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'Stories & Numbers' - A Framework for Measuring Engagement


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Learnings from the Live Web:
presented at MCN 2009 in Portland, Oregon

Published in: Business, Technology
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'Stories & Numbers' - A Framework for Measuring Engagement

  1. 1. Learnings from the live web: ‘ Stories & Numbers’ A Framework for Measuring Engagement MCN 2009 Dr. Jason Ryan, iCrossing
  2. 2. Introduction This presentation 1. Background/context 2. What is engagement? 3. Framework for measurement 4. Case study 5. The ROI of engagement 6. Opportunities/challenges for Museums About me Working in digital for 14 years Joined Cogapp in 1998 - many projects with Museums & Galleries UX and consultancy work for cultural, government and commercial clients Left Cogapp in 2007 to join iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency
  3. 3. Context – online has changed, is changing… <ul><li>We started by adapting existing models – </li></ul><ul><li>marketing </li></ul><ul><li>catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>structures </li></ul><ul><li>collections </li></ul>Somewhere along the way realised it was about doing things differently… Explosion of content creation and distribution tools = disruptive From passive online consumers to active participants Users increasingly building their own interfaces to and contexts for our content The web IS social Everyone is having to adapt…
  4. 4. Many organizations see their website as the sum total of their online existence – but every organization will always exist in a far broader network - the question is how we choose to listen to and engage with those networks The network view
  5. 5. Designing a distributed web experience
  6. 6. Measurement models need to change Web analytics is about individual “eyeballs on page” metrics such as visits and time spent on site Analytics is often ignored – it needs to work with qualitative observations to tell a better story and understand what success online looks like But visitors complete actions such as commenting and watching videos that can not be tracked by simply calculating time on site And people interact with a site’s content by sharing and discussing it in the broader network - on blogs, forums, social networks and content streams and feeds. How do we evaluate visitor engagement that takes place off our owned website? What can we learn from that offsite engagement?
  7. 7. Measurement models need to change Recognising the user as active participant – and considering the total online experience – not just the onsite experience There is a paradigm shift underway from mass media measures (traffic) to engagement measures Active attention Deliberate actions Brand and content advocacy Development of a user-centric Engagement Framework which recognises: Awareness, Actions and Advocacy
  8. 8. Advocacy (Creators) Actions (Contributors) Awareness (Consumers) A user-centric framework Volume & Brand Control
  9. 9. Foundations
  10. 11. A Method – Engagement Scorecard
  11. 12. Channel 4: Bow Street Runner Channel 4 is one of 4 terrestrial broadcasters in the UK It has a public service broadcasting remit – including education programming It was felt that education programming was not reaching the intended audience Channel 4 took the bold step of taking all education programming online - Including taking content to the audience iCrossing did a pilot project with Channel 4 to measure engagement with the educational flash game 'Bow Street Runner' Bow Street Runner is historical role playing game set in Georgian London – and explores the foundation of the first police force
  12. 13. Channel 4: Bow Street Runner
  13. 14. Bow Street Runner The Game An episodic 5-part RPG built by Littleloud based on the 5 part TV series City Of Vice Features video shot in high-definition The game was not marketed – awareness and traffic was driven solely by social media outreach – seeding content on relevant blogs Players are Bow Street Runners Level up from Runner to Chief Inspector Investigate crime > Collect evidence > Present case > Solve crime
  14. 15. To understand the landscape of the networks in which our potential audience exists Objectives To understand how users engaged with the game outside of the Channel 4 networks To measure the effectiveness of the social media seeding plan To measure how awareness spreads within the network To evaluate the Measuring Engagement framework
  15. 16. 1 Discovering Engagement Online <ul><li>Engagement with online content is distributed across networks </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple measurements at multiple points are required to capture all interactions </li></ul>Influential sites Social networking Forums Social bookmarking
  16. 17. Involvement: Are people coming to the site & playing the game? Interaction: How far do they get in the game, do they come back, do they interact with other users and Channel 4? Intimacy: What do they feel about the game, do they bookmark it? Influence: How far do users spread knowledge of the game through associated networks? A Method – Engagement Scorecard
  17. 20. Going beyond Web Analytics Web Analytics Engagement Metrics Visits Visits Time on Page Time on Page Bounce Rate Bounce Rate Comments on c4 forum Rank & Esteem data Return Visits Email Sign-up Comments on non-C4 sites Positive Sentiment Negative Sentiment # Tags/ Bookmarks Links # Influential Blogs Influential Blogs: Positive Sentiment Influential Blogs: Negative Sentiment Page Rank Average Search Engine Ranking City of Vice Viewing Figures
  18. 21. Results
  19. 22. Intimacy
  20. 23. I finished the 3rd game but missed the esteem points at the end. I wanted to play 3 again but it had already saved my password for game 4 which doesn't exist yet. The password for 3 is gone. If I want to play it again, I have to start over… I’m not going to do that 1 Based on what I read, I thought the episodes were supposed to come out every Monday, but Ep. 2 took an entire month to show up. Hopefully… we'll be seeing a weekly release schedule from here on 2 I was hoping episode four would be up today, following the general weekly pattern lately, but seems not 4 Oh brother... on episode 2 with the nails in the hatch... whenever I try to pull them upwards I get my mouse outside the screen and I have to start all over!!! This happened twice now … this is sooooo frustrating 3 Makes me wish for programs of similar quality to be developed here for education. Imagine doing problem-based learning in this format… today’s kids would want something a bit edgier and more interactive. Who’d be up to the task? Discovery Learning? The History Channel? 1 Flash loading problems Release Dates Passcodes Loading Time Gameplay frustrations Negative Sentiment
