Measuring ROI of Online Buzz vs. Traditional Ad Campaigns

Measuring Online Buzz ROINo doubt, companies see the value in online buzz, but quantifying the return on investment or comparable expense vs. traditional ad campaigns has been tough for most.

Nowadays, buzz around brands on the news, blogs, tweets and other social media that spreads through product launches, PR campaigns, earnings reports are as valuable as traditional ad campaigns. But buzz and social dialogue on the web is tough to quantify. General Sentiment has released a report that calculates the dollar value of the buzz, content, and conversation taking place online.

via The Value Of Online Buzz For The Top 20 Brands

My guess is that measuring social media marketing performance will become more sophisticated over 2010 as companies make significant investment in this channel.  Either in-house or through 3rd party tools, measurement systems will evolve so that tracking ROI will become more streamlined.

The bottom line is if you’re not leading the discussion in your industry online, then someone else is, so take this opportunity while the iron is hot to get involved in creating your own buzz.  This doesn’t need to be an elaborate or expensive endeavor.

For starters, I suggest you use your industry knowledge and passion for your market to create new and compelling content.  This could be a series of videos, an ebook, or a new podcast that engages your audience.  Put yourself in your customers shoes – what message or communication would excite them and create a little buzz?

This is the approach I’ve taken with my latest video tutorial series on How to Podcast from your Mac.  The response has been terrific and my videos have been picked up by a few influential leaders in the podcasting market.  I’m getting new traffic to my blog, comments on Twitter and Facebook, and requests for help.  It’s a simple, yet highly effective method of getting your company’s face out there and generating interest.

What do you think?  How is your company building online buzz and what’s working well?  Are you measuring ROI vs. traditional ad campaigns?

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.