How Effective Are Your Content Marketing Efforts?

By Editor
Guest Post
  Published 31 Jan 2018
Share this Article

{Guest post by Scott Mason}

How many times have you seen this: Content is king.

Digital marketers have taken this so seriously that most of their strategies revolve around how to make exciting and creative content. That’s well and good, but that’s only half the story.

The other half lies in measuring whether the content is marketed well enough to gain traction and convert into an outcome. One can write the best-written blog article, create the most creative social media post or come up with novel gimmicks online, but if there’s no one to see it, all efforts go down the drain.

The key to any content development and marketing is knowing whether your audience likes it or not. And this, of course, may be translated into metrics. The good news is that most of the things on the Internet is measurable.

You also need to be clear on what you want to measure and know how to make sense of it. You need to determine your objectives, establish benchmarks, and consistently track progress.

So what are your goals for creating content:

  • Build brand awareness?
  • Profile your company or yourself? Establish credibility?
  • Get more people to interact with and stay longer in your platforms?
  • Improve your searchability?
  • Boost conversion rates?

For each of these objectives, there are corresponding content marketing metrics that will tell you if you’re achieving your goals.

Consumption metrics

If you want to build awareness about you and your brand or get more traffic to your platforms, then these metrics are for you. Consumption metrics refer to the behavior and profile of the people consuming your content. They tell you how many people go to your platforms, where they come from, which channels they use, what they do exactly while on your platforms, and which of your content has made them learn about you.

Knowing what these metrics are will help you create posts based on how people consume your content.

These metrics include the following:

  • Who your visitors are – location, age, gender, etc.
  • Visits —total and unique visits
  • Views – page, post, video, etc.
  • Duration – how long they spent on your site or on a page
  • Referral traffic—what brought them to your page? Social media, search?
  • Downloads

Where to get these information:

  • Google analytics with insights from Audience Overview, location, source, mobile, landing pages
  • Social media analytics, i.e. Facebook analytics, video views
  • Analytics from email newsletters, such as clickthrough rates and open rates
  • Google trends

Engagement, Share and Retention metrics

Sometimes you want to know whether your audience finds your content relevant. A terrific way to know is if your posts get shared or – if it’s a good day – turn viral. This makes sense because people only share content that they can relate to or find remotely interesting.

Similarly, these metrics tell if people spend longer time on your platforms and are constantly engaging in your posts. They show whether your content inspire people to take action and do it repeatedly.

Share metrics determine which of your posts are being shared, the profile of people sharing them, the frequency by which they’re shared (viral, anyone?), and the platforms where they are shared. Just like the consumption metrics, this set of information leads you to the type of content that people are likely to patronize. They guide you on the theme and format for future posts.

These metrics include the following:

  • Shares, retweets, reposts, pins, +1’s and other social media counterparts
  • Forwarded emails
  • Opt-out’s or unsubscribes
  • Comments and reactions
  • Follower growth
  • Website returnees and fresh visitors
  • Average duration onsite and moving from one page to another

Where to get these information:

  • Social media, which is usually public information. Don’t get too caught up with the numbers though. The analytics behind these figures, such as the profile of people sharing your content and where they are sharing it to, provide deeper insights than the actual number.
  • Newsletter tools and analytics provide the number of email forwards
  • Google analytics provide source and network referral information, audience overview, pages per session and average session duration
  • Inbound links from various blogging software such as Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO
  • Google Trends
  • Buzzsomo, which measures how many people share your content. Just type the URL of the post for individual statistics, and the URL of your domain to see the top 10 pieces of content from your site

Lead generation metrics

If you know whether your content generates demand for your product or service, then you should look into lead generation metrics. Lead generation metrics tells you if your brand building efforts lead to actual demand and eventual conversion. They also tell you the quality of your leads through their behavior on your site. For instance, a quality lead is generated if, after reading an article or engaging on a post, your audience click on a related content within the same platform or onto another of your sites.

These metrics include the following:

  • Subscriptions – to your email, blog, newsletter or podcasts
  • Comments and specific inquiry on your product or service
  • Contact form completions
  • Downloads
  • Conversion rate – how often visitors turn into actual leads

Where to get these information:

  • Google analytics tracking the number of downloads and movement within the site
  • Opt-in’s, subscriptions and other CRM results through your newsletter provider

Sales metrics

Where it all boils down to. This is what you look for when you want to know not just how much you’ve made, but what has led to your sales as well. How many of your leads converted into sales? At what point between lead generation and nurturing have people decided to purchase your product or avail your services? These are insights that will help you track your content performance and focus on what works.

These metrics include the following:

  • Sales, both online and offline
  • Consumer reviews (unlike most of the metrics above, this one is a qualitative measurement)

Where to get these information:

  • Google Analytics, by enabling the eCommerce feature and the Assisted Conversions feature, which measures the number of conversions a channel assisted with.

Exposure and Authority

This is one of those metrics which you can measure both online and offline. Exposure and authority refer to how well you are perceived in the industry. This measures your credibility and how people remember you as a top-of-mind for their choice of a product or service.

The higher the quality of your exposure and authority, the more people will help you spread the word about your brand through sharing and linking your content, visiting your platforms frequently, building more leads and generating sales. Beyond the digital realm, high exposure and strong authority also mean generating publicity, getting invited to speaking engagements and being regarded as an expert in your industry.

These are only a few helpful metrics to guide you in measuring how effective your content marketing efforts are. Keep in mind that you don’t have to apply all of them. As mentioned early in the article, you need to define your objectives and priorities, and match them with the corresponding metrics. Don’t forget to establish benchmarks and track your progress. Measuring the effectivity of your content is not one-off, but a continuous process of learning about your audience, building your brand and growing your business.

About the author

Scott Mason works as the SEO Specialist for Conklin Media. He helps optimize websites so that they rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing. This creates more traffic for these websites, which leads to more revenue.

Photo Credit

comments powered by Disqus