Does your travel and tourism company know the true value of your marketing efforts or is it still trapped in the Stone Age? Do you know how much your assisted conversions are worth or are other efforts taking all the credit?
As marketing professionals in the travel and tourism industry, our careers have evolved so much over the past five years. Before, when we were asked to justify our budgets, it was enough to simply mumble something related to generating brand awareness. Today, we need to measure the ROI in each technique and channel we use.
Understanding the ROI of the content particularly is difficult and often misunderstood. If we try to understand tactics such as PPC, SEO and online advertising it can be easier, you can approximately calculate the performance of each dollar spent. For example, with PPC it could be:
* If I spend $ 100 on PPC, I generate $ 500 in sales
If I increase that expense by $ 1,000, I generate $ 5,000 in sales.
However, doing a similar exercise with content generation is not that straightforward.
Historically, the last click a user made before visiting a website to make a purchase might be the channel has won all the glory. For example, if someone were reading a blog one week, but then decided to buy through a paid ad the following week, the ad would take all the credit.
However, a customer's purchase is much more complex and may have much more depth. Many companies lose crucial "points of contact," so they don't understand the true value of the assisted conversions that their content generates.
Statistics indicate that there are 13 times more possibilities of a positive ROI for companies that give priority to the generation of content for their blog.
But what value are these companies giving to assisted conversion?
Calculating the value of assisted conversions
Fortunately, with multi-touch tracking tools, companies can now see all the various points of interaction with customers prior to a purchase. For example, Google’s multi channel funnels will show the various points of contact that a customer has made on their online trip, allowing a company to assign merits to other channels.
If such tools are not used, many assisted conversions may not receive any credit because it is very rare for the client to jump directly from an educational content page to a transactional page.
So, this solves all the problems, right?
Unfortunately, it is not that simple, because what value is given to each of the points of interaction with a customer? Are they equal in attracting the client to a site or does one deserve more recognition than another?
Here lies the root of the problem for marketing specialists trying to identify the ROI of a company.
Measuring your goals
There is no predetermined model that provides the answer on what weight and value should be given to each point of contact.
In the event that a customer has visited a travel blog before returning through a paid advertisement, a company can assign 40% to the blog and 60% to the paid advertisement, but unless it has been tested, It’s just an opinion.
Some industry professionals value Avinash Kaushik's model, but again, this is only someone else's opinion and not everyone will agree.
Companies could compare their entire marketing budget with their general ROI, regardless of assisted conversions, devices, etc. And, if they are seeing an ROI of 110 percent, do they really need to dig deeper? Statistics show that 53 percent of social media marketers don't believe it because they don't measure their success on these channels.
However, isn't there always room for improvement? If they knew what value social networks have, couldn't they adjust their marketing strategies to further increase their ROI?
The customer's journey can be tracked, but to measure the success of this tracking, companies must place it in the context of what they originally wanted to achieve with their marketing campaigns.
Therefore, not just sales are important when calculating ROI, because the additional benefits that have been reaped through marketing strategies should also be considered. For example, social media campaigns may appear to have no direct financial gains. What about the intangible advantages created?
Setting campaign specific objectives
To accurately track the content marketing ROI of a campaign, you must set clear goals and objectives. Whether you're writing a blog post or compiling an informational post, you should know the purpose of its content.
You should have a clear idea of the action that you expect people to do after reading your content. This could be anything from simply recognizing your brand to visiting your website to make a purchase.
Knowing the purpose of your campaign will help you decide the type of content you want to create and the distribution platform you should use.
Some examples of common marketing goals include:
- Increase brand reach
Increase brand recognition.
Manage the reputation of the brand.
Increase brand loyalty.
Improve customer engagement.
Increase sales and income.
Increase the number of potential leads.
Increase web traffic.
You don't need to stick to a single metric or keep track of all these metrics for each campaign. The best way is to keep track of the metrics that are most relevant to the objectives of your campaign.
For example, if your goal is to generate visibility on the launch of a new product, verify participation in social networks and exposure and authority metrics. You should also monitor the growth of followers, mentions in social networks and web traffic. Similarly, if the goal of your campaign is to increase brand recognition, the metrics you should focus on are clicks, brand mentions, participation in social networks and web traffic.
Remember that it is not advisable to track too many metrics for a project if you do not want to feel overwhelmed. It is better to set specific objectives and select only the metrics that you consider most relevant for that objective. That way, it will be easier to determine the ROI of and discover how successful your campaign was, giving the content the recognition that it deserves.
How to estimate the ROI generated by your content?
If you are a company in the travel industry and you are interested in generating content to improve both engagement and sales, we have a simple method to estimate it, you just need to:
- Have Google Analytics installed. It is important to be able to identify the channels through which visitors of your website go. If you don't have this useful platform, ask your IT team or do it yourself. There are quite a few tutorials online.
- Generate conversion events that allow you to measure your objectives (sales made on the platform, requests for more information, etc.). This requires a minimum level of HTML programming, which you can request without problem from your IT area.
- New content generated for your website. It can be content from the Blog section or content from destinations and routes. Usefully they have the appropriate web structure.
Below we show the steps to follow for an adequate ROI measurement:
1. Configure Channel Groups based on destination URL. So that you can separate the content pages by type of element present. For example, if your URL contains the word “/ article /” or “/ destination /”, it is important to have them separated within the site map.
2. Separate the rest of your web pages to differentiate them from the content part. Examples of other page categories use: "Sales", "Home" and "Other". Check with your IT team what structure these pages have in order to configure them properly.
3. Go to the “Main Conversion Routes" option. For this, in Google Analytics visit the following sequence: Conversions → Multi Channel Funnels → Main Conversion Routes. Upon reaching that section, a table similar to this will appear:
4. Change the way you sort the information, choose “Channel Groups” and select the recently created combination.
5. The table will update similarly to the image. Now you can see what impact the visits of the content had to the sales and / or conversions.
6. Export the information. Do not forget to define the cut-off dates (we recommend a month of information for export) and historic data for comparison (at least 30 days before the conversion). Select the export in CSV format to better handle the information.
In this case, columns were created to identify the total number of “Content” interactions with respect to the total, the proportion was defined and multiplied by the conversion value to obtain the estimated revenue generated by the content. We are using the Linear Attribution Model developed by Avinash Kaushik.
8. Next, there is only a small Cash Flow that includes the costs of generating content and additional monthly income. In the example, to facilitate the explanation, the same performance is assumed during all months. The period of recovery of the investment is 1.2 months, and after 5 months 315% of the investment is recovered.
We hope this information has helped you to better quantify the benefits of having content on your Travel website. While there are quite a few ways to estimate them, this is one of the simplest and most equitable, as it gives equal weight to interactions with content versus other types of page. In the future you can define the weights depending on how important you want to give each of your sections.
Are you ready to generate interactive content that is of value to your users? Boost your travel website with our tourism marketing software. Create, update and measure your travel content with our route technology. Watch a free demo here.