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ROI of corporate blogs : Not Web stats

Though the measuring the ROI of blogs is tough, measuring the ROI of corporate blogs is needed and can be done writes Sally Falkow at Internet Financial News.

Sally cites a recent post by Charlene Li of Forrester.

…a blogs ROI is built around building a closer relationship with your blogs readers, be it your most ardent customers or your employees. It’s that investment in the relationship that turns intangible, unquantifiable blogs into hard metrics.

Sally really nails the point that you need to define success when you begin your blog.

To know if your blog is working you have to know what you’d like to achieve. And while there are some generic benefits – the human voice, better relationships, interaction etc – companies can have a specific goal for a blog.

The goal of a blog for law firms or professional service firms could include:

  • Enhancing the reputation of lawyer(s) or professional(s) as reliable and trusted experts
  • Picking up more speaking engagements
  • Being quoted as an expert by trade and mass media more often
  • Enhancing one’s search engine rankings
  • Reducing the cost of content distribution to clients and prospective clients
  • To showcase the lawyer(s) or professional(s) intellectual capital when meeting with prospective clients
  • Make content easily accessible to journalists (40% use blogs as source at least once a week) and other users via RSS
  • Monitoring RSS feeds on topics relevant to the blog and engaging in the discussion via the blog and commenting on other blogs
  • Connecting with journalists via their blogs

Measuring the ROI of blogs with Web stats is nuts. Not one prospect turned client came to me saying they wanted a blog to get good Web stats. Not one. They came for the above goals, among others.

However, after publishing a blog for a while, the blog publisher, and more often the company administration which knows nothing about blogs, wants to use Web stats (hits, page views etc) to measure the ROI of their blog. Makes as much sense measuring the ROI of taking clients to a ball game by whether they caught a foul ball or bought a lot of souvenirs.

Occasionally measure some trends or perhaps some referrers with Web stats, if you wish. But do not use them to see the ROI of your blog

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