Thursday, November 12, 2009

Social content marketing: The real stories of ROI

At the CMO Club Summit in San Francisco, Sam Decker, CMO of BazaarVoice, a company that powers sites with user generated content, spoke about finding ROI in social media.

Two big questions Decker keeps hearing are "What is the ROI for social media?" and "Where do I start?"

State of "Social"
  • 28% increase in the average search string (from 2008 to 2009)
  • 81% of holiday shoppers search for reviews online before they buy
  • 89% of CMOs are being pressured for more measurability.
Measuring social media remains a challenge. Most companies don't know what all their social media efforts are doing to their bottom line.

Two biggest social media mistakes companies make
  • Collect "fans" and then they call it a day
  • Lack of advocacy around the product or purchase barriers.
Bring social to commerce.
  • Collect customer-content on the product.
  • Amplify near the product...where customers are looking to buy.
You need to focus on goals of increasing revenue, improving operations, building loyalty/engagement, and increasing brand awareness.

Decker advises that you can increase revenue with social content.

More reviews equals more sales
  • Products with at least four reviews saw a 30.7% increase in conversion.
  • Products with a rating of at least 4.3 saw a 33.1% increase in conversion.
Don't just stop there with the content. Keep pushing. For example, HP put the reviews in their search advertising. The attitude was "don't listen to us, listen to what others are saying about our products." Huge increase in conversion.

Increased customer engagement online will reduce calls. The more answers for questions that were posted online, the less calls Canadian Tire received.

Bring customer oxygen into the company
Use the social content to improve your company. Don't run the business the company in silos and stay focused with internal metrics. With Oriental Trading company they read the product reviews. They responded and either improved the product or dumped the products all together.

With Best Buy, Samsung creates a Q&A section to build engagement, insights
  • 96% increase in product views
  • 100% more question submissions
  • 91% of questions not addressed through marketing copy
  • Answers are 66% more helpful vs. the community
User-generated content scales itself and fuels existing marketing programs.

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