Federated Media is a company that powers the best of the independent web. FM combines ad solutions and independently authored content with with the reach of a world class advertising network.
A key element of the marketing programs on the sites that FM represents, and that it independently manages, is the amplification of the independent and branded content via social networks like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and others.
My responsibility, and the responsibility of my team, was to analyze and make sense of all this activity in the form of metrics and KPI’s that would demonstrate the success/failure of programs and campaigns. Data doesn’t tell the whole story all the time, but understanding the trends and information sure does help. This quote from Albert Einstein sums up my approach:
Not everything that counts can be measured. Not everything that can be measured counts
A Model to Measure Social Actions and Amplification
To attack this challenge, I first broke down the user experience and the different variables that impacted the experience. I also isolated what I felt were the value elements within this experience. I took these two pieces put it into a picture that succinctly sums up the model.
Quantifying The Social Model
My next step was to model this out. What were the inputs that we needed (advertising spending, natural traffic, paid traffic, amplification, author engagement, etc.)? What were the variables that impacted the value along each of the main value areas (CTR, CPC, etc.)? And finally, how does the total value generated compare to the cost the advertiser/partner was paying? What was their “Media” ROI?
As my Einstein quote notes above, there were some elements that had to be straight line averages. But my overall agenda was to evolve the model and enable it to incorporate more advanced statistics and data points. I also made it flexible enough to accommodate spikes or dips in activity, spending, or seasonality.
Content Program Reporting, Analytics, and Optimization
In addition to the above, my team’s “day to day” job :) was to manage the reporting, metrics, and optimization of our existing Content Marketing partners and clients. FM runs content marketing programs for American Express (OPEN Forum), Intel (My Life Scoop) along with a few others that are soon to be released. My team looked beyond the simple metrics of page views, Visits and Time on Site to go further into the on site behaviors, the paths that were taken, the most popular content, and to the best of our ability – reasons why certain articles got the activity that they did. Below is a dummy mock up of a Reporting Dashboard template that I created and leveraged to resemble the ever popular info-graphics floating around the Internet these days. I also went as far as to ensure that all the information fit on two pages so that you could print it on a 2 sided printer and have the information portable and at your fingertips on one sheet of paper (or rendered on an iPad).