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How to Measure The ROI of Conversational Marketing

6th Mar 2017
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Conversational marketing is a subset of content marketing, and its importance is becoming increasingly more clear. While standard content marketing casts a relatively wide net by creating and distributing content that is appropriate for very broadly defined personas, conversational marketing is more individualized. It curates content to customers based on the wants and needs they have articulated.

One example of conversational marketing is the use of chat apps. Customers interact with a chatbot that in turn presents them with information that they request. However, conversational marketing isn’t all about direct customer interaction. If you’ve been on an ecommerce site and had products suggested to you, based upon your purchasing history, that is a form of conversation marketing as well. It’s all about getting to know your customers by being a good listener. User generated content, surveys, and customer loyalty programs are very effective towards this end.

Of course, much like its cousin content marketing, it can be difficult to measure the ROI of conversation marketing. However, it isn’t completely impossible to accomplish this task. The following points should serve as a starting point.

Take a Close Look at Engagement

If you’ve created or curated content based upon your ‘conversations’ with your customers, then it makes sense that you would measure the engagement that results from that content. For example, imagine that you created a series of instructional videos in response to a need expressed by customers in a certain geographical region. The response or lack of response to that content should tell you much of what you need to know about its success.

Measure Direct Traffic to Landing And Product Pages

One thing that differentiates conversation from content marketing is that you are attempting to meet more personalized needs based upon what the customer has ‘told’ you either directly or indirectly. Because of this, it’s more appropriate to recommend specific products or to direct customers to specific landing pages.

Track which product and landing pages you are promoting. Then, measure traffic in order to determine whether or not your recommendations are paying off in the long run. It may help to create landing pages that are specifically designed for your conversational marketing efforts. This way you can be most sure of their veritas.

Track Your Reputation

Conversation marketing is all about building relationships with customers, listening to them, and then meeting their needs like you  haven’t done in the past. If you’re doing this correctly, the results should be improved branding, better customer experience, and ultimately happier customers.

You can measure this by tracking your reputation online. First, you’ll need to create an online reputation tracking strategy. This should include visiting customer review sites that feature products that you sell, setting up Google alerts for your company and products, and mining customer comments.

Get Customer Feedback

You recommend a list of products to a customer based on their customer journey. You curate content based on that information as well. It’s so important to provide those customers with a path for providing feedback. This offers up a bit of a reality check when it comes to understanding whether or not customers are responding.

If you’re already using surveys to gather feedback, consider modifying the standard question, ‘how did you find out about this product?’ Include an option that lets the customer indicate that it was a product recommendation that was curated by your website.

Track Customer Buying Patterns After You’ve Targeted Them

Are you listening correctly? Making product recommendations based upon prior purchasing habits and on site behavior requires making some educated assumptions about the customer’s journey. If these assumptions are correct, wonderful. If not, your recommendations could be coming off as a bit tone deaf or clueless.

By tracking customer buying patterns, you can see if your suggestions are on point. To put it simply, are customers buying the products that you recommend? Are they requesting quotes or watching product demo videos?

Look at The Cost of Obtaining UGC

User generated content campaigns can play a big part in your overall conversation marketing strategy. However, just like every other marketing campaign, you have to measure value by tracking how much it cost to acquire each piece of content.

Let’s say you budget five thousand dollars for your campaign. You spend that money on sponsored Facebook posts, creating a hashtag campaign on Twitter, and developing a few relevant landing pages. If manage to get ten thousand individual content submissions, your cost of obtaining UGC is fifty cents.

Conversational marketing is a great way to complement your content marketing efforts, and to meet customer’s needs on a much deeper level. By tracking their purchasing behaviors, collecting data on website behavior, and engaging with them directly, you can create content and make recommendations that are tailored to their needs. The tips above should help you to determine how effective these efforts are.

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