Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing

A Friday Hangout with Janet Fouts, Steve Farnsworth, Adam Helweh, and Erin Robbins O’Brien


Topic: Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing

Adam Helweh, Secret Sushi
Steve Farnsworth, Steveology Group
Janet Fouts
Erin O’Brien, GinzaMetrics

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Adam: Good Friday morning to you. This is Adam coming to you from The Friday Hangout. I say usually we start at 11:00-ish and we’re almost on time. Seven minutes off isn’t a big thing. Today is Friday and I wish I remember what the date was. It’s some date in August and we’re going to have an incredible show. The topic of today’s show is “Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing” and today we have an awesome guest. We have the COO of GinzaMetrics and an actual friend as well, Erin. I want to say Erin Robbins O’Brien. What is the best way to say the full name there?


Erin: That’s the correct name.


Adam: That’s the correct name. Okay. I’ve known Erin since before that last name and so I’m trying to figure out the best way to say it there. We’ll loop back with Erin in just a second so we can learn a little bit more before we dive into our topic. But I’ve got my cohorts as Steve calls it, the co-Hearts although I think he means it endearingly. It’s just basically him mispronouncing a word. We have Steve Farnsworth. How are you doing, Steve?


Steve: A little more humble now, Adam. Thanks.


Adam: Awesome, awesome. I might take him down a notch. And Janet Fouts. How are you doing, Janet?


Janet: I’m fabulous and thank God it’s Friday because it has been a weird week.


Adam: It has been a weird week. A weird few weeks, yeah. It’s been echoed by a few folks and what better way to cap off a weird week than to include Erin on the show. Erin, tell us what you guys do over at GinzaMetrics.


Steve: We need to know who you are.


Erin: He just told you. I’m the hell Erin Robbins O’Brien and I have been there for a little while helping develop a marketing search and content analytics strategy platform. And basically what that is it’s helping to make sure that when people create content to try to be found by their target audience, that they can do that effectively and optimize existing content, figuring out new stuff that they could be creating, identifying your competitors etc., etc. And my job entails everything from marketing, advertising, and PR strategy to general business operations and financial management stuff. That’s what I do.


Adam: We now know why you fit so well within the topic of today’s show, “Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing.” Content marketing I think we’ve all agreed is been something that’s been around for quite some time but it’s really been over the last couple of years that the buzz word has reached this tipping point. In the past it’s been real time in social and all these and I think that over the last probably 12 months or so that content marketing is the new word or the new phrase.


Today we want to talk a little bit about like how to actually measure it and even identifying the process of measuring content marketing. Again, probably all agree that none of these efforts are worth much if we can’t measure the return on investment on them and then in addition to that how effective they are to our overall goals. So let’s just dive in a little bit.


Erin, I think one of the things that is often forgotten and this is often forgotten as well when it comes to social media in general or digital marketing or anything new that comes out which is to actually start from the beginning and lay the groundwork from the very beginning with what tools are we’re going to use or what strategies but the goals and the objectives.


Steve: Yeah. Let’s do a SlideShare is not a goal.


Adam: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I want everybody to dive in but, Erin, can you speak to that a little bit in regards to people use it – we don’t want it to be a commercial or anything – but somebody uses a tool at GinzaMetrics or other tools before they even dive into something like that. What is the first thing that they should consider when deciding to say, “You know what, we want to put together a content marketing program”?


Erin: It sound super basic so it’s not meant as a patronizing comment but you have to figure out what is your business goal, and for most people the goal of business is to make money because that what keeps the lights on whether you’re non-profit, B2B, B2C. You have to have some sort of revenue coming in. That kind of extrapolates across a lot of different things. That’s conversions, that’s sales, creating more user base, whatever that happens to be. From your general business goals, you have to figure out what your department is responsible for in contributing to that goal. Is it building the product? Is it marketing the product? Is it supporting existing user to the product, etc.?


