Simple formula measures best use of end-user quotes, embedded links
Lack of end-user quotes continues to be a critical flaw observed in B2B e-news delivery. Meanwhile, embedded link usage is not the best at several sites Editorial Solutions, Inc., reviews in its annual studies. As a first step to arrive at quantitative goals for each of these online components, I apply a formula that immediately reflects whether or not improvement is required.
- End-user visibility (EUV) calls for the average number of quotes showing up to be is least one per article. My annual studies are based on assessing ten articles on the day of review. In theory, if each article includes just one end-user quote, EUV = 1.0. In practice, it’s more likely that goal is achieved by running some articles among the ten that contain multiple comments.
- Embedded link visibility (ELV) also favors the 1.0 calculation. This goal clearly should be more easily achievable than EUV. In fact, an average exceeding 5.0 is frequently visible.
You would think that a 1.0 average would be a cinch to maintain. But that’s not been true in my previous six B2B e-news studies. The same can be said for my Phase VII analysis. The study calls for review of 50 sites. Of the 33 observed so far, only three reached the EUV target. Another statistic reflecting the problem is that when all quotes are considered—including vendors, associations, end-users and others—editors touched base with 280 individuals; about half (133) were end-users. Thirty-one of those interviews were accounted for by three sites.
From a competitive standpoint, superiority in reaching out to end-users should amount to a competitive edge. But hold on— because sometimes many quotes used are plucked from PR announcements. That’s why I recommend that you run an occasional “like-item” analysis study. See how often you and the opposition use identical statements that clearly were not obtained via direct interviews.
As for ELV averages, 18 of the 33 sites studied registered 1.0 or higher. If your site is already within that range, can you claim bragging rights vs. competitors in terms of link content? For example, what percent of your links connect to other content posted that reflects superior past coverage of a high-interest topic?
(Note: A total plan you can use to develop an online-news strengths/weakness marketing strategy is provided in my B2B book: Get Serious About Competitive Editorial Analysis.)