Karalyn asks, “In a situation where the marketing tweet did not have a higher engagement rate, but did have a higher impact, how do you show that community value to a client?”
Community value is measured over the long-term, which means first educating the client on the value of a community. The day you plant seeds is not the day you measure the output of your crop unless you’re an idiot. The next step is robust analytics infrastructure and collection of qualitative data. The final step is building an attribution model over a very long timeframe.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Carolyn asks, in a situation where the marketing tweet did not have a higher engagement rate, but did have higher impact.
How do you show that community value to a client? It’s a good question.
Community value is one of those things that’s measured over the long term, it’s not a campaign, it’s not something that you can just take a snapshot of and say, This is the value of the community, you can, in theory, do that, after a long period of time, showed the value of community as an ongoing asset.
But any one individual snapshots not going to be super helpful.
The first challenge you’re going to run into when talking to clients about the value of community is helping them make that mind shift to the fact that it’s a long term asset is not something that you can spin up immediately.
It’s not like, you know, an email, we can just send an email.
A lot of the time, that’s a struggle for clients to understand, particularly if they’re under the gun, and they’re being pressured to show results quickly.
You can reap the value of a community at any given time, based on where is at that point in time.
But you can’t create a new one on the fly and have it be really effective.
The analogy that I often use is, you know, the day you plant seeds is not the day you measure the value of a crop, right? Unless you’re an idiot.
It takes a long time to grow community.
Now once you’ve got it going.
And once you’ve got it growing over months, or years or decades, then you can demonstrate the value of that community fairly effectively.
But it’s the growing part takes the longest.
So that’s part one.
Part two is setting up a robust analytics infrastructure and, and collection of qualitative data.
And again, this is part where companies fall down hard means having great web analytics and digital analytics, having a great marketing automation system, a great CRM, and integrating a little bit and collecting data, collecting a lot of data.
Everything from the basics of tagging and tracking of where people came from online, to the most important part, which again, is the part people don’t do, figuring out and asking people, how did you hear about us? What made you come in today? What made you reach out to us today? What’s your intent to purchase from us? When was the last time you remember hearing from us? What was last time you interacted with us? All these different kinds of questions are absolutely essential for understanding the value of community.
Pick, the question that most accurately reflects the value of the community you’re trying to prove.
And be asking all the time at point of sale at at forum completion on the website, on at the register me on the phone calling, calling up customers and asking them in the community itself.
Those are all things you need to do.
And then the third part is building an attribution model that has a very long timeframe.
And again, this is where a lot of systems really fall down.
companies tend to look at analytics and attribution models in in very short frames, timeframe, snapshots, okay, like a 30 day model or a 28 day model.
That’s not enough time to measure the value of a community, particularly when it’s something like Twitter, or Instagram or whatever.
You have to be able to look at what is the value of that channel that the community exists on over the very long timeframe, right over a very long horizon.
So let’s look at an example.
So this is my digital customer journey analysis for my website for year to date, 2012, this is 11 months, this is an 11 month model.
Even this might be too short.
But here we see organic search plays, obviously a huge role in my website, followed by my email newsletter, then medium and then Twitter, right 67% 67 conversions from Twitter, Facebook is on there as well.
YouTube is a little further down.
And we see all of these different channels and how they’re helping contribute to conversions.
This is the value of that channel and the activities I perform on it over a very long period of time.
So 11 months being able to show a stakeholder then yes, in the long term, this is the value of that community is one of those things that you an attribution model like this helps to prove but even this is not the full picture.
Because even though this particular model which uses machine learning to track of the traffic you know, and where it comes from over 11 months is not necessarily going to reflect things that like mind share.
So mindshare being one of those things like, if you have learned of me by name, what you would do as a next step would be to look at my favorite metric for share of mind, which is branded organic search, how many people search for you by name, over a given period of time.
If you are building a community, and you’ve got all these systems collected, then that mindshare piece is the last part.
So when people someone’s thinking about you thinking about your blog, thinking about your newsletter, thinking about your products or services, and they’re googling for you, you should see that you should see that reflected in your data, you should see that reflected in how often people search for you, and you get this data out of things like Google Search Console, etc.
When you get that data, then you take it with the social data, you would remap this as social data over time.
And see which channels have the highest mathematical correlation to the brand new organic search data to understand, oh, this channel and search seem to move together, you’d also want to run a cross correlation to see which came first, if the search came before the social channel, and social channels not impacting search, it’s the other way around.
So those are the steps that you need to take to prove the value of community to a client.
If you do it, well, you can absolutely illustrate this is what this community does for us.
That means being able to get more funding, etc.
If you don’t do it, well, if a company doesn’t do it, well, if their analytics infrastructure isn’t robust, and their governance is bad, you’re not going to prove that the community but good news is they’re also not going to prove the value of anything else.
So it’s not like you will stand out as the as the one glaring example of what’s not working.
No one will be able to prove anything, because your animal, their analytics infrastructures is not up to scratch.
As you can see, it requires a decent amount of technology.
But again, if you can pull it off, then you can prove the value of not only the community, but all the other channels as well.
And understand the impact of your community on all these talents.
Like when I’m looking at this and I see my newsletter is responsible for 300 conversions this year, that tells me that my newsletter community, my email community, it’s working, right.
On the other hand, I look at something like LinkedIn, oh, way down near the bottom, my LinkedIn Kindred is not working for me.
And that would be a clear diagnostic to say, hey, whatever it is I’m doing on LinkedIn.
It’s not worth doing or I’m not doing it.
Well, one of the two.
And it’s time to time switch things up.
So good question.
There’s a lot that goes into answering this question.
And it’s very challenging, so expect and set expectations with the client as well.
fixing this if it’s not already well set up fixing this will also take time.
It will take a time to get your analytics in place to get people complying with governance directives around marketing.
It will take time to grow that community.
Again, community is one of those things measured in honestly in years, right.
You’re it’s not something that happens overnight.
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