From there your department develops some KPIs that are talking about: what benchmarks do we have in place? Is it user growth? Is it expanding revenue? Is it taking existing users and turning them into evangelists? It’s all these different potential things. And then what you have to do is you have to figure out how content would best support something like that. So therein lies the real – what is the purpose of the content?


Once you understand what the content’s real purpose is – because a lot of times your department will have multiple KPIs. It will be a mixture of creating user growth, maintaining your existing customers, and increasing revenue within that customer base. And so if you have those three different goals then content support things in three different ways. So I think that that’s really a good place to start.


Steve: I actually think – I’m sorry.


Adam: No, no. Go ahead, Steve.


Steve: I just want to comment. When I work with clients the goal around – our content marketing is demand generation and [6:03 inaudible] I think are really great ones that people often do it but they don’t really think about it. You just want to point it out as you talk about content marketing can be used for other things internally like how can they achieve departmental goals. Often companies actually do content marketing. But it’s one of the things you’re talking about. What are some of the goals you mentioned? I thought they were really good ones.


Erin: Oh, from what I just said a second ago?


Steve: Yeah.


Erin: Stuff like increasing your user base, increasing audience traffic, increasing revenue, and then growing revenue from existing customers.


Steve: You’re also talking about encouraging engagement, bringing other people in. I thought that was really good. I’m sorry, Janet.


Adam: I would tie things into that also decreasing certain areas of cost as well. Maybe creating a content hub is going to decrease customer support cost and it keep you from having to repeat things over and over and over again that you end up having to do because of not actually having that content readily available to your community or to your customers.


Janet: But I think one of the things that people forget is that okay, they define what those goals are for the content and it’s not a whitepaper either. And really it’s kind of deciding, “Okay, how are we going to think about this in more of a global way?” than just “Here’s the goal and here’s how we’re going to get there.” Like Adam said, how many different ways can we use this and make it part of the ecosystem of the company instead of just saying we’re going to create content, we’re going to use it to market, and then we’re going to measure it. That’s really too short-sighted and it’s really hard for people to come up with something like that that’s really going to effective if it isn’t part of the whole picture.


Erin: I think marketers get stuck in a rough a place sometimes too because people on the executive team will hear about content marketing or will see somebody else’s like whitepaper for instance. Then they come in and they say, “I want a whitepaper too,” or “I want to do this too.” And then the question has to be back: why do you want that? Do you want it because someone else has it? Because sometimes that is a good reason. Sometimes competitor parody is a perfectly legitimate reason. But if you just want it and you don’t know why you want it or how it’s actually going to help you reach your goal then that’s always where I want to start is what’s the goal of the whitepaper and then let’s discuss whether or not the whitepaper is the most effective way to reach the goal.


Janet: Right.


Steve: I think that that’s really well said. And I ask you frankly, I think if we think about whitepaper or any of those kinds of things, I think people missed the opportunity of go through that big piece. They can actually create a bunch of smaller pieces, thinking and planning ahead and have that ultimate piece. Like building all those and you have always individual content assets that you’re going to assemble for this awesome whitepaper and think people miss that all the time.


Let’s actually go back to goals and dig a little deeper. Can you give a couple of examples of goals – typical goals that we just did and the kind of metrics you would then use to verify that you were achieving that goal? There is an alignment there.


Erin: Because I usually like to start out with a specific business goal in mind or set of goals and then the idea would be a campaign or campaigns to try to meet the needs or create a logical path to reaching that goal, then what happens is for every goal there’s a series of content marketing tactics, deliverables, etc., that I want to be able to map back. The way to map that back is to say, “Who’s the target audience for the goal and what is seeming to work effectively to reach this target audience or what we want to try to make sure that we’re reaching them effectively?”


So from that “I want to reach them effectively idea,” you develop, let’s say, content and then you’re like, “Okay, from this content, what channels am I going to distribute that over?” Now, I’m not a huge fan of purely basing things on vanity metrics like, “Oh, I created a YouTube video and it got 10,000 retweets.” Whether or not that’s actually the case and at the end of the day, I do not sell a single additional user on using GinzaMetrics then I have a really great Twitter situation but nothing really happening. Is that time I could’ve used elsewhere? Or I could I’ve picked a better distribution channel?


