5 Metrics That Will Increase CEO Interest in the Corporate Blog
This blog originally appeared on Whittington Consulting's Online Results blog.
CEOs are notoriously numbers driven. They care about numbers and results, not editorial schedules and topic brainstorms. And the only thing the want to know about the corporate blog is that it drives growth in reach, conversions, and the bottom line.
As a marketer, it’s up to you to translate the performance of the corporate blog into data that the CEO actually cares about. Fortunately, more and more of these useful metrics come to light as marketing technology develops. This makes it easier for you to do your job and report on it in a digestible way to the people who matter.
Here’s a look at five metrics you can use to translate the performance of your corporate blog into real value for your CEO or C-Suite.
1. Overall Reach Metrics
Overall reach metrics such as visitors, downloads, and page views can be success indicators to use when talking to your CEO about the corporate blog, but they have to be put into context.
Compare these metrics in terms of a trade show or live marketing event. How much do you invest in reaching 500 target customers at an in-person event? Then compare that rate to the cost of maintaining a blog that reaches 500 target customers per month (or more). Using these numbers to directly compare the reach of your corporate blog will clearly articulate the value to your CEO.
2. Networking Reach Metrics
Beyond the overall reach of your blog, you should also report on how your blog receives is found. Report referrals, inbound links from other websites and visits from search engines as evidence that your corporate blog efforts are attracting new visitors, existing customers or curious journalists.
You can also compare your website traffic to your competitors using Alexa.com. While this number is a ranking and is not exact, it can help to clue your CEO in on the impact your blog has on closing competitive awareness gaps or widening a competitive advantage. Convince and Convert cites Open Site Explorer as a useful tool for tracking and reporting on this information.
3. Lead Generation Metrics
Lead generation metrics are more closely tied to the bottom line than website visitors, so they’re much more interesting to your C-Suite. Report on form completion data you’re gathering through your blog and content efforts from call-to-actions, landing pages and contact forms, then report on the percentage of those leads that sales deems “prospects.”
This will help your CEO clearly see the impact your corporate blog has on generating sales opportunities for your company.
4. Lifelong Email List Metrics
Beyond initial lead generation, take a look at your email list metrics to consider which email newsletter campaigns or types appeal to subscribers and existing customers that have been on your list for a long period of time. These are customers who have signed up to stay connected with your company in the long run to keep updated with what you’re doing and gain a competitive edge using your insights.
These customers are often more valuable because they are invested in a long-term, loyal relationship. By tracking this information (such as revenue per 1,000 emails sent), you can arrive at a figure that represents the value of these long-term email newsletter subscribers.
5. Sales Generation Metrics
Obviously your CEO is interested in sales that are directly attributed to the corporate blog. Since your blog is a gateway for people finding your website, you’ll find that some of people that read your blog and become leads also become customers.
Because the B2B sales cycle isn’t immediate, having a CRM in place to follow people who found your blog through the customer journey is critical to showing sales generation metrics to your CEO. However, include this number in the context of these other metrics to show that much of your corporate blog efforts are investments in relationships that lead to future business, not immediate payouts.
Your corporate blog is a valuable resource for driving business growth and development over time. Show your CEO the company blog’s value by reporting on these metrics on a regular basis. Don’t let the lack of data doom your hard work planning and writing your blog. Translate your blog performance into real numbers and data to validate your efforts and increase understanding in the C-Suite.
The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies
I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following:
Chris Skinner, a financial technology author, said it was “complete rubbish” to suggest the main use of cryptocurrencies was criminal. “There is some criminal activity associated with some cryptocurrencies but it is quite minimal,” he said. “It’s a myth that the financial community want to promote.”
I feel I need to explain this further, so here goes.
My response was in answer to Vasant Prabhu, Chief Financial Officer of Visa (the card network) who made two claims:
1) Most people have no idea what they’re doing with cryptocurrency investments; and
2) Cryptocurrencies are mainly being used by criminals.
With the first point, I agree. In fact, I loved the John Oliver Show that discussed crypto and started with the line that cryptocurrencies are “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers”. A perfect combination for idiots to invest in. I agree with both Vasant and John, as many people are buying cryptocurrencies for no other reason than other people are buying them.
The second point I completely disagree with. Mr Prabhu said cryptocurrencies were a “favourite” for criminals.
