ROI of Storytelling: How to Measure Success
The ROI or return on investment of storytelling can be a difficult component of your content marketing campaign if you don’t lay the groundwork from the start and know what you’re aiming for. In this post, we’ll dive into the ROI of storytelling, how to measure it, and provide some recommended tools for your next campaign.
What is the ROI of storytelling?
ROI is based on the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign to meet your standards or definitions of success. These standards need to be campaign specific, and they need to be set from the very beginning. These are your goals. What is your campaign aiming to accomplish? Is it brand awareness? Is it to re-position your brand? Is it increasing your social media following or website traffic, or is it to increase sales? Set your primary goal from the start and you’ll know exactly which data and results to look at when calculating your campaign’s ROI. Having spreadsheets of data and analytics is meaningless without a clear idea on what you’re trying to accomplish with your content marketing campaign.
What should you be measuring?
Once your campaign goals have been identified, you will clearly see which data and metrics you need to track. During our recent content marketing campaign for our partner Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP), we produced a series of videos and digital content with two primary goals: 1) reposition MLP and their signature product in the adventure travel market; and 2) help grow their sales. With those goals in mind, we knew we needed to look at both quantitative and qualitative results.
Quantitative results include metrics like video views, new bookings and sales, increased profits, engagements, etc. For our content marketing campaign with MLP, we specifically looked at the growth in website traffic and growth in bookings (sales). These metrics were collected over the course of the campaign and compared to year over year data to ultimately determine the ROI of the campaign.
Not all campaigns can be measured by quantitative results, so you also need to know when and how to examine qualitative results, such as consumer perceptions, brand awareness, and likability. The qualitative results told us how well we were meeting our goal to re-position MLP and their product as leaders in the adventure travel space. We looked at qualitative results like consumer surveys and comments via social media to determine the overall shift in brand perception and likability among consumers. We also went straight to the travel trade for the ultimate peer to peer review by entering our signature film from the campaign into the annual Adventure Travel Trade Association’s film contest. Winning the 1st Place Award voted by over 800 travel industry peers fullfilled our initial goal, elevating MLP as a leader in the adventure travel market. Additional qualitative results could include new press, testimonials, obtaining valuable new data and information, or the creation of new quality content (videos, photographer, other digital assets with a long shelf life).
Some Great Tools for Measuring ROI:
- Use of hashtags on social media
- Bitly links
- Google Alerts
- Google Analytics
- Paid tracking services like Keyhole, Simply Measured, or HubSpot
- Consumer Surveys
In Conclusion: ROI and Beyond
As leaders in the travel industry, we strive for sustainable growth and healthy business models. We need to be aware that success may mean different things. Sometimes the ROI will be very clear when dealing with goals like increased sales or increased web traffic. But those are not the only metrics or goals we should be trying to achieve. We want to promote quality travel experiences that elevate our destinations; experiences that protect our landscapes, respect our culture and traditions, and support local communities, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Know that true ROI goes beyond just the metrics you can measure, and into the experience and longevity of your destination.
This was a sneak peak of our ROI of Storytelling presentation. Catch the full presentation at ITB Asia with GLP Film’s Strategic Partnerships Manager, Andrew Morrison, on Wednesday October 19. Session details here.