So for me, it’s about saying I want to follow through and say for everybody that viewed this content or downloaded this content or engaged somehow with this, what does that look like when it comes to a conversion? Everybody defines conversion differently, right? Like for B2C it may be ShoppingCart fails on an online e-commerce site or for B2B it may be somebody who converts from a prospect into a marketing qualified lead or sales qualified lead through lead scoring. These are all different conversion points. So if you set that up for each aspect of your campaign, you’ll be able to add a really granular level, understand what’s working.


A second thing is being able to understand what it is about the content that’s working. I think that that’s often missing as well. So the idea that like, “Yay, this content got a ton of hits,” but you don’t understand what it is about the content. Let’s say it’s an e-book, I don’t like it when people say, “E-books were great for us so now I’m only going to create e-books.” It may not actually be the e-book. What if it was just that particular topic that really resonated with people and instead of creating more e-books, what you should be creating is a SlideShare about that topic, a video about that topic, a landing page about that topic. What if what you should be doing is creating more information about that topic and not just more e-books?


Adam: A little bit now from the beginning part to once we’ve set up the different data points or consider setting up these sets of different data points. I think you alluded to that with what you just said, Erin. We understand sort of what to track and not sort of paying attention to just things at a very cursory level and just say, “Oh, it’s an e-book. So everybody likes e-books.” But they’ve actually put in a little analysis to it. I’ve heard folks say a lot of times when you have data – well actually, no, no. Forget that. I want to go on to the dashboard part of it.


Now that somebody has set up their goals and you need to have a dashboard put together and ready, whether that dashboard in my experience has been sometimes for multiple tools if one particular tool doesn’t do it justice in one particular area. So some tools are really great when it comes to SEO, some are really good when it comes to socials, some are really great when it comes to advertising. When somebody puts together a tool, what do you think that they should be looking for, Erin? Go ahead, Steve.


Steve: I would just say a couple of pieces. You’re talking about using tools. You might use multiple tools to collect data but a lot of times these dashboards, people are using Excel but these aren’t tools that pull out all the unique information. What’s going to be inside that dashboard? Is that what you’re asking?


Adam: Yeah, exactly. How should people put something like that together and what should they be looking for especially – what you’re saying it depends on what their goal is. Everybody has got something different. Everybody is thinking of something different, so is there a one sort of silver bullet that just does all of that stuff or are there some decisions that they should be making in order to best get everything going and have a place to look at all that data in one spot?


Erin: Yeah. I think that in terms of a silver bullet – I can’t remember who said it – but Ray and I are really big fans of the statement that there is no silver bullet, there are just a lot of lead ones. And that’s particularly true when you’re looking at a startup life or any business where one thing is rarely going to be the exclusive factor, it’s usually a contributing factors. When it comes to dashboards – because creating the perfect marketing dashboard is one incredibly subjective. It’s a really complicated scenario for most people.


The thing that I think is the most important for people is a full view of how all of your marketing channels are contributing to a campaign. So let’s say I set up a campaign and I’ve got pieces of content, targeted keywords, an audience that I’m going after, and then I decide to use distribution across e-mail, paid advertising, social media, SEO, all these different tactics. If I’m in an organization where I have an e-mail marketing group in one side, a social media and community management team on another, all these different silos, what I never really understand is even though my metrics may look good or may look okay, I don’t really understand what the entire ecosystem looks like and what’s working for other groups.


For example, sometimes what you’ll find out is, especially if you A/B testing, that a particular subject line in an e-mail has an amazing open rate. That’s a really great potential title or obviously a topic that resonates well for a lot of people and maybe something you should continue to expand on. Likewise, something that may get a ton of retweets or a particular SlideShare is something that gets a lot of views is something that maybe resonating on that channel. But if you don’t know what’s working across the full spectrum, you have a really difficult time.


