In the recent past, we bloggers at MarketingProfs have surely tried our best to evaluate the current state of the corporate blogosphere, with many a good post from fellow bloggers. CK started it all with her debut post where she outlined the 5 rules for social media: Connect, Share, Be Honest, Make Friends, Be Contrite....
I added my three cents to the corporate blogging question: (i) Blog Responsibly, (ii) Intangible Asset, and (iii) Let's talk ROI....
So, shall we talk Corporate Blogging ROI?
1. Let's quantify Blogging ROI:
Forrester's Charlene Li has published a paper that is a great first step in measuring ROI for corporate blogs. (See her chart, below.) Couldn't have come at a better time. Here are the components of her measurement metrics, and my take on them.
What's easy to measure:
(a) Press mentions - this is the greatest indicator of current value and is also the easiest to measure
(b) Search engine placement
(c) Word of mouth
What's not easy to measure (due to amorphous value considerations):
(a) Savings on customer insight - This is not exactly impossible, but may prove to be more time-consuming & nebulous than imagined; measuring the number of times blog comments provide useful business insight.
(b) Blog traffic - What are similar content channels to measure the impact of blog traffic? Is it advertising through RSS feeds?
(c) Increased sales efficiency - I believe an increased number of clients and prospects reading your blog will inevitably lead to increased sales but I wonder how it's measured.
2. Let's quantify Engagement:
The elusive "engagement" metric is definitely the most difficult to define. My friend and web strategist, Jeremiah Owyang answers Scoble's call for defining this metric. In a recent post, he initiates a conversation on measuring the engagement metric. Here's Jeremiah's evolving definition of Engagement:
Engagement indicates the level of authentic involvement, intensity, contribution, and ownership
Great definition. In my opinion, ownership is the definitive keyword. A perfect example would be popular videoblogger, Ze Frank. You'll notice that Ze stresses on the philosophy of letting go (a.k.a the 80% rule) of content once it's created so that the audience can mold it the way they imagine. T
he same holds good for all other engagement-intensive websites such as MySpace and Digg. The more democratic a website becomes, the more engaged the audience becomes... and there are no two ways about it. For e.g. Seth's blog would rate a 0 on engagement (no comment policy), while Scoble's blog (where he invites comments) would rate a 100.
Suitable methods of measuring engagement would be through variables such as number of comments (Ze Frank averages 500 comments per post!), instances of user-generated content, etc... So, how else do we measure ownership?
For handy reference, here is Charlene Li's chart:
As marketers from different corporate environments, do you believe the most recent Forrester report will give you enough ammo to win over your company to the blog side?
Feel free to comment.