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4 Ways to Calculate Total Media Value

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May 7,2014

What’s the common denominator between advertising, public relations and marketing?


By Sarah Ware, Markerly

Calculating your Total Media Value is essential for a small business marketer to fully understand what efforts have been a success for you based on your goals, and what efforts haven’t worked out well. Total Media Value, or TMV is actually a really simple metric to measure and concept to understand. In order to calculate the ROI from any media efforts, you need to know what value you received from those efforts.

TMV allows you to place a price tag on what you received and to see if it’s been a good use of your spend. For example, what is a tweet worth to you? A write-up? Or a Facebook share? Once you know the value that you place for each of these social metrics you can begin to calculate the TMV.

However, there are multiple ways to measure TMV just as there are multiple ways to evaluate whether or not a campaign worked for you. Our advertising and public relations efforts are done for many reasons and those goals are always different, which is why I have listed several ways to calculate TMV based on what you are expecting out of the campaign.


Social Reach Based

What: Social reach refers to the amount of people who saw your brand socially. This number is not necessarily dependent on the sheer volume of social shares, but more-so on how socially influential the person that's sharing is.

How: Determining who shared the post, and how many social followers/friends they have. For instance, if person who shares on twitter has 1,000 followers, than that's worth $1,000 if each tweet is valued at $1. If that tweet gets retweeted by 10 people, then you must determine who retweeted it, and the sum of their followers. The total media value would then equate to the total number of aggregated friends/followers multiplied by the cost per social view.


Impression Based

What: Impression based tracking has been around since the early days of online advertising. Simply put, it's anytime your brand is displayed to a user. In the content world, an impression can mean anytime someone sees your brand's name written or expressed via an image or video.

How: Impression based includes the method described above to calculate reach, except each instance your brand is mentioned counts separately. For example, if your brand is mentioned 3 times in a Facebook post, then it's impression value would be 3 multiplied by the total number of friends/followers. Also included would be the number of brand mentions like a blog post, advertisement, or any other mentions multiplied by the total number of views.


Conversion Based

What: This is the simplest method, yet hardest to optimize for. How much of that media spend does it take to convert a user? A conversion can mean anything from a newsletter sign-up to a purchase of a product or subscription.

How: You take the cost of your total media spend and you divide it by the number of converted users. Tracking converted users can be challenging, especially if you don't use proper link tracking. In any media purchase, if you're trying to optimize for this, it would be wise to have special URL parameters for this particular campaign, as well as tracking pixel on your conversion page so you can track users throughout the funnel.


Engagement Based

What: Tracking any engagement of a user on a content piece and rating has value. An engagement can be anything from mouse movements, scrolling intensity, mobile pinch-ins, and encompasses aspects like social shares and comments.

How: The actual calculation can vary depending on how you rate the value of each engagement. An easy way would be to assume constant values for each engagement, and then multiply that engagement constant times the total of that engagement. It may make more sense to do this on a per-user basis so that you can keep better track of outliers.


The next time you invest in PR, marketing, or advertising, remember that you can measure the TMV to understand what your ROI is by narrowing down your goals, and using the appropriate methods.

Sarah Ware is the co-founder and chief executive of Markerly, an influencer marketing platform that advertises branded content to over 300 million people a month. Sarah is also a guest contributor to Forbes. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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Google+ profile of Sarah Ware, Markerly

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