So for me, a dashboard that allows you at least some top-level insight into that traffic and conversion metrics, a kind of across the board is really, really important and it’s something that we felt super strongly about and built here and released this year. I can tell you that it’s one of the things that actually made me log into my own platform on a more frequent basis than I have them.


Janet: That’s something that I think as you look at that data and you aggregate all of that data and the information that you’re gaining from it then you can do that second level push. For me, content marketing is an iterative process. You put it out, you see what’s working, you say, “Okay, it’s working in this e-mail. Now we can do a blog post or maybe that’s something that we want to follow up with.” So you take those metrics and there’s kind of a waterfall effect. So how do we do that? How do we map that out? Is it a mind mapping process? Do you end up Gantt charts everywhere? How do you get that flow set up so that the whole team, the whole company perhaps, understand how the content marketing is growing and developing and nurture that?


Erin: I think that there’s a couple of different ways, really. Luckily, I don’t have to tackle this problem because I have a tool that allows me to do it. And that’s been extremely helpful. It’s beyond just looking at the base level metrics, which I think should be shared across all marketing departments. But being able to drill down and understand what specifically about those things is working really well.


Let’s say that a look at a chart that says social is driving 38% of my traffic for this particular campaign. Social media has a lot of channels, right? So if I don’t understand what particular channel within social media is actually driving most of that traffic then maybe I’m like, “I’m just going to throw a bunch more time into social in general,” but that’s a huge category itself. So right now it’s great to be able to drill down and say, “Okay, actually for this one, maybe Vine or YouTube or Instagram or something is working really well so I’m going to maximize visual content for a little while because that seems to be resonating with the audience.”


For the folks that don’t have that, I used to use a Google spreadsheet/Excel type document that really outlines for each thing a lot of metrics, and maybe what I’ll do is maybe I’ll make a Google doc and then I’ll just share that example spreadsheet and let everybody pick that apart and see if they can apply it to their own stuff.


Steve: One of the things I think is worth noting about analytics – and I’m a big fan of putting analytics in – but I also know that there’s a lot of data that shows us too. When you just have positive feedback loop, when you just show these things, eventually it becomes out of sync. So in a way you should be looking at your analytics what’s working. You should be having some random stuff. You should be testing new ideas, bringing new things in. Because what happens I think a lot of people will say they go so far and just start producing things that show results and sometimes it just not really returning and meeting their goal.


But looking at goal metrics, Erin, we talked about some of the common goals that people looked at. What are some uncommon metrics that you might want to look at to see the health of their content marketing?


Erin: Looking at overall share of voice in the marketplace is really important and often overlooked from a content perspective. Usually if you’re creating really good content that’s resonating with the right folks, if you look at a cross-section of your industry and who has a lot of share of voice amongst your competitors, that’s a good barometer of how often people are paying attention to you.


Steve: You’re talking about share of mention. There you’re talking about share of voice issues a better [19:31 inaudible] into your product and mentions within that issue.


Erin: I think both. I think that there’s the meta and then the more granular level. We’re talking about things that are uncommon metrics like outside of the normal stuff like did you actually drive revenue or did revenue change based on this campaign?


I harp on it all the time and it’s because I don’t see any change for a lot of people, which is your campaign could have amazing traffic numbers and your company not sell a single additional product. That means your campaign failed. You can’t look at traffic numbers alone. It’s got to result in increased revenue or whatever it is, most of the time it’s revenue. Because at the end of the day, when it gets all the way up to the top and your board of directors or your investors or somebody is looking at this, they’re going to say, “That’s fantastic.” A way to get a million new eyeballs but not a single one of these people bought it so then you got this idea of either you weren’t using the right messaging, you weren’t talking to the right audience. There’s a myriad of different problems. So I think share of voice is one of the things that people aren’t looking at often enough.


