Content Measurement: How Brand Storytelling Saves Money – Sarah Panus – Episode 80

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How to measure your brand content. You think about how to show the impact your brand storytelling content is having on the business. How much is it generating? BUT—what about how much money your content is SAVING your company? Sarah shares how to think about this in your next monthly metrics dashboard report at work.

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

Three examples of storytelling content saving your company money…

  • Storytelling through answering your customers questions
  • SEO: search engine optimization value
  • Earned PR placements

Full Podcast Transcription

Sarah Panus:
We all know the question of proving what our brand storytelling work does to our business. How is it impacting our business? What is the benefit we’re seeing from our storytelling work? Right? Those are things we are constantly working to show, to prove, to demonstrate, to track. Today, I’m gonna talk to you about a different way of looking at how you can measure your content, improve the value to your organization. Which is instead of the question, how much money is the storytelling content making for the company? I’m gonna talk to you about how much money is your content saving your company. And that’s what we’re getting into today.

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey Kindred Speakers. Welcome back to another episode of Marketing With Empathy podcast, where we cover all things for content marketers working inside a brand and helping you figure out how to better tell your stories and get them out there. So today I wanna talk about measuring content, obviously, very top of mind for all of us professionals and the storytelling content that we create sometimes can be tricky to track, right? Like we can’t track every single thing of anything really. But with storytelling sometimes because it’s so upper funnel and any upper funnel tactics, they can be trickier and you have to be more creative about how you’re tracking things and pixels you’re putting in place and partners you’re using and lift studies and all the things, right. 

Sarah Panus:
And so I’ve a ton of experience doing that over the last 20 years for very large brands. And one of the things I wanted to talk with you about today was, is something that I’ve seen come up as another benefit of measuring your content, which is instead of how much money is it generating for your company. You can look at how much money is it saving your company by having the storytelling content live and how I, I love looking at it this way too and compliment. So I’m not saying this is the only way I wanna give you a quick tip idea on how else you may be able to measure the value of what your storytelling content is doing inside of your organization. So that is what we’re gonna get into today after a quick word from our sponsors. And I’ll be right back to give you all the juice. 

Three examples of storytelling content saving your money

Sarah Panus:
All right. So how is your storytelling content saving your company money? How can you show how your budget is paying for itself? And then some you’re, you’re self serving. There’s three examples. I wanna highlight for you based on my experience that I’ve seen. And when I bring ’em up, usually the first one, especially people are always like, huh? Like people don’t think about it this way. And so I really hope something here strikes a chord with you. So the first example is to think about, I had a great example of how you think about calls and emails and things that are coming into your customer service center questions that your employees are getting asked by your customers. And I had this happen with a large retailer. I worked with where we were talking through and, and saying, okay, well, what are some of the questions that people ask about our product or after they get it, or advice that they’re looking for? 

storytelling through answering your customers questions

Sarah Panus:
And what if we created some storytelling content online that could answer some of those questions, it could walk them through it on their own. And in one of the programs we created this whole free online sleep wellness program to really help educate people about the benefits of sleep for a previous client slash employer of mine. And what we did was we said, okay, internally with the customer service center knew how much it cost them per call coming in, or per email or chat, or, you know, all the different forms of that you may have for answering your customer questions. So they would say, okay, it’s X dollars. It costs the company X dollars to answer these questions. What if then you created content that could answer some of those questions, direct people to it, share that out. Then you can measure if there’s a decrease in the call volume, that’s coming into your customer service center. 

Sarah Panus:
And so therefore you can show, Hey, our storytelling content is actually reducing the amount of time that we need to pay internally to have people answer these questions. It’s a lot more efficient. It makes those conversations quicker. It adds more value to the customer because we’re walking them through step by step. We’re giving real examples of things other customers have done, or freeze wellness programs that they could go and try on their own to, to, to help enhance the experience that they have with the product, things like that. Right? So that is an amazing one. If you think about it and cuz then you can communicate and say, oh man, not only is our storytelling content help helping generate leads that are ultimately gonna be converting and driving sales or diff whatever your action is, signups volunteers, things like that. But you can also then say, Hey, our storytelling content that we’ve created is actually saving the company money because we’ve noticed, you know, a 20% decrease in calls on this topic over the last quarter, as a result of, since this content went live. 

