Loyalty Building Within A Content Network: Finding The Right Range Of Loyal Visitors

November 3, 2007

The Cornerstones of Loyalty Building

If we had only known how important the question that we asked in January 2007 would be, “what type of repeat visitors to our site should we be focusing on?”.  We decided that a rather fuzzily defined group known as “prospective buyers” should be the focus of our loyalty building work because they really are the catalyst for driving more sales of services. 

Build it and they will come” might be right approach when you don’t care exactly who arrives. Than again, buiding a successful general network might be the most difficult type of project – gaining consent across well defined groups is often far easier than across a wide swath of visitors.  But if loyalty with specific types of groups or categories of users is a key success factor in your content distribution network or loyalty driven social network than there is a lot more work to do than just building a site and throwing open the doors. For instance, if you have a real estate video content distribution network, are you trying to build a loyal network of videographers, a loyal network of prospective buyers, or both?  Both types of visitors will be seeking different things for loyalty generation on a given site.

Fred Light, a very well known and respected real estate vdeo professional wrote a great example of the issue here in the comments section of a recent post of ours about how property videos can be considered expensive at any price if not viewed,”The only way anyone would see or view those videos is during the first day or so when they appear on the home page, or if someone specifically chose to look at my “channel” and view some of the videos there – and I would assume that most of those people are NOT buyers, but other realtors or videographers. ” Again, it comes down to where do you want to build your loyalty…in real estate, the basic choices might be vertical as in REALTORS, vendors, buyers, sellers, builders, financing specialists or even cross verticals such as people interested in real estate technology to market properties or those interested in disintermediation in the industry.  

How Do You Know If You Have Loyalty In Your Network?

We recently wrote a how-to post on how sites can measure loyalty within the context of an online real estate video network. Loyalty on our own site is measured in the number of visitors that watch a property video and then return in the same month to watch another. Over 40% of identifiable visitors that watched a property video hosted on our infrastructure fell into the “loyal” category and around 10% returned at least 5 times during a month to watch a video each time (very loyal category?). This level of loyalty has remained fairly constant over a number of the past months.  A large percentage of those identifiable visitors have generated leads – in a few cases, this is how we were able to initially identify them – so we can extrapolate that the bulk of identifiable repeat visitors

Too Much Loyalty Can Be As Bad As Too Little

So now that we have the mix of site visitors that we want, are there other concerns about loyalty?  We’ll toss out an idea that your user base can demonstrate far too much loyalty.  Using an illustrative but extreme example, if 100% of our property videos were being watched by the same user that would obviously be bad, but would 80% of videos being watched only by a group of repeat visitors be considered bad as well? We think so. Let’s go back to the hubs and spokes networking model for a second and think in terms of quality of those hubs.  A quality first level hub in a content distribution network is defined as a hub with volume traffic that has a high mix of users looking to consume the type of content that we are distributing.

High quality network hubs then would be bringing not only repeat visitors but also new visitors on a regular basis with a propensity to become repeat visitors. Excessively high levels of loyalty as measured by repeat visitors in the same month would bring the real quality of those first level distribution hubs into question.

So what’s a good range?  We think that when a social or content distribution network has somewhere between 25% and 50% with decent traffic numbers, the network can claim to have a loyal base of users. The tighter the definition of the desired type of loyal user, the higher the percentage would be. We would look to start doing things a bit differently over 60% – a network would not be doing enough to introduce new visitors.

So, the social networking aspect of real estate increasingly is in play with bright minds such as Steven Groves and Greg Swann out there at web 2.0 networking events discussing things like metrics and ROI in Social Networking. So, don’t take our word for anything, we are just property tour vendors….

Listen, learn, define, measure, and reap benefits….

One comment

  1. […] Loyalty Building Within A Content Network: Finding The Right Range Of Loyal Visitors Posting Volume And Loyalty As Factors In Social Networking’s Hub And Spoke Distribution Model Extending The Concept Of Distribution Hubs And Spokes To Include Value Measurements Measuring Online User Loyalty And Interest Using Hard Data From Your Website Statistics Linking Real Estate Content With User Context: Basic Concepts of Data and Metadata […]

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