Charlene Li, a principal analyst with Forrester Reasearch, and her colleague, Chloe Stromberg, have created a framework for measuring the ROI on blogging. Though just in the process of interviewing medium- and large-sized companies, the framework established provides some ROI measurement guidelines for you.
They’ve broken down measuring the ROI of blogs into three components: 1) Benefits; 2) Costs; and 3) Risks.
Here’s the grid for measuring the benefits.
|Consumer self-education||Higher conversion rate for blog visitors|
|Greater visibility in search results||Increased traffic from search to blog|
|Lower the cost of public relations||Generate the same level of awareness as PR|
|Reach an enthusiast community||Lower cost communication tool|
|Address criticisms on other blogs/news stories||Measure the slow down of bad news spreading|
|More responsive to consumer concerns||Track customer satisfaction and retention|
|Improve employee innovation and productivity||Track employee satisfaction and retention|
|Improved stock price with greater visibility into the organization||Connect improved investor sentiment to blog readership|
Measuring costs is pretty straight forward. Charlene mentions platform costs, training, policy creation, and employee time for publishing, maintaining, and troubleshooting.
Charlene believes the risks of a corporate blog can overshadow the benefits. She offers a sound approach in evaluating the risks.
One best practice I have seen is when the senior executive asked the blog champion to come back with a list of the top five things that can go wrong – and to also include the training and policies he would need to have in place to mitigate that risk.
Charlene shares a formula for calculating the risk and the ROI into hard numbers. I don’t see the need for a number, nor do I believe a number can be used to calculate the ROI of blogs.
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