“It’s very hard to get dirty money through a banking system. Cryptocurrency is phenomenal for all that stuff . . . Every crook and every dirty politician in the world, I bet, is in cryptocurrency.”
This is complete baloney and is a smokescreen being created by financial people to deflect the real purpose of cryptocurrencies, which is to use software and servers to manage value rather than buildings and humans. In other words, cryptocurrencies have the opportunity to reduce or even replace banks, which is why I find it interesting how often I hear a financial person say that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are just for criminals when it’s blatantly not true. Unfortunately because they are in a position of authority, politicians believe them; and unfortunately, because they are also in a position of authority, the media believes them; and unfortunately, because they are in a position of authority, the public sometimes believes them too.
Most law enforcement authorities however, state that the levels of criminal activity with cryptocurrencies is so tiny today that it doesn’t matter and, specifically, does not warrant deflecting their time and energy to investigate them. Just to illustrate this, the total worldwide investment in all cryptocurrencies is around $300 billion today. Even if criminals were running 10% of that, it’s still just $30 billion. That is an insignificant amount compared to the trillions being laundered through the traditional financial system, mainly through offshore companies buying up properties.
From The Telegraph, November 2017:
Organised crime generates income equivalent to around 2.7pc of global GDP. Around $1.6 trillion of this is laundered to disguise its criminal origins: financial crime is undoubtedly a worldwide problem.
From What Mortgage, February 2018:
Julian Dixon, CEO of Fortytwo Data, whose research found that more than a third (37%) of all suspicious activity reports (SAR) across the entire legal sector were related to property: “For criminals, the vast amount of cash involved in property purchases provides the perfect cover for laundering the proceeds of drugs, terrorism and firearms offences.
From The Times, February 2018:
Rob Wainwright, director of [Europol], revealed that 3 to 4 per cent of the £100 billion of illicit cash circulating in Europe is laundered through anonymous digital currencies such as bitcoin.
So that’s around £4 billion max right now. That’s less than a particle of a drop in the ocean of crime globally.
Now, the concern may be that cryptocurrencies offers the opportunity to launder funds. This is possibly true and is why I said there is some criminal activity with some cryptocurrencies which is tiny today, but might grow over time. Even then, it is speculative and too early to call. For example, that paragraph from The Times is factually incorrect, as bitcoin is not anonymous. In fact, nearly all digital transactions can be tracked and traced online, and therefore offer the worst use case for money laundering.
This is why the only currency that criminals currently use in any volume for illicit activity is Monero, because it is nearly an equivalent of digital cash. Nevertheless, the total market cap of Monero is $3 billion, and even if half of that is criminal activity, it’s totally insignificant on a global scale.
All in all, it is obvious that most financial people have created this myth of criminals opting for cryptocurrencies for two reasons:
1) it is to protect their turf, as they don’t want to lose their role as intermediators of finance; and
2) it is to deflect the authorities from looking at the true perpetrators of illicit monetary activity, namely the banking system.
Bear these two points in mind when I say that banks were built for the physical distribution of paper, which is why cash and property are the physical assets that are the preference of criminal choice. If you didn’t know it, London is actually the money laundering capital of the world:
- British registered companies and British-based banks helped move at least $20 billion of the proceeds of criminal activities out of Russia between 2010 and 2014.
- Transparency International’s research found 766 UK corporate vehicles involved in 52 large scale corruption and money laundering cases approaching valuations of £80 billion.
- Around half of the 766 companies alleged to have been involved in high-end money laundering were based at just eight UK addresses.
- The Home Affairs Select Committee hearings found that the London property market is the primary avenue for the laundering of £100 billion of illicit money a year. No wonder first time buyers cannot get on the property ladder.
If anything is the preferred market for money launderers then it is banks, not cryptocurrencies. No wonder financial people are trying to deflect the media elsewhere.
Bottom-line: as all things move to digital distribution of data, the trail to audit such movements get easier because they can be sniffed out and monitored; as a result, most criminal activity will continue to leverage the weak links in the chain, which is the physical distribution of paper through cash and property assets in the traditional financial system.
I’ve written a lot on this in the past and would point to these two blog entries for more:
- Laundering-as-a-Service (a bank USP)
- Money laundering is most likely to wash with your local estate agent
And there’s also a lengthy but worthwhile read about why bitcoin cannot be regulated, as it is protected by America’s first amendment and the right to free speech.
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