Adam: On the other side, too, there’s the CEOs and other folks who really enjoy seeing how many likes they have on their pages and so on and don’t quite themselves understand how to tie that back to whether it’s a meaningful metric or not. On both accounts, being able to drive it towards something meaningful for your bottom line or whatever that initial goal was is an important thing to do.


Steve, did you have another question?


Steve: Yeah. Actually, I did. Whatever her name is – Karen? Erin, I actually had a little [21:18 inaudible] conversation. We’re talking about content marketing frameworks and she had a couple of thoughts around that. I was wondering if you could share some of those.


Erin: Yes. A content marketing framework is something that allows you this closed loop process that says from inception the original goal to how you’re going to create content against that and what channels you’re going to distribute and then measuring. It also allows other groups within your organization to give you feedback as well.


A good example would be marketing taking and driving a lot of prospects to marketing qualified leads and then the sales qualified leads in handing them off. This is much more enterprise-focused situation, but when you do that, what you really also need is the ability of sales to come back and give you information on what it is that’s working and not working. What kind of questions and feedback are they seeing as a result of this content that you’ve created? Because a lot of times people will read a case study or whitepaper and it will spark something during a follow-up sales conversation.


The same thing with a customer success and customer support, as well as community management. They’re seeing and hearing a lot of topics and a lot of things are coming up. Those are great things to build content around but also you need to arm them with the answers for when they’re going to hear stuff coming back from the content that you just created because them people are going to ping them. So you have to create this closed loop system that allows everybody to maximize the content efforts that you’re creating.


Adam: Steve, did you want to follow up on that?


Steve: Yeah. Part of what you were talking about for everybody is marketers – we have the attention span of four year olds with ADD after eating a Snickers bar.


Erin: That’s an attractive picture.


Steve: I know, right? Part of the issue is, Erin, how use the words when you talk about operationalizing basically it affects the marketing part. Once we do something and it works, we can recreate that process so we keep doing it. That’s what you’re talking about?


Erin: Yeah. It’s about recreating a process, not becoming plug-and-play marketers but becoming people who have a way to take an idea, launch it, optimize on it, report it, gain feedback and continue this loop of smart marketing ideas.


Steve: And ultimately, you’re measuring all of this. You’re measuring this to make sure that it happens, right?


Erin: Yeah. Hence, the other big word of the year, big data, which sucks because most people don’t really understand what that means.


Steve: Which is too bad.


Erin: Yeah. Understanding data from across a number of platforms. Even if you don’t necessarily understand how to create all that and do it, then it means that there might be somebody in your organization who does and you should try to team up with people on your analytics team, on a BI team. Anybody who’s responsible for numbers across different facets of the organization should be able to help you provide insight into how to make things better.


Adam: This is like what I was saying before we started recording. It’s a conversation that I wanted to be a part of even if it meant just being a spectator here, because there’s always some good stuff that comes out of what’s going on in the content marketing and having Erin talk. And even as a friend, every time I talk with Erin, I’m surprised as just all the new stuff that comes from the conversation in comparison to before. You know what you’re talking about, Erin. That’s what I’m saying.


Janet: It’s just a fount of information, Erin. That’s why we keep having you back on the show.


Erin: Are you going to hit me up for money afterwards? You’re buttering me up because you want a loan?




Adam: To wrap up this particular part of the conversation before we move onto the next segment, I want to say, Erin, where can people look to continue the learning industry part specifically in setting up their goals and measuring in the whole toolset related to that when it comes to content marketing?


Erin: There are a lot of places that talk about content marketing. I think that because it has become such a buzzword, it has become the thing that everybody thinks that they should use for authorship right now, both as link bait or because opinions are blankety-blank. Everybody has one.


I would say that regardless of where you look that you need to try to make sure that instead of just saying “Top five plugins to use for this,” or “The three tools that are a must-have,” instead of looking at all these top five, top ten lists for everything, look for real word examples of how things actually apply or could apply to your business in your industry. Look for case studies, look for research, and see where you can take best practices and see what will happen.


