Thought leadership

Volume or prominence

Message Penetration

web analytics a brief primer
Web Analytics: A Brief Primer

4. JavaScript code executed: collects data and sends to collection server (e.g., Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.)

1. Visitor types URL into browser (or clicks on link)

2. Request sent to website server

3. Server sends page with JavaScript code

web analytics a brief primer6
Web Analytics: A Brief Primer

Direct Traffic

Search Results

Website

Email Campaigns

Landing Page

Sale

Earned Media

Landing Page

Download

Paid Search

Landing Page

Registration

Content Network Ads

  • Number of Unique Visitors
  • Avg. Time Per Visit
  • Bounce Rate
  • Number of Page Views
  • Conversions

Social Media Advertisements

why are web analytics so important to pr
Why Are Web Analytics So Important to PR?

Uses same metrics to measure earned and paid media

  • Use fact rather than intuition when addressing questions such as:
  • Is our corporate Twitter account driving traffic to the right web pages?
  • Is Key Message A more effective at driving sales than Key Message B?
  • Should we invest more resources in social or traditional media?
  • What audiences should corporate communications be targeting?

Can help optimize overall communications strategy by matching the right messages with the right audiences

Sites that refer a lot of traffic

Demand generation and sales

Effective messages

integration challenges
Integration Challenges

Web Analytics Dashboard

Traditional Media Report

Social Media Report

Raw Referral Data from Web Analytics Solution

using web analytics for pr
Using Web Analytics for PR

Basic Analytics

Pulled directly from solution

Address basic questions

Who visits your website?

Which sites drive most traffic?

Which sites drive most sales?

Should we invest more resources in social or traditional media?

Advanced Analytics

Integrated with other data

Address strategic questions

Which audiences respond best to campaigns and product offerings?

Which messages are most effective at driving traffic and engagement?

How can we match the right messages to the right audiences?

basic analytics
Basic Analytics

What sites drove the most traffic and engagement?

Raw Earned Media Report From Web Analytics

Clean

basic analytics14
Basic Analytics

What types of sites drove the most traffic and referrals?

  • Traditional
  • Blog
  • Forum
  • Video
  • etc…

Media Type

Raw Earned Media Report From Web Analytics

Categorize

Site Content/Vertical

  • General News
  • Lifestyle
  • Gaming
  • etc…

Outreach

Sites with relationships/contact

basic analytics15
Basic Analytics

Just by spending a little time to categorize/segment sites (hypothetical data)…

Site Content

Outreach

Media Type

Conversion Rate for Ad Words

practical tips for basic analytics
Practical Tips for Basic Analytics

1. Web metrics depend on PR goals

  • Generating Demand/Leads
  • Unique Visitors
  • Registrations
  • Downloads
  • Avg. Time on Site
  • Goal Page Visits
  • Top Exit Pages
  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Orders
  • Conversion Rate
practical tips for basic analytics17
Practical Tips for Basic Analytics

2. Take the time to download and clean the data

Results from search and email campaigns could make earned media appear less effective

practical tips for basic analytics18
Practical Tips for Basic Analytics

3. Look at both totals and averages

Averages reveal “hidden gems” (hypothetical data):

Total Sales

Average Sales

advanced methods
Advanced Methods

What types of stories and posts drive action?

Assign different sites and stories attributes that will later be ranked to better understand what’s most effective

where to get data about the site
Where to Get Data About the Site

Knowing who is visiting your site and where they are coming from

What sort of data is useful?

Where do you get it?

Site Category

  • Human categorization
  • Social media monitoring tool (Radian6, Techrigy, Buzzmetrics, etc.)
  • Business intelligence tools

Site Content

Media Type

  • Search engine/panel data (Google Ad Planner, Microsoft Adcenter, Quantcast, etc.)

Referring Site Demographics

Traffic At Referring Site

  • Panel-based data (e.g., comScore, Compete, etc.)
how to measure story post content
How to Measure Story/Post Content

These are the components of media coverage that drive perceptions and action

Similar to what is usually found in traditional and social media monitoring reports:

  • Sentiment
  • Spokespeople/Quoteds
  • Key Messages
  • Competitor Mentions
  • Industry Issues
  • Story/Post size
  • Brand Prominence
  • Product Mentions
data integration and analysis
Data Integration and Analysis

Audience Data

Site-Level Attributes: Site type, site content, audience, traffic, number of posts, etc.

Unpaid Referral Data From Web Analytics

Integrated Data

Integrated, Causal Model

Post-Level Attributes: Sentiment, product mentions, messages, story length, etc.

Online Media Content

ranking attributes by importance
Ranking Attributes by Importance

It’s like multivariate testing, only for earned media instead of advertisements

Apply multiple regression, hierarchical linear modeling, or any statistical analysis that can provide an estimate of “effect size”

Sentiment

Audience/

Site Attributes

Site Types/Categories

Key Messages

Site Demographics

Competitor Mentions

Site Traffic

Industry Issues

Web Analytics Metric

Regression

Story/Post Size

Product Mentions

Content/

Message

Attributes

ranking by coverage attributes by importance
Ranking by Coverage Attributes by Importance
  • Statistical Output Helps:
  • Understand what types of articles/posts are effective
  • What messages are most effective?
  • What types of media outlets are effective?
  • Ultimately, helps to prioritize PR efforts

What Drives Sales?

What Drives Visitors?

tying it all together
Tying It All Together

Creating a Causal Model Using Path Analysis or SEM

Sentiment

.

.48

Sales

Messages

.88

.25

Visitors

Referring Site Traffic

.74

playbook
Playbook

Drives Visitors

Drives Engagement

playbook27
Playbook

Drives Visitors

Drives Engagement

caveats
Caveats

Practical Limitations

Technical Limitations

  • Reliance on cookies
  • Reliance on clickthroughs
  • Mobile devices and javascript
  • You can’t directly track offline activity
  • Messy Data
  • Integration requires additional software or technical skill
  • Time consuming manual analysis/Communications team bandwidth
future directions
Future Directions

Click-throughs

View-throughs

future directions31
Future Directions

Integrating Advertising and Earned Media

  • Are ads more effective when they appear alongside unpaid media?
  • Is unpaid media more effective when paired with ads?
takeaway messages
Takeaway Messages
  • Web analytics allow communications teams to use the same types of measurement as other forms of marketing
  • Web analytics can show what sites and stories/posts are driving the most traffic and engagement on a corporate website “out of the box”
  • When integrated with other types of media measurement, web analytics can help communications teams match the right types of messages with the right audiences to increase engagement and revenue - this allows communications teams to use sophisticated segmentation and targeting methods used in paid media marketing
  • Web analytics are not perfect: Imperfections with data collection, reliance on click-throughs, and difficulty integrating different data sources are barriers to widespread PR adoption of web analytics