SEO: search engine optimization value

Sarah Panus:
So that’s one example of something you can think about creatively to show the second is SEO value. So SEO search engine optimization look at how much that storytelling content that you’re creating as it starts ranking in search engines and that’s organic, it’s not paid SCM placements. So what you can do is you can calculate the value of if we had to pay to have our content rank on the first page of Google in these spots, even the second page, third page of Google, but really focus on the first page of Google since that’s what most people stick on and they don’t go past, but look at the value and say, if we had to pay for these placements through paid SCM, how much would it cost? And we’re not paying for that. This content is organically ranking because of the value in the content we’ve leaned into SEO queries, we know keywords and phrases and long tail terms that people are interested in and we’ve optimized our content for that. 

Sarah Panus:
And so, Hey, it’s organically ranking. So that’s another way you can show SEO value over the course of a whole year. You know, every quarter, every month reporting on that to show again how much money your content is actually saving the company money you’re out there getting eyeballs. It’s like kinda, it’s like free advertising. If you look at it that way, I know it’s not free, cuz it still takes time on the back end to prepare all this stuff. But for the sake of the argument, you know what I’m saying, we’re not paying to amplify it with from an ad budget on top of creating the content. So SEO value is the second one. And then the third way to measure how your company’s saving you money is through earned PR placements. So if you have a really amazing content campaign or initiative, and you’re able to get some earned media coverage as a result of this content where they’re talking about it and sharing it, that is another great way that you can measure. 

earned pr placements

Sarah Panus:
What’s the value of this free earned media placements. You know, in other words, how, how much would you have had to have paid to get an article or a write up about you on that publication site or if it’s in print? Or if it’s on the news, how much would that have cost? You know, and you can, you can save from a value perspective, we’ve saved this much money because we create not only do we create this amazing content, it’s also earning us some free media coverage where customers can see this from like a third party to get the word out about what we do. So those are three really quick ways to think about a different way of measuring your content in terms of how much it’s saving your company money. So I would encourage you as you’re thinking about your content dashboards and what you report out on for your monthly business reviews or whatever types of check-ins that you have at, at a frequent basis. 

Sarah Panus:
Think about, is there another metric? Is there another team you could reach out to a partner internally or externally that could help you measure some of this and get some insights even just to explore it, first of all, to see, you know, does it work? How can we measure it this way? Or what information would, what, what else would we need to put in place to be able to understand this and bring it up, have those conversations internally because obviously everyone loves stretching their budgets as much and as far as you can, right? And I know right now a lot of, a lot of companies are feeling the squeeze with the way the economy is and budgets are lean or tight or extra scrutinized. And so it’s another great way to show the value that your brand storytelling content can add and benefit to your business. So that’s it for today real quick tip episode. I hope that was helpful. If you have any other questions on this or would love to give me any feedback or follow up, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. You can follow me at Sarah Panus or email me at sarah@kindredspeak.com and that’s Sarah with an H. So we’ll be back next week for another topic to help all of you content marketing professionals out there. So until next time, Kindred Speakers.

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Sarah Panus:
If you’re hearing my voice right now, you’re likely a corporate content marketer of some kind, looking to level up your brand storytelling career. What would it feel like to have the skills, confidence, and know how to advance your brand storytelling results and love the work you’re doing in an ideal world. You and your content team are high level strategic thinkers that know how to humanize your brand to drive seven X engagements and actions. You have the right creative mindset to attract your ideal audience and build brand trust and loyalty through storytelling. You’re viewed as top performers in the company and brand storytelling is valued because it’s driving business results and supporting multiple channel teams, but things don’t always go our way, right? Maybe your brand lacks, a cohesive content strategy, maybe you and your team are asked to deliver a lot for your company. And it’s hard to keep up.

Sarah Panus:
You know you need to invest in figuring out next steps in your company’s brand storytelling plans, but haven’t had the time to figure out how yet. And you need help integrating it across the organization. You personally want to level up your skills because you know, you need to know how to do these things to advance in your career. You want your work to be valued so that you love coming to work each day, attracting leads, increasing repeat, and referral actions or creating a loved brand. And in this competitive market, you’re looking for ways to stay competitive, for yourself or retaining and attracting top talent for your company. That’s why I created the Brand Storytelling Academy, a hands on three month group training program designed to help corporate content marketers attract upper funnel leads that drive bottom funnel results through storytelling. For one sixth of the cost to hire a person on the team or onboard a high level brand storytelling strategist, you and up to five people on your team can be developing and accelerating your brand storytelling skills. Think of it like a college certification program for you and your team, but you get the knowledge a lot quicker and your professor, me, has 20 years of hands on experience guiding you along the way. Curious? Fill out the application at kindredspeak.com/apply to learn more and I’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and discuss if it’s a good fit. Go to kindredspeak.com/apply.

ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.