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How to Measure ROI on Social Media Campaigns

If you’re like most marketing teams, your leadership is having a hard time quantifying the successes of your owned media programs, whether they be on social, e-mail or simply a long-form content strategy through a corporate blog.

It’s a more common problem than you might think. Among a survey of 193 CMOs in summer of 2015, only 15% could state they had a quantitative picture of social media’s impact on the business. With all the sophisticated marketing technologies available to us today, how can less than one in five marketing leaders know (with factual certainty) the value of their social programs?

Many Raidious clients struggle with this problem as well. While audience growth and engagement numbers make marketers feel good, leaders in your organization will have a hard time equating them with sales, unless their is a clear black line between the two.

In order to make that correlation clear, there are several steps that need to be taken. Some steps are technical, and some steps have to do with who in the organization will own the problem of “Does Social Media deliver ROI?”

Connecting a dollar value to social media activities has a few critical steps. Here they are:

1) Designate an Analytics leader in your organization.

This is one is critical. Without someone to drive a data-driven belief system in your organization, your team is liable to continue under the auspice of “Well we think it’s working, but we’re not 100% sure.”

This marketing leader needs to have a thorough grasp of the organization’s business goals and a technical understanding of how to implement web analytics in a connected way. Point #3 goes into more detail on this. This individual doesn’t necessarily have to constitute a new hire, however it’s important that Analytics deliverables are an important part of this leader’s job role, and not just a back burner task.

2) Know the value of a lead

For retail organizations, this is straightforward. Your eCommerce platform delivers sales and dollars based on purchases. With B2B and service organizations, your conversion rate and lifetime value of a client can be harder to calculate, but it’s absolutely critical that you understand your close rates so that you can associate value further up the sales funnel.

If you haven’t calculated these stats before, work with your sales leadership to form an estimate. It doesn’t have to be perfect (you have to start somewhere), but use as much information as is at your disposal to create a picture of what a lead’s value is, based on its likelihood to become a customer.

3) Set up your web analytics to measure marketing activities conversion events.

Web Analytics softwares such as Webtrends, Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics measure a standard set of metrics out of the box. They can tell you which pages were visited, for how long and where a visitor came from to find your site.

To take your web analytics to the next level, the software has to be set up to monitor for valued activities. For example, if someone fills out a form on a landing page or emails the company to receive information from your sales team, it’s helpful to know which channel got them there, whether that be social, organic search, a referral visit or any other campaign.

Need to track phone calls to the marketing source? Call tracking services have been around for years. Ask a Raidious Strategist about implementing call tracking for the leads that come in via your local and 1-800 numbers.

With a robust set of conversion elements tracked on your web site, you can begin to analyze the subset of visitors–and the marketing activities that got them to your web site–that are actually prospects. In this way, you can connect your social media program directly to the activities which drive the business.

4) Set up a campaign tagging structure and stick to it

Once your web site is set up with a variety of conversion activities, it’s time to start promoting those landing pages and content. Web Analytics softwares will natively capture general source information (i.e. whether a visit came from Facebook or Twitter), but will not capture additional context such as the campaign name or type of content that drove traffic from the social network.

To add in this context, URL parameters are needed to connect campaign details into the web analytics software. Raidious finds that the best way to manage this process is maintaining a spreadsheet of approved campaign tagging structure. In this way, your entire marketing team can be made aware of approved campaign tagging and stick to the plan.

Closing the Analytics Loop

Digital marketing continues to grow in relevance and value. With more CMOs planning expansions to their digital budgets, being able to attribute ROI to those budgets will become a more common capability among marketing teams.

It’s time to prove–or disprove–the value of our worth as marketers. Contact Raidious today to consult with us on how to set up infrastructure for better measurement of your digital campaigns.