August 22, 2014

How to Measure a Case Study’s Performance

In this three-part blogging series, “3 Phases to Turn a Case Study into an Effective Marketing Tool,” we’ve discovered “5 Steps to Craft a Case Study’s Content Strategy” and “How to Build a Case Study’s Online Distribution Strategy.” For this last post, we’ll explore how to measure and evaluate an effective case study.

With an abundance of Website and social-media tracking software available today — including free analytics such as Google Analytics and Webstats BASIC — tracking online statistics has become more and more accessible for small businesses.

Digital marketers have access to in-depth measurements to track who’s visiting their site and what they’re doing once they get there; calculate their return on investment for both online and offline campaigns; and estimate their social popularity. But when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your case study, choosing the right metrics to track and understanding what they mean are the keys to success.

Take, for example, an increase in unique visitors. This can be a positive indication, but if you look deeper into the stats and realize there is a high bounce rate due to visitors jumping right away, it’s not doing your business much good.

By aligning your metrics with your campaign objectives (see “5 Steps to Craft a Case Study’s Content Strategy”) and the buying cycle that your digital marketers are attempting to influence, however, you can achieve an in-depth picture of your case study’s performance. It’s a simple way to understand your metrics and evaluate your case study’s overall performance. Though there are hundreds of metrics to track, in the interest of time and space I’ve depicted a simplistic illustration below. Depending on the complexity of your campaign and its objectives, specific statistics likely will need to be adjusted.

Buying Cycle Stage 1: Company/Product Awareness

First, track metrics that indicate an increase in brand and/or product awareness. For example, analyze increases in Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social connections. Track newsletter sign-ups, blog subscriptions and additional connections to company materials used to distribute your case study.

In addition, review traffic spikes on your homepage and the landing page where your case study resides. Look for increased page views here, an uptick in unique visitors and a jump in campaign-specific keyword rankings. If you’re running an AdWords campaign for the case study, be sure to review impressions and click-through rates, as well.

Buying Cycle Stage 2: Research and Consideration

Next, measure the amount and depth of customer interaction with your organization. Are visitors commenting on your blog, posting on your Facebook Wall or retweeting your case study? Are they clicking on links embedded in your newsletter and then downloading your case study?

Then, analyze the time spent by visitors on the case study landing page and homepage, and dig deeper to find out where they navigated from there. Most importantly, measure how many of those visitors converted into leads.

Buying Cycle Stage 3: Purchase

Finally, it’s time to measure your campaign’s overall performance. Track the number of leads that converted into customers and then determine your cost per customer (Total Case Study Costs / # Customers Generated). Also, calculate your campaign’s return on investment (Revenue – Cost / Cost) to determine its true value.

Now that you’ve designed a metrics system aligned with your campaign, you can tweak and improve its performance based on the results.

What other metrics have you found to be helpful? Do you use a specific campaign tracking software that you’d recommend to readers? Please share what you’ve found to be helpful in gaining the best possible results for your campaign.

4 Comments ▼

Lyndsey Frey


Lyndsey Frey Lyndsey Frey is a freelance writer and editor who has written and edited articles for Inside Business, Smart Business, West Shore's Live Well, Cleveland and Internet Retailer magazines, as well as the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University. In addition, she ghost-wrote a business financial-planning book, "Reducing Fiduciary Liability." She spent the last two years as a PR consultant, where she advised clients on content marketing, social-media marketing, Website development, search-engine optimization and public relations.

4 Reactions

  1. Hi Lindsey
    I see this over and over, too:

    “Take, for example, an increase in unique visitors. This can be a positive indication, but if you look deeper into the stats and realize there is a high bounce rate due to visitors jumping right away, it

  2. Hi TJ! I’ll have to check out the radio show. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Lyndsey Frey,

    I have to “chew” your post for some time and then go back to the other posts in this series and reread them.

    TJ: Do you know about campaign tracking software?

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