This New Metric Helps Companies Figure Out If Their Ad Campaigns Are Actually Working

Balloons 1200ShutterstockSocial Lift measures how ads raise social engagement.

This post is sponsored by ShareThis.
When companies run digital ad campaigns, they keep close watch over the numbers to see how each campaign is performing. It’s an imperfect science, though, and there are a lot of different metrics to keep track of at any one time: CTR (click-through rate), for example, or pageviews, or time spent.

Yet there hasn’t been a useful social-based metric that shows you how effective an ad campaign is. ShareThis, which tracks the sharing habits of 210 million users across the Web, knows that online sharing behaviour is not only the ultimate test of a website’s value, but also a highly effective indicator of brand engagement. So the company came up with a new metric called Social Lift, which analyses ad performance from a social sharing perspective.

What Is Social Lift?

Any website that produces content, whether it’s pictures of cats or tech news stories, cares about people sharing that content through their social networks. Any business doing digital advertising should care about the same thing.

With that premise in mind, ShareThis monitors sharing activity across 120 different social channels — including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and more — to track the sharing behaviour associated with campaign keywords, brand terms, and content. The difference in shares from before and after the ads run is Social Lift: the amount of social activity a campaign generates.

To test Social Lift, ShareThis examined four weeks’ worth of data and over 170 million online impressions from campaigns in multiple verticals.

One key way advertisers can take advantage of Social Lift is to track weekly trends. For example, for finance verticals, Social Lift turns out to be highest in the first few weeks of a campaign.

ShareThis can use Social Lift to help companies determine the ad type and placement that works best for them. A website’s SQI (Social Quality Index) scores proves to be important, since sites with SQI 150 or above yield 36% higher Social Lift than the norm — further showing how ads delivered on highly social Web pages increase brand engagement online.

ShareThis now includes Social Lift as an additional metric in all its branding campaigns, providing reports to advertisers whenever they’re needed. By understanding the social influence their campaigns have, advertisers don’t have to guess anymore at how effective their brand messaging is — they’ll know for sure.

For more about Social Lift, visit ShareThis.

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