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Assigning Value To Free Exposure Online
Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:35 PM
Does anyone have any experience with assigning value to coverage that a business receives online. For example, lets assume a portal like MSN has a story and in that story they reference many different businesses. How can a business assign a value to that free coverage they receive? Is there any formula for assigning a value to non-paid coverage? Any insight would be helpful.
Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:39 PM
You can then analyze results from those sources and directly put some type of figure on each of these separate sources (articles, links, etc.)
I would also be watching general traffic increases (fluctuations) as well, because they may remember the article and visit later without using that specific link from the write-up. Not as accurate I agree, but still worthy of traffic increases not attributable to any other activities or promotions. Good analytics (and software) can give you a great deal of information that when properly disseminated offers you good insight as to what is happening, has happened, and what it is specifically attributable to.
Not sure if that helps or is what you were seeking...
Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:41 PM
If you have not had any online exposure before this point, it could be a great boost.
If you are a well known business whose site people visit on a regular basis, it might not have any effect at all.
A few important factors that would affect the results:
Was it featured or just one of many articles posted that day people might come across?
Was the business URL listed?
Was it a live link readers could follow directly to your site?
You could use your web analytics software to check how many people came from the article to your site and where they went once they arrived. That will not cover those who might have noted your company name or website and visited later.
There is always a possibility that Marketing Experiments has done some testing into this, they are always doing testing of the value of various online marketing options both paid and unpaid, even coming up with formulas for many actions that could be of benefit to you if you are the formula type.
Posted 22 November 2007 - 08:28 AM
There's not really a formula, unfortunately. In fact, there are a couple of different ways you can attempt to measure value.
To take a real world example I had awhile ago, let's say I have this site that gets some free press covereage from one or more small, regional newspapers. This same site at around the same time also managed to get a prominent mention on a national TV show like NBC's Today Show.
Since I have no control over what URL address is given by any of these outlets it's difficult to measure. Sure I could look at the overall traffic numbers before these press mentions and try to guage gross traffic improvements. That might be one way to do it, however because the publicity is coming from totally different sources I'm not going to get a good break down in which is more or less valuable. You might be able to use this traffic measurement method if you only had a single new publicity channel opening at a time, but it's difficult even then.
I had something of an advantage because with the Today Show mention, they actually put a link to my site on their site, and told viewers this link would be there during the story. Because of this I could at least attempt to measure value based upon Referrals that came from the NBC web site. Those numbers certainly aren't 100% accurate for various reasons, but at least I could get an idea.
So, what I did was combine the two above methods a little bit and tracked both new Direct traffic (no referrer) and NBC referrals against Direct traffic over the previous few months.
Fuzzy numbers to be sure, but at least by tracking it this way and following each all the way through to the conversion stage I could get a better idea of the real value for these new traffic channels.
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