  21. 24. The game is really well done and uses a pretty decent cast of actors… the actors are caught in full-motion and talk in real time 1 Historically accurate detective game where you have to investigate the locations in order to find clues and evidence 3 The game was created as a companion to the UK television series City of Vice and is not only well-acted, but also takes great pains to be historically accurate 2 Bow Street Runner … is a murder mystery that takes place in the seedier neighborhoods of Georgian London… you poke around at things, talk to people, and little by little the facts are uncovered 4 Gameplay Actors Plot Atmosphere Positive Sentiment
  22. 25. Seeding Networks Network map snapshot for Bow Street Runner
  23. 26. Traffic Source – first 6 weeks <ul><li>Over 300,000 visits in the first 6 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic from referring sites accounts for most visits > 75% </li></ul>
  24. 27. Performance of Seeded Sites <ul><li>35% of all traffic came from 17 seeded sites; over 75% of all traffic from extended network </li></ul><ul><li>Top 4 seeded sites each sent more than 10,000 visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 17 seeded sites, 8 sent more than 1,000 visits to the game </li></ul><ul><li>Sites from Turkey, Brazil, Japan and Taiwan also sent more than 10,000 visitors </li></ul>Seeded sites Non-seeded, UK Non-seeded, non-UK
  25. 28. Total Playing Time 47,826 hours
  26. 29. Seeding Networks - Insights The blog seeding of BSR was very successful in attracting gamers <ul><ul><li>Seeded sites also attracted links from other gaming websites </li></ul></ul>Seeding drove majority of traffic to game (>75%) Seeded sites attracted nearly 1000 links between them Traffic for the game never reached the same level after the initial seeding <ul><ul><li>The sites identified through direct response info, web stats, and desk research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeding was done too early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeding could also have targeted ‘gatekeeper’ and 14-19 year old demographic </li></ul></ul>
  27. 30. Outcomes
  28. 31. The importance of social tools to encourage Discussion and Advocacy Insight into the effect of decisions – (beta, delays emails) Sentiment fed into the design and allowed fixes to be prioritised Understanding how quickly the community take ownership of the product Seeding worked driving 75% of the traffic Outcomes Provided a benchmark for similar initiatives
  29. 32. Moved from a small Education pilot to contract to measure online engagement for the whole ‘Disarming Britain’ TV series and related online activity Highlighted the real possibility of an AGILE PLANNING FRAMEWORK – from seeding to creative execution Validation of the approach and framework – led to a Forrester Case Study – the first on Measuring Engagement Outcomes What if marketing and creative just got better over the course of a campaign?
  30. 33. Street Crime Season
  31. 34. Disarming Britain blog: Network growth Week Two Week Four Week Ten Week Eight Week Six External incoming link Blog Post/Page
  32. 35. Top Referring Sites to C4 MicroSite (you don’t always get what you want) Airgun Enthusiasts US Rifle Enthusiasts Anti-Knife Community Grime Fans Community Football Community Q&A Site Pro Gun Ex- Soldier Dutch Blog Gun Advertising Community Action Site
  33. 36. Disarming Britain Season – themes of discussion Themes of wider discussion Glamorisation of violent crime Issues relating to child discipline in school and in the home Mentioned in the news alongside the Home Office campaign and reports of fatal stabbings Media scaremongering
  34. 37. Channel 4 & Home Office Bebo friend networks Friends with one profile Contributed content to both profiles (Comment or Whiteboard post) Friends with both profiles
  35. 38. Which content drives traffic “ Spy shots of McLaren P11 supercar” “ McLaren P11 pictures surface” “ Nissan's Nuvu: electric, cartoonish” “ Aston Martin and Mercedes 'to strike £235m (€300m) deal‘” “ Test Drives Audi's new S4!”
  36. 39. The value of content Visit Value Link Value Total Value this month: The value of content…
  37. 40. Summary – Outcomes & Insights The user-centric framework is a useful tool for evaluating user engagement Ability to measure ROI for government and non-profit organisations in terms of social impact Potential to benchmark and index engagement scores by web traffic Always design-in measurement Don’t be limited by analytics tools – aggregate everything! “ Numbers & stories” – is a practical approach that allows analytics insights to ‘travel’ within organisations
  38. 41. Thoughts about Museums Web visits is a metric that is ‘understandable’ to Museums – it is rooted in the real world How many Museums go beyond visits and page views as the primary measure and attempt to evaluate how engaged visitors are ? With more and more free quality content and media online, Museums, as well as commercial brands, face competition for attention Unlike many commerical ‘brands’ Museums have rich and potentially very engaging online content <ul><li>By extending their measurement models Museums can: </li></ul><ul><li>drive more traffic </li></ul><ul><li>provide better experiences, and </li></ul><ul><li>even find better ways to monetise their content </li></ul>
  39. 42. JASON RYAN VP, Head of User Experience, iCrossing UK +44 (0) 1237 828 146 [email_address] thank you.
  40. 43. What is engagement? Awareness: H ave people heard about you? How do you know? Conversation: What is depth and quality of the conversation? Advocacy: Who are the influencers? What are they saying about you? Actions: What actions are being taken? Sales, downloads, subscriptions, ratings? A relationship