The Content Marketing Institute with Joe is a fun place to check for stuff. I would say that some research and things are really good out of there. I actually like working at individual industry places. I love checking out a lot of times what’s going on in the PR industry. A lot of times, because they had to undergo so much change themselves, they’re becoming quiet internal content powerhouses. I think that’s a good place.


If anybody ever wants to ask me anything, I’m always up for a chat. Ask Steve a 10-minute conversation. I accidentally turned it into an hour so you’ll have to cut me off.


Steve: We can’t have a five-minute conversation. We tried a couple of times. We just end up marketing dishing out. It’s really tragic.


Adam: Erin, I’m going to loop back around for a little bit more. But where can they find you?


Erin: I am on Twitter at TexasGirlErin. Beware, it’s not for the faint of heart. The picture of me on there is with a giant shotgun which I will not apologize for.


Steve: It should be a grenade launcher.


Erin: You can find me on Facebook at Erin Robbins O’Brien. You can e-mail me at If you contact GinzaMetrics at all and ask for me, somebody there will get a hold of me.


Adam: That’s E-R-I-N, right?


Erin: That is true. If my lower third thing would work, you would be able to see it. But I swear, no matter how much Janet tells me it’s my own fault, it’s really not.


Janet: We also have links to Erin’s social networks on the website at


Adam: Sorry, my brain is going on a few different directions here. It’s my first time hosting in quite some time, so my brain is realigning with the show. Do we have any shares? I have a few things but, Steve, did you have a share this week?


Steve: Well, I thought maybe Janet might want to do a share regarding a certain app.


Janet: We have a new app for The Friday Hangout on Android or on iTunes.


Adam: Say aloud and proud, Janet.


Steve: Really?


Janet: Shut up [laugh]. You can download it from


Steve: [28:36 inaudible] she is.


Janet: You see I have the ability to mute, Steve. This is my power. Actually, I’ll just hide him from the broadcast.


So, we have an app on iTunes and Android and you can download it from and it will actually allow you to listen to us as a podcast.


Adam: And all the shows will be all in one place. You don’t have to go search for it and that sort of thing. Janet still has Steve muted. He’s just over there. So, is that really your share, Janet?


Janet: I didn’t have a share this weekend. Steve put me on the spot in the first place.


Steve: I just thought you might want to [29:22 inaudible] show. Actually, what I want to say is David Meerman Scott had a post the other day about blogs. He said, “Don’t call it a blog. Blogs are great for marketing but take blogs out.”


I would concur that. The last couple of years, I’ve actually been encouraging clients not to actually have a blog. They only have a blog for their corporate communication stuff. We just found Erin right now.


Janet, did you change something? I bet she did.


Janet: I just see you, Steve, and now I see me. There you go. You’re so fixated on Erin, you know.


Steve: I guess. Anyway, I encouraged the clients to actually split to create a blog that has corporate communications news. Those are just news releases. Those are product count. Those are those updates. Those kinds of things.


I think that that should be what you do. But if you’re going to do thought leadership, if you’re going to do content marketing, create a blog that doesn’t say blog. It doesn’t have to be B-L-O-G word anywhere visible. You need to decide what that portal is going to be. Is it going to be a knowledge hub? Is it going to be a knowledge center? Is it going to be a news center? You can call it Joe, whatever you want to call it. Just don’t call it blog and make that thing a media publication.


Everybody’s media company will be a media company now. I’m just saying I think that’s [31:00 inaudible]. I will post that David Meerman thing but I think it’s time to kill your blog.


Adam: That’s spot-on. Kill your blog in the sense that – it’s what you said. At first I was like, “Oh wait. What, huh?”


Steve: Have one for your corporate communication sewer information flotsam [? 31:16] and the other for your real content marketing that’s dedicated to engaging your customers on the things that they want to talk about. They don’t really care you got a new VP in Marketing. They really, really don’t.


Adam: I totally agree. Any thoughts on that, Erin and Janet?


Janet: Yup.


