The metrics and data you need to help you analyse your content strategy are not as simple as “how much traffic did I get?” Generally, you will be trying to promote your content with your social media marketing efforts, and you will need to take an holistic, well-balanced view of your analytics to get the full scope of how well your content is performing across multiple avenues. Not to mention getting ranked on Google for the keywords you’re looking to use, and measuring which pieces of content are really getting your audience to take action.
Why do you write content?
There are no “content objectives” – we must understand that we are using content in regards to your business objectives. What are you looking to achieve?
There are several business objectives that would be necessary when looking to analyse the results from our content marketing, just like any other form of marketing. First off, we must define what it is we’re looking to achieve, and content can be used for a variety of reasons:
- Brand Awareness
- Customer Engagement
- Talent Attraction
- Drive Sales
- Brand Loyalty
How can we measure it?
This is the big question, right? How do we measure the success of our content? There are many metrics you can use to analyse how well each piece of content has done to engage your user. You could look at the amount of traffic it generates, how well people engage with your content throughout social media, if users were more likely to take action after reading a specific piece of content, your search engine ranking for popular topics to your audience.
The simple fact is, when we are producing content, we have to remember the reason we are writing. There are so many different reasons that businesses should produce content that it’s hard to get a full grasp on how effective your strategy has been.
There are three keys areas you should be concentrating on when you are measuring the success of your content marketing:
The first measurement should be the way in which your audience are consuming and engaging with your content. You can measure this in terms of how many times it’s being viewed, some examples would include:
- Page views – how many views has the content been viewed (if it’s a page on your website, this can be tracked via Google Analytics)
- Content views – for example, how many people viewed your video
- Downloads – how many times has your content been downloaded (this could be an E-Book, and again you can look to track this with Google Analytics)
These metrics are extremely important as they help you understand how many people you are reaching, which topics are performing the best and the best way your customers want to be reached (video, blogs, e-book, infographics…)
Social media should be an integral part of your content strategy. When you are sharing content across your profiles within social media, you need to be thinking about how your followers are engaging with that content to improve on your strategy long-term.
- Likes, shares, retweets – quite simply, how many likes, shares or retweets did your piece of content get throughout your social platforms?
- Comments – does specific pieces of content drive more comments than others?
- Recommendations – do people recommend you frequently to others across your social platforms when they see friends “in need” of services you offer?
Again, extremely important as they give us the metrics we need to see how our audience are engaging with our content and how well we are influencing others.
Are you looking to actually sell your customers your products online? You should be. Your content strategy should drive sales. It’s not as simple as them phoning and saying “I read your content, now I want to do business” – here are some things to consider when measuring how well you’re selling customers through content.
- Form completion – upon reading the content, do people take action and complete an enquiry form?
- Email subscriptions – email subscriptions allow you to follow-up with customers and can be extremely valuable when reaching your customers
- Sales – forget everything else, when you follow-up on leads generated, are they qualified leads – do they want to do business with you?
Possibly the most important. You are marketing your company to grow. And to grow, you need sales. Naturally, you want to be keeping track of how content is driving action. Read our more in-depth blog on measuring your online success to understand a more holistic view to analytics and measuring a return for investment online.
Thinking about content as a long-term strategy
The simple truth is, marketing has always been hard to measure. If you were to put an Ad in the paper, or put your company on a billboard for instance, how would you measure the impact of that, besides waiting until the end of the year and looking at your sales figures, and if those were actually rising due to your efforts?
The fact that there are so many metrics to measure and analyse your success is incredible, but you must remember that content marketing takes time. I’ve been at this since February, and don’t expect any results at all until at least September. By that point, at this rate I will have produced 15 blogs a month for 7 months, meaning I’ll have over 100 articles to promote across my social channels and compare the statistics of. And even then, I’ll only be touching the surface with it.
If you truly want to measure the success, as I always say – you need to look at your content marketing strategy as a long-term investment. An investment that can help with you across multiple parts of your business; branding, customer engagement, lead generation, driving offline sales or footfall into store, recruiting talent.
Within a couple of months, you can start to see how well your customers are engaging with your content, analyse the data, reiterate and adapt in your approach. Only then can you get a true picture of how your content is generating your sales, and helping to grow your business.