Content marketing works! It works across the board, from building brand awareness and enhancing audience engagement to lead generation and sales. The only snag is; you have to know how to use it and what to measure.
For content marketing to be successful, you need to have a content marketing strategy. From audience research and content scheduling to content repurposing – all those building blocks need to stack up perfectly.
Once you manage to get everything aligned, the results will show. But where will they show? Even though content marketing has been around for quite some time now, some businesses, especially the small ones, have trouble grasping that content marketing efforts rarely show as macro-conversions. Actually, in the end, they contribute significantly to that last step, but there are other equally important and more revealing metrics that are more useful when trying to figure out what content marketing is doing for our business.
Here is a short overview of just some of the metrics that could be useful to your business.
- Page views – great metric to gauge which piece of your content is interesting – hence becoming the type of content you should focus at.
- Unique visitors – Unique visitors’ metric allows you to estimate the overall size of your audience, and how many of them are repeat visitors.
- Average Time on Page – Is your content interesting? If your Avg. Time on Page is relatively high, then you’re doing fine. But if your visitors are simply skimming through the content then it is not very engaging, and you should put some serious work into it.
- Emails opened – When sending out email blasts and newsletters it is important to know how many of them actually reached your intended prospect. This metric gives you a lot of information about which type of content you should focus on and what times in the day work the best.
- Return rate – Return rate allows you to see how many new vs. how many return visitors you’re getting. You will have a different approach to those two groups, but it is important to have a healthy mix.
- Bounce rate – The slayer of your SEO efforts. If people are bouncing back like crazy from your page, it means that something is seriously off. It might be your misleading title tag tactic or shallow and irrelevant content. Whatever it is, fix it.
- Pages per visit – How many people click on your page, exploring it before leaving? This metric shows you how engaging and valuable the bulk of your content is, and not just the piece that led the audience to your page.
- Follower count – Be on top of your social media and always know how large your social media following is. This metric allows you to follow your social media audience growth over time as well.
- Social media shares and likes – How is your content fairing on social media? Does any of it have any potential of going viral or are all your efforts falling on deaf ears and you’re not getting any likes or share? Find out by diligently tracking all shares, re-tweets, pins, and other.
- Comments – Social media comments are a true measure of engagement. Keep track of them to know how people are responding to what you have to say and maybe get ideas for additional content that might get more traction.
- New leads – Your marketing automation tool, combined with your CRM, will tell you how many new leads you’ve gained that previously touched base with a particular piece of content you’ve published.
- Existing leads influenced – How many of the existing leads engaged with your content, and which content? This will help you understand how many times on average your leads need to touch base with you before converting.
- Funnel conversion rate – Of course, you want to know which content helps you push prospects further down your funnel, all the way down to the do phase.
- Pipeline generated – Use the first touch attribution method to calculate the dollar value of every opportunity that you can pinpoint to a specific piece of content.
- Revenue influenced – And at the end, you can see how much of your revenue comes from buyers that started their purchase path by coming into contact with your content, or have interacted with your content in any phase.
Of course, there are more metrics that you might find useful, depending on the type of the industry you’re in and that will only mean more work. To come to this data you have to use very specific tools that can sometimes be hard to come by. For that reason, we’ve prepared a list of tools that will help you get started.
Google Analytics – Probably the most important tool you have at your disposal. You can view all your consumption and retention metrics on the dashboard, and a whole lot more. Also, there are numerous plugins you can install to expand its usability.
Marketo – Marketo is a marketing automation platform. It helps you to engage your customers at scale, tailor content to specific groups and has a spot on marketing analysis tool that you will need to track your success.
MailChimp – You will also need a tool to manage your email marketing efforts. With MailChimp, you’ll have an easier time designing your templates and an insight into how many people interact with your emails.
Twitter Counter – Twitter Counter lets you check up on your Twitter statistics fast and easy, and to see how you are doing in terms of followers, favorites, and retweets.
AussieWriter – Don’t publish boring and un-engaging content. If you can’t handle the writing, outsource it to AussieWriter, a premier content creation service. Keep in mind that content is the foundation of your strategy. If it is falling flat, there isn’t much point in doing anything else.
Buffer – Knowing when to share social media content is the key to success. Buffer allows you to schedule your posts days, and even weeks in advance, and target different time zones during times when your audience is active the most.
Radian6 – Radian6 allows you to monitor your social media data and is probably the best all-in-one solution to do that. It makes it a lot easier to track and respond to questions, comments, and complaints in real time.