I’m sure you’ve heard this before:

We need infographics!

And our bosses think, “Here we go again. More effort, time and money just to get a bunch of Facebook likes.”

But we understand the value of social capital and we know infographics are social media bread and butter for practically every network.

Our problem is we have a boss or client who doesn’t understand the value of social capital and engagement.

They want to see dollars.

If we can’t convince them to see the “brighter” side, read on to learn how to provide actual ROI for infographics.

As Avinash Kasuhik has said,

“You want to make sure your social activity has profitable results. It’s all about making money, but in a very smart way, and about moving people beyond a silly obsession with the number of followers or likes they have, which don’t show results.”

#1 Creation

Obviously the first step is creating an infographic. This step can go two ways.

  1. We create an outstanding infographic
  2. We create a generic infographic

To create an outstanding infographic, we’ll need to have an outstanding in-house designer. If we don’t have that luxury, there are equally effective ways to achieve this. For instance, 99designs is an excellent place for getting high quality infographics quickly, plus we get the luxury of dozens of designs.

Okay, so now we’re armed with an outstanding infographic, ready to share it with the world…

#2 Tracking

Don’t press that share button just yet! To proceed, we’ll need to get our feet wet with Google Analytics. If analytics and a little bit of code scare you…it’s time to face your fears!

Just think of all that ROI gravy we’ll get! Rob Rawson (CEO and co-founder of Staff) states,

We have found infographics to be the most powerful content marketing strategy for our business. The main benefit we have found with infographics as compared with written content is that other blogs are far more willing to share infographics with their readers. They are much less likely to link to and share written content. We have seen a spike in traffic to our site from a successful infographic, but we also know that the links we have received allow our site to rank more successfully in Google.”

Alright, now that you’re convinced, let’s get into the nuts and bolts.

Here is our beautiful infographic:

roi infographic

Impressive right?

If our infographic is living independently on one of our webpages, we can simply create a goal URL for that page. However, we must still track the infographic URL being shared, along with any CTA links included. This is the best way to record real conversions from infographic circulation.

Our primary objective is to create a custom report by assigning event tracking and creating goals for infographics CTR to conversions (our goal completion metric). Technically, we could do nothing and try to individually track each referral and purchase, but this is time-wasting, tedious, and ineffective. Custom reporting gives us exactly what we need to provide raw ROI.

First things first – prime our ahref links with event tracking.

GA Tip: Add event tracking to ahref links for tracking referral clicks:

trackEvent: <a href=”infographicexample.png” onclick=”pageTracker._trackEvent(‘image’,’click’,’image 1′);”>Infographic Link Text</a>

As our infographic gets shared on external sites, we want to capture the referral traffic. The code above accomplishes this.

Next up, we want to track our CTAs.

Embed a CTA on the infographic page and track the CTA for a finite conversion path. An example might be, “Claim $15 Off by Purchasing Now” and apply that link to the infographic either embedding it (for the more tech savvy) or placing it in prominent location near the infographic.

GA Tip: Add  Onclick event to ahref links for tracking clicks such as a purchase

Onclick = “_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘purchase’, this.href]);”

This captures the URL on which the click occurs. You can go into Google Analytics and under Events Overview you can go into the Event Action (purchase) and view the total events. If we know the estimated conversion rate we can assign event value. Basically, if 10 out of 100 click-through complete purchases, we can give the value 10% of the purchase cost. This is a nice metric to have, but we want to be finite and have goal conversion setup as well so we know the exact number of conversions as a result.

Additionally, we can use Google’s URL builder to create a link with built-in parameters for a custom campaign report. This may seem intimidating but it’s incredibly simple. Just read through the basic instructions and you’ll see how referral traffic is captured.

  • Click on Explorer > Ecommerce Tab to show exactly how many referrals convert into purchases.
  • The __utmz cookie stores the type of referral the visitor used to reach your site and expires after 6 months, which is plenty of time for an infographic campaign.

Get super detailed: Setup key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversation rate, days until conversion, and time until exit.  A great KPI is tracking the number of visits until purchase, as the infographic may have sparked interest initially, leading to a returning visit and conversion later.

So what does all this custom reporting look like in Google Analytics?

custom report sample

Note: Goal competitions should locate on the “thank you for purchasing” page.

Another concept: Setup custom intelligence alerts to make sure you’re notified when a targeted threshold is reached. This also forces you to determine what purchase level is appropriate.

  • Consult Kaushik’s guide on measuring days and visits to purchase.

Then segment clicks as follows:

segmenting clicks

QUICK LOOK: Segments

  • Determine your average purchase level independent from campaigns.
  • Compare this with your infographic campaign purchase level by computing the difference.

Segment your reports to see a list of all incoming sources. This is a quick way to see conversion paths but also helps display the relationship of discovery and conversion.

Did you send an email blast with the infographic to your subscriber base? Segment it:

infographic blast segment

#3 Measurement

High five! We’re primed and ready to share our infographic with the world…

…and the world loves it! Heaps and heaps of social shares keep piling up. Now it’s time to calculate our infographic ROI.

Standard ROI Formula:  (Total Infographic Gain – Total marketing cost) / Total marketing cost

  • Calculating Total Infographic Gain – First determine a time period (maybe one or two months for circulation). Set the time period in Google Analytics and simply view your custom report. You’ll see conversion value in custom reporting or by navigating the Conversion Tab. Setup Ecommerce tracking (even for a non-ecommerce site) to have a revenue report. Since we already assigned event and goal values this is not necessary.
  • Calculating Total Marketing Cost – Simply add the cost of infographic + any paid marketing or distribution costs + any miscellaneous marketing costs.

Example ROI Report

sample roi report

#4 Show it off

Show your bosses, “This infographic had a 3900% return!”

Done…well, almost.

Important last step: Analyze your data, learn what worked or failed with A/B testing, and most importantly, segment the data for context clues.


Additional Resources / Further Learning:

  • Consult Google’s Analytics learning center to dive into more details, specifically the dev. guide to event tracking.
  • Angie Schottmuller has an extensive list of social media formulas for measuring ROI.
  • Alex Bigman has an excellent post giving reasons to assimilate infographics into marketing efforts.

Have any Google Analytics tips or advice for tracking infographic CTR to conversions? Was this useful? Feel free to share in the comments.