Erin: Man, bitter is the new black today. I actually totally agree. I like the idea of keeping corporate announcements and news, product announcements and things separate, and then real trend pieces and things that are relevant in another place. It creates a better experience. People actually really know where to go for specific things and aren’t stuck using the search bar as often.


Janet: If you have a search bar, which is so many don’t.


Erin: We’re not even going to –


Janet: Why do you want them to find your content, really? Come on.


Adam: I often find the approach for us, for instance, when we’re helping folks design their sites or their blogs and that sort of thing is to actually just take whatever CMS that they’re using which is commonly usually WordPress and just take certain categories in general and just put them into their appropriate place elsewhere. Something that’s press or news, shuffle that directly into the press release section of your website and have that content dynamically pulled to the areas that make sense for people who are interested in that stuff, but exclude it from like Steve said, the main blog which is meant to be of value to your customers and provide things that are useful for them. I think we’re all in agreement there.


I do hate the blog word. I hate it, to be honest, a little bit as much as the word social media nowadays and content marketing is getting there. Not what it is but just hearing it so much. It’s just being in the industry I guess.


Janet, do you really not have anything?


Janet: I was kind of hoping you did.


Adam: I do have something.


Janet: Great. Go with it.


Adam: I do have a few things not as normally pointing it as what Steve or you usually share. I’m always interested to learn about the new ad units that are coming out from any of these different social networks. In the past, everybody was saying: “How are these social networks (A) going to sustain themselves by making money and (B) how do they become a marketing tool for those who don’t really want to engage as much as pay for advertising?”


There are some interesting things that I found in this week. LinkedIn has just released something new – a new ad unit that I think people should be aware of. Right now there are a few different ad units but the easiest ones to get up and running are the text ads that they have and then there’s sponsored content ads, sponsored update ads. So if you’re on a company page, you can post something in there and then pay for it to be essentially amplified in the same way that you might see an ad amplified or a post actually specifically amplified on Facebook.


In the past, if you wanted to put an update out there and, by the way, the sponsored updates not only feel a bit more authentic for folks but they actually do get quite a bit of engagement in comparison to the other standard ads. The only downside of it was that it is if you did something that was a little bit like an ad or you wanted to put an asset out there like a whitepaper or something, it had to be posted to your company page. So sometimes you want to experiment without actually posting something to your company page but still making it look like sponsored content.


LinkedIn has produced an ad unit essentially or a sponsored content unit called direct sponsored content or direct sponsored updates, which is basically a sponsored update, it’s the same form, it shows up in the feed but it doesn’t actually get posted onto your company page. So if you wanted to try out three of those, A/B test them like Erin said. You could do that without actually filling up your –

These guys are distracting me. They’re talking and talking away in the chat room over here. Nobody else can see. I don’t even know what they’re saying. I just see them all laughing and giggling. It’s like a little Wall Street ticker.


Janet: Try to focus, Adam.


Adam: I’m trying. I’m having hard enough time without this. The bottom line is the direct sponsored content updates or sponsored updates on LinkedIn allows you to A/B test multiple versions of a similar update all at once without having them all just pile up in your company page. I think that that’s an interesting thing. We’re actually doing it with one of our clients currently. The client in particular doesn’t really have a lot of content on their update. They’re on their company page. So to do this would be a bit awkward and wouldn’t really be the most ideal thing but because we can take these content pieces out of the flow of their page and still have them out there in the main feed, we’re seeing probably [36:39 inaudible] engagement on ads or on those particular units than we did on say text ads that we’re doing so often.


Janet: I think it’s a much better delivery mechanism than the old way of doing it where it was just promoting posts. I think they basically took it from Facebook because when you create an ad on Facebook instead of promoting a post, you can target multiple ads to the same people. And it’s much better targeting, so we do both. But I like this. I think it’s a good move.


Steve: Your work with Desmond Tutu, did you try any of those? Like any promoted tweet?


Janet: We did promote a post on Facebook in particular. We did some on Twitter. We didn’t do any on LinkedIn.


Steve: What’s your response on Twitter and Facebook?


