Audience Scoring - A Model to Measure Engagement

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This blog is sponsored content by a 2016 BIMS sponsor: Real Magnet

Understanding the content that is most engaging to your audience, as well as how, where, and when they engage is critical to your business. Many publishers use scoring models as a means to quantify and compare engagement.

Clearly, no two publishers are quite the same, so any particular scoring model would need to be tailored to meet the specific needs and priorities of a given company. However, there is general agreement in terms of the types of interactions that should be scored. Please note that the score values below are provided as examples only.

Email Interactions: Almost every engagement scoring model includes email opens and clicks. Generally, clicks have higher scores – e.g. +10 for a click vs. +2 for an open – to account for the higher level of engagement. Depending on the types of emails you send, you might have different scores for different types of clicks. For example, clicking on an article in a newsletter might score differently than clicking on an ad in the same newsletter. Or, clicking in a newsletter email might score differently than clicking on a promotional email.

Website Visits: Your website is the center of most engagement, so scoring visits is a no-brainer. You might want to extend the model to vary scores for different types of pages. For example, a public blog post (+5) might not rank has highly as subscriber-only or other premium content (+10). Similarly, visits to interior pages or sub-pages of your site (+10) might rank more highly than visits to the home page (+5). Visit frequency might also play a role in your scoring approach. For example, someone who visits multiple unique pages in a single day might get “bonus points.”

Social Media: Social media engagement is an important component of an overall scoring model. That your audience is both aware of and taking action based on your social media activity is meaningful. However, be careful to calibrate social scoring, so that particularly active participants don’t skew your overall numbers. For example, give the first social action a +10 score, but subsequent actions in the same month might only get +1 or +2.

Events: Both in-person and online events provide another key metric for subscriber engagement. If your company hosts meetings, seminars or webinars for customers and prospects, incorporating event registration and attendance into your scoring model is a must. For example, completing the event registration might score +15, while attending the event might be +25. Those who abandon the event registration page - who click through to the page, but do not complete the form - deserve special attention. To be sure they rise to the top of your list, you may want to give them a particularly high score (e.g. +50).  Subsequent to the event you may want to give negative scores (e.g. -15) to no shows. “

Participation / Purchases: Certainly, any time a person completes a form on your website to download content, pays to attend an event, or requests information, it indicates a high level of engagement. So, these types of interactions should be scored accordingly (e.g. +25). Other forms of participation, such as commenting on blog posts or completing a profile in your online community, should also garner high scores. Purchases should merit particularly high scores, due to the level of commitment demonstrated.

Depending on your business model, you may want to develop multiple types of scores. For example, you might want to have an “advertising score” which measures user interactions with advertisements separately from native content. Top performing marketing automation platforms not only allow you to create multiple lead score campaigns, they also enable you to score transactions that take place outside of the marketing automation platform,  such as attending a webinar or physical event.

At the end of the day, your scoring model should help you determine which of your users are most engaged, what content engages them, and through which marketing channels they engage.

Allison Allison is the Marketing Communications Manager at SIIA.