How do you measure success as a brand?
There are lots of ways that probably come to mind immediately. Money is a big one: Units sold, services provided, profits made. Or how about critical acclaim? Five star ratings, year-end lists, glowing testimonials from industry leaders…there are too many metrics to name without boring you to tears.
Deciding on what specifically you value and what victories you intend to pursue is one of the greatest challenges for any brand or company. Thanks to modern technology, we can keep track of more video metrics with greater precision than ever before – which means that your brand has more choices to make than ever before, too.
So what approach will you take? Some brands decide to operate at a tremendous loss for years in order to fully dominate their chosen market, while others slowly build niche audiences through ultra-targeted advertising and carefully cultivated reviews. But in the world of content marketing, especially video content marketing, industry experts agree that certain metrics continually rise to the top. What may come as a surprise, however, is the way that these valuable metrics tend to defy traditional expectations of success.
Rather than focus on short-term instant gratification, more and more businesses are focussing on meticulously crafted customer-based metrics. And while we’re not advising you to eschew measuring how many emails your reps send or how many product demos they schedule, this burgeoning school of thought is one that has already begun to make an impact on content marketing – and will continue to do so in the future.
Here are a few of the most valuable “new” metrics that will matter most for your brand.
What does it mean to have a “loyal” customer? Do they need to get down on one knee and swear unwavering dedication to your brand, like a medieval knight? Not exactly, but there are some similarities – namely that Customer Loyalty primarily measures the degree that your customers are willing to represent your brand in their own lives.
To track Customer Loyalty, keep stock of both your Customer’s stated intentions (“Would you recommend this brand to friends?”) and their eventual actions (“Did you recommend this brand to friends?”) to figure out what might be keeping them spreading your brand gospel. Keep in mind, people don’t buy from companies. They buy from other people, which is why organic grassroots promotion from loyal customers is so essential to maintain.
While this one might seem a bit obvious (“Was the customer happy? Yes or no?”) there are hidden depths to unpeel and explore. Customer Satisfaction is a cumulative metric, referring to not only their feelings towards any brand personnel that they interacted with, but also towards your product or service. This is about the sum experience of their interaction with your brand, which will greatly affect whether or not they become a returning customer in the future.
Try to measure initial Customer Satisfaction with a quick survey – preferably one with some sort of incentive, like a discount code for those who complete it. Not only will this help you get an immediate grasp on what specific areas of your experience need improving, but the small prize should help boost satisfaction even further in hindsight.
Everybody’s heard of “customer retention,” but what about its inverse? Customer Churn refers to the amount of customers who do not return to your brand consistently – or abandon your brand altogether. To keep track of churn, select any meaningful time frame for your business (maybe a few months for the holiday season, or maybe just an average week) and calculate how many previous customers did not return during it, compared to previous subsets of a similar frame.
How many new customers have you gained compared to the number lost? And how can you work to improve that figure in the future? By measuring Customer Churn, you can expediently determine if any specific reps in your company are doing a subpar job at maintaining customer relationships, or if any outside factors might be impacting multiple customers at once – a dramatic shift in the overall market, for example.
Arguably the most important metric out of all these is also, ironically, the most difficult to pin down. Customer Success measures whether or not what you’re creating for your patrons is providing them with any value. However, that “value” can be almost anything, depending on the product and the person purchasing it. Luckily, all value has something in common. As long as you have managed to alleviate their pain and their stress, or to make an actual impact on their lives, then you are contributing value and generating Customer Success.
Following up with former customers down the line is a great way to measure their degree of Success and see if their purchase has panned out for them. Just remember, Customer Success is not a static concept. It’s a constantly moving target, because you can always provide ongoing support to your customers at any point in their journey.
Customer Lifetime Value
This is where we get back into numbers and profits again. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) refers to the grand total revenue that you can expect a single customer to generate over the course of their relationship with your brand. While this may feel somewhat detached or morbid because it involves predicting the lifespan of your customers, it is still an invaluable metric for figuring out how successful your brand will be with them across many years – and how much value you can ultimately provide for each individual in return.
If a customer’s CLV increases over time, it suggests that you are on the right track and are encouraging their potential. If it decreases, then that means there is room for improvement, and that there may be flaws to uncover in your user experience. One time transactions are passé, so make sure to plan for years-long relationships with every potential buyer.
Customer Retention Cost
One of the most valuable metrics to keep track of in content marketing is ROI: Return on Investment, which boils down to how much money you make for every dollar you spend. Similarly, Customer Retention Cost (CRC) is a metric that measures the amount your brand is spending to keep each individual customer coming back.
From the general costs of marketing to the payroll of your customer service team, CRC can add up quickly when thoroughly examined. Make sure that your team is monitoring their CRC before investing in costly new initiatives, so that you can maintain a careful balance of attracting fresh customers and maintaining relationships with your existing base.
Learning To Relate
While the ultimate goal of these metrics is the same as for any (to generate profit and spread brand awareness) their difference is the personal, positive touch that they bring to the process. All of these metrics relate to the customer’s success, as well as your own. By examining what truly makes your buyers happy, you can work together to build better relationships with them – and mutually profit from each other, too.