Quick Post – Commercials and Measuring Brand

Later today our annual inter-squad scrimmage (the “Blue/White game”) will be televised on EPSN2. We have a commercial airing twice during the game and I’m getting ready to track the impact on traffic to our site.

Obviously this won’t be a super popular game on TV – mostly very loyal fans and alumni, but that’s ok. It will still have some impact.

Here is what I plan on monitoring over the weekend to see how much of an impact the commercial (and even the game) had on traffic:

  1. Visit trend
  2. % branded keywords referrals
  3. % direct traffic
  4. % referral traffic from our main university website (psu.edu)
  5. % goals completed from branded keywords referrals
  6. % goals completed from direct traffic
  7. % goals completed from main university referral traffic

When looking at these reports, I have to remember that “like” date ranges matter. For instance, I won’t want to measure the difference in those metrics from yesterday to today because I know that our traffic goes down naturally on weekends (Friday and Saturday aren’t like days). This weekend should be compared to last weekend. Further, I need to keep in mind that the game itself (regardless of the commercial) will likely have an impact on traffic. Unfortunately we don’t have a “like” weekend to run it against (a weekend where our blue/white game aired on ESPN2 without the commercial). So, we’ll have to make due with just realizing that the commercial itself may not have caused the traffic.

I do think the metrics that have to do with branded keyword referrals and direct traffic can show impact from the commercial itself. Why? Because they have to do specifically with users seeking us out by our unit name (not just happening on our site or coming to our site from our main university site).

What do you think? What other metrics should I be looking at?

2 Responses to “Quick Post – Commercials and Measuring Brand”

  1. Hi Shelby,

    Very interesting approach. I was wondering if you thought the same metrics could be compared when running billboard campaigns?


  2. Thanks for your comment, Mike. Absolutely. To me, these are pretty much brand metrics across the board. Obviously you’d add in metrics if your billboard used a vanity URL (hopefully one that’s trackable!), etc. In our case with the commercial, we chose not to use a vanity since our sub-domain URL is pretty long.

    For something more high level, you can also use “% Brand Engagement” – # of visits with branded search terms + # of direct visits/total visits from search engines+total # of directs. This will give you a percentage and, obviously, the higher the percentage the higher the brand engagement. Do this before and after the billboard campaign.

    One thing I might use with running a billboard as well would be before/after metrics listed above broken down by those specific geo-locations of wherever the billboard appears.