Steps to Success: Measuring the success of online platforms

How companies maximize their ROI in 2022 in three simple steps

It is becoming increasingly important for online shop operators to link editorial content such as articles, videos or social media posts directly with the commerce platform. This can significantly improve customer experiences and positively influence customer loyalty and conversions, sales, and Google rankings. Intelligent performance measurement is crucial for such a content commerce strategy.

Steps to Success: Measuring the success of online platforms

Why is measuring success important?

In short, did I throw my money down the drain, or was it spent wisely? A comprehensive content commerce strategy involves certain costs like almost every marketing measure. Accordingly, performance measurement is primarily there to see whether the marketing budget used could achieve a corresponding return of investment (ROI). In this way, the allocation of the funding can be optimized, and the efficiency of individual campaigns and the entire project can be increased. At the same time, problems are identified, for example, campaigns that burn money and miss their targets.

Performance measurement also enables the benchmarking of one's campaigns. Either critical figures from past campaigns or known values from the industry can be used as benchmarks. The following graphic, for example, shows which benchmarks are conceivable.

Only one-third of all companies carry out targeted performance measurements of their marketing measures, which is why defining success factors and measuring success can lead to a decisive competitive advantage.

If performance measurement is so important, why do only one-third of companies do it?

Measuring success is complicated and fraught with challenges. Just 6% of the companies surveyed are satisfied with the significance of their success measurement. Around 43% doubt that success measurement works well within the company.

One of the biggest challenges in compliance with data protection. Important for measuring the success of a campaign is the collection of data that can be evaluated. With the entry into force of the GDPR in 2018, this has become even more complicated and poses a challenge for companies and tools.

In addition, choosing the right metrics is crucial. Depending on the goal of the content strategy and the different content types, other metrics need to be monitored and evaluated. It is essential to put these in context with the business goals, which must also be well defined. This is another area where many companies fail. Particularly with content marketing, special effects make measuring success even less precise and more complex.

If a person already has specific prior knowledge, this affects the advertising impact. The so-called carry-over effect can affect the metrics collected and make evaluation more difficult. Example: A visitor with more prior knowledge potentially has a shorter dwell time on a technical article, thus falsifying this metric's significance.

Another effect is the so-called spill-over effect. The problem with modern marketing is that customers are exposed to a wide variety of advertising and content types over a long period. This makes it difficult to attribute a purchase to a specific advertising measure. Example: An initial contact takes place via the Google search ad, but the actual purchase of the product only takes place after a click in the newsletter. This raises the question of to whom the conversion should be assigned since the ROI of the advertising measure ultimately depends on this.

In addition, a time lag often occurs in the B2B area: A more extended time usually elapses between initial contact and the final conversion. Furthermore, various stakeholders are involved in the purchase. This makes it even more challenging to measure success correctly.

Three steps to targeted success measurement

First: Definition of goals and KPIs

The path to ideal success measurement leads through three steps: The first step is to define KPIs. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. These are key figures used to measure the success or failure of a measure. The difference between KPIs and conventional indicators is that they are target-related.

They must be adapted to various aspects. For example, the type of content. Is it Explore, Evaluate, or Engage range? In addition, the form of the content is essential: a video has different metrics that can be measured than an article. Both quantitative and qualitative metrics, such as content rating, lend themselves to appropriate KPIs.

In addition, content positioning is an essential factor in selecting KPIs. Content placed at the beginning of the customer journey usually pursues different goals than content played out to the user just before conversion. Accordingly, the contact points in the customer journey and the individual steps in the conversion funnel have different KPIs that must be defined.

It is essential to set the KPIs differently depending on the content and its goal. KPIs are different in every company and rely on the intent of the pursued strategy.

However, the primary alignment of KPIs takes place along the corporate goals or corporate strategy, whereby three levels of dreams can be considered. The company's goals as the overarching goal, the goals of the content commerce strategy or measure, and finally, the purpose of measurement. On this basis, plans can be formulated using the SMART method. For example, corresponding KPIs can be defined for size.

Second: Measurement methods and systems

It is time to define and set up measurement methods and corresponding systems. In doing so, it should be considered which goals are being pursued, what the company's conversion funnels look like, what data is generated at the corresponding points and how this can be measured. Selecting the appropriate systems and tools, such as Google Analytics, is essential. Again, different content types require other measurement systems. Often, integrated solutions already exist, such as email marketing tools or YouTube Analytics.

Third: Evaluation and reporting

The most extensive data collection is of no use if it is not prepared correctly and clearly. Monitoring and checking for plausibility is only possible if the data and KPIs are made available to the relevant stakeholders transparently. Various evaluation instruments can be used for this purpose. Examples are hit lists, target/actual comparisons or ABC analyses.

Finally, a reporting medium should be used to display areas and dashboards. Various business intelligence solutions are available for this purpose, with which data can be evaluated and visualized. How precise and complicated a dashboard or report should be built depends on the stakeholder for whom the information is intended.

With these three steps, ideal performance measurement for the applied content commerce strategy can be developed from elaborating smart goals to the finished reports for the appropriate stakeholders to make the best use of the campaign budgets.

Conclusion

Success measurement is crucial for marketing measures or individual projects to make a performance statement. Especially when planning more extensive strategic campaigns, such as a content commerce strategy, which directly impact the company's sales figures, it is essential to have a precise plan regarding the measurement of success.

This is shown by implementing a user portal for our customer ifm electronic. The interlocking of content and commerce in a joint customer portal could be optimized through the targeted evaluation of corresponding KPIs, which increased online sales by almost 40%.

Intelligent performance measurement not only saves unnecessary costs but also gets the most out of campaigns and projects - including yours.

Contact us now and find out about the prospects of success for your content commerce strategy.