Are you in a dilemma of how to measure the success of your blogging or influencer campaign. Are you still relying on reach numbers provided by your agency? Or are the reach number really an analysis to judge the success of these campaigns? Are you asking your agency about the deliverables for such activities and are confused if they are really giving you any benefits?
However, after reading so many articles around the importance of content marketing and why it is necessary to engage with bloggers, you are convinced that this is something that you need to do, but not sure about how to measure the results.
First of all, we need to figure out why are we really keen on engaging bloggers. Is it just because everybody is going gaga about it or do we really understand the platform. Just like any other advertising medium, for this one too, there are benefits which can be measured while there are benefits which can’t be measured but can only be observed. Some marketers often make mistake while finding the right bloggers by using unreliable metrics. Do not follow these metrics while selecting the bloggers for your campaign. Let us pick up each benefit one by one and discuss how we should not rely on that measure alone.
Reach: In simpler terms, traffic that a blog post receives when a new post is published. The immediate traffic on a new post comes from subscribers, social media shares and other content sharing websites or communities like Bloglovin, IndiBlogger, StumbleUpon etc. Then it may take 2-3 days for google and other search engine to index to let it start appearing in the search results.
You need to know the readers on your blog post as opposed to the blog readers. There are many reasons which may affect how many people read the post you wanted to and how many people landed on that website. Most of the times bloggers provide monthly visitors on their blog which can be influenced by various reasons like how many posts a blogger wrote in that month or how many varied topics a blogger has written about in that particular month.
This could be difficult for a blogger to tell you before hand that how much visitors he will receive for that post alone in a particular month but an average readership of his past post’s submitted can help a brand arrive at a number.
Searchability: This means when a reader is searching to find information on similar topic, where does the blog post appears on search engines. We need to identify keywords relevant to that topic and most often used phrases to understand the results.
SEO: Most often, digital marketers want to engage with bloggers to by making SEO as their prime goal for doing an activity. However, technically there is nothing wrong with that technique but it’d be similar to asking Roger Fedrer to play in the backyard. SEO is an additional benefit gained out of this marketing and not the primary one. Check out this SEO guide for blogger engagements.
Traffic: Traffic is how many visitors a blog is receiving in a given time. This can help in the analysis of why a particular blog post is not receiving the expected traffic but otherwise the website is having traffic. This info can later on help us position the post at eye reach level of a reader.
Social media shares: This basically lets us know the viral factor of a post. If a particular post is either providing unique information or is relating to their lives, readers usually will share, tag others, comment, like that post on social media. Basically they will show some sort of an engagement with that article. The more the number the merrier.
Brand recall: This is something that is hard to interpret. Surveys have usually been helpful in analyzing this information. But yes brand recall is a very important outcome of blogger marketing. As, stories always have a lasting impression in the mind of readers. The power of imagination takes control giving the lasting effect.
Conversions: There are two ways of figuring out conversions happening from a blog post. One is simply the affiliate model, in which bloggers are given a unique code which can be tracked to measure the click through. On the other hand, predicting the jump in sales after a particular marketing activity would help us figure out the impact of the activity.
Advocacy: Advocacy is something that can be observed by doing sentiment analysis as well as paying close attention to the conversations happening online. Advocacy in simple terms means that, the presence of other consumers who are ready to take the side of the brand when someone is complaining of ranting about any product or service. Usually, it is the outcome of how closely you are attached to a particular brand.
However, the exact measure of its performance will be very hard to figure out just like with any other marketing activity. It is important to have a consistent plan for creating conversations, building word of mouth, online reputation management, creating useful and meaningful content for readers and users to reach the level of advocacy. While you are finished reading this, why don’t you check out these common issues faced by the brands while working with bloggers.