Janet: It was really great on Facebook. You can very carefully target. We got really good responses but I’m doing some for a university in the East Coast right now and we’re doing a combination of all three. We may do some Twitter video ads, too, which is going to be a really nice new introduction.


Steve: We should probably the whole show. We have Frank Strong coming up in a week I guess, maybe next week. He’s talking about paid, earned, owned. I think we’re going to do an entire show just on the advertising options because I think people need to embrace and learn and there’s a wealth of information right here especially with what you and Adam are doing.


Janet: Yeah, we should do that.


Adam: I think actually it’s a hot topic considering the fact that now we’re heading into the age where everybody is starting to finally start to – I don’t know if they feel comfortable yet – but they’re starting to realize that you got to pay to play no matter where it is, whether it’s Facebook or elsewhere.


Janet: It’s kind of what Facebook is saying for sure.


Adam: Because this is a share, it’s not a broader topic, I won’t go into it. But there’s some actually really interesting things happening between some new stuff Twitter is doing between Facebook and Instagram and the potential direction that will go, remarketing across all these channels. It’s an important topic.


Janet: Yeah. You already could do remarketing on Facebook but now they’re making it easy for everybody, so that’s kind of interesting.


Adam: And on Twitter you can do remarketing and so on and so on.


Steve: Yeah.


Adam: All right, I forgot that I was the one to close the show unless there’s somebody else with a share. Erin, do you have something interesting that you think we should pay attention to? Some story or something like that?


Erin: Only just something that goes back to what we were talking about earlier which is this idea of what are your goals and what are you measuring. There was research posted by Content Marketing Institute – I guess maybe that was about a week ago – talking about a bunch of different content statistics. It’s the result of a survey that they did at marketers. One of the things I thought was kind of alarming was people’s goals for content marketing and what their measured against as key metrics are two completely different things. For example, on goals, website traffic is near the bottom of the list. But website traffic is the number one metric that people are measured against in regard to whether or not their content marketing was effective.


This goes back and really points to the fact that we’re still a long way away from figuring out what this means and I think that because people keep using this word content marketing, content marketing, content marketing, there needs to be a better understanding as with big data as to what that means. We need to talk to people who really have a real understanding of it and can leave the charge in and creating some good process and helping out. We need to start understanding as an industry hoe to measure effectively and how to create a better process to make this work because when our goals and our metrics are so far out of sync, that’s not too far from trouble when it comes into how this actually continues to affect good businesses and people’s individual departments and responsibilities.


Adam: So something to keep in mind too, Erin, is that you are contributing to the education of that. You guys have a show, don’t you? How often is that show on?


Erin: Weekly. It’s FOUND Fridays. I skipped it this week to join you guys.


Janet: We’re really special!


Adam: Normally they go directly to the GinzaMetrics website in order to jump on that?


Erin: Yes. You can find us there and we also post about it every week on social. We write a blog post to announce it and send it out and then you can watch it live directly from the blog feed when Google Hangouts is not being hideous.


Adam: Awesome. Awesome, Erin. Thank you very much for joining us. You are welcome any time to come on over and join us whether as a guest or as a co-Heart [41:40 inaudible].


It’s time to wrap up the show as I’m being screamed at by Janet on the side. I guess she’s got a lunch date or something. I don’t know what’s going on over there.


Steve: We should probably talk about that. Wrap it up.


Adam: So much distraction in the chat room.


Steve: We love your faces. Catch us on iHeart Radio, The Friday Hangout. Come back next week. We love your faces. Janet, where can they find you?


Janet: Anywhere you want to.


Steve: Adam, how are you doing?


Adam: I’m doing all right. How are you doing?


Steve: Secret Sushi on Twitter. Secret Sushi the blog. The man, the myth. Thanks Steveology for the Steveology Group.


Adam: Until next Friday, you guys. This is The Friday Hangout. Thank for joining us and take care.


Erin: Bye, everyone.


Janet: Bye, everybody.


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