‘We uncovered a bug in page insights. The bug has been live since May.’
The update on metrics by Facebook showed erroneous measurements of how people interacted with content on the platform. A statistical error undermined the trust of advertisers and publishers on Facebook, and the social media giant agreed to provide a third party verification. With the screw-up, the demand for an outside audit to justify the investment in Facebook was clearly required.
When you ask for apples and are given oranges, you are likely to be disconcerted.
Addressing the elephant in the room
The Facebook metrics blunder has brought into light about what metrics mean, how they are calculated and which ones matter for your business. As we seek to achieve business goals via content, if the viewership tracking is bloated, an opportunity to tap the right data is lost.
The content objectives you determine for your company further help to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs).
For example, let’s take revenue generation as the goal.
To achieve this objective, lead generation and nurturing activities should be undertaken with the analysis of KPIs such as search traffic, returning users, lead conversion and sales qualified leads.
As the metrics are used, find out to user engagement, drilling down as to what metrics clearly represent user experience should be taken into account.
Metrics which matter
How can you tell what you are doing is right or wrong? Surely, you may call yourself data driven. But does tracking every metric matter.
In a blog post, Buzzfeed talked about its publishing model and the process of evaluating the metrics which are crucial for reaching out to the audience. Gone are the days when looking at the unique visitors was an indication of achieving success. Identifying the metrics which track engagement or usefulness of content published is essential.
The metrics to pay attention to depending on the goal to be achieved, whether it’s an article, a video or a whitepaper.
Look at these metrics to ensure you win at content marketing.
Consumption & Sharing metrics
1) Behavior Flow
Diving into Google Analytics, behavior flow will help you understand how a user navigates through your website. The chart shows the visualisation of where a user lands on the site, navigates through various pages and exits. This can help you identify and optimize the drop off points for user retention.
2) Social shares
Which content piece gets shared on social platforms? Take your best-performing content to set benchmarks, to understand the audience expectations. There are plenty of tools like SumoMe share you can use to setup sharing buttons, to help you know the number of shares of a content piece across social networks.
3) Inbound links
The number of sites referring to your site will help you earn higher domain authority. Your goal is to assess the number of links earned for a particular content piece. You can do so with the help of Moz’s free tool, Open site explorer. The tool lets you evaluate the number of links which refer to your site and create link building opportunities. Find out the page with the top links to create the similar pieces in future, improve rankings and search visibility.
4) Bounce rate
As the bounce rate determines the people who leave after visiting the first page they visit. In general, the lower bounce rate, the better. This means that users tend to spend more time on your site. Identify the content with a higher bounce rate, to repurpose or update the original one.
5) Time spent on content creation
Tracking the time to create compelling content will help you develop the further strategy. You can decide whether to hire freelance writers so that you can focus on other marketing activities or take content creation in-house with a team of writers. Finding out the time going in will come in handy to assess the efficiency of content creators.
6) Performing over time
The article you published got over 100 shares during the first week. So after a month, how is it going? Is it still raking in some audience? Has your content been created for any event or specific purpose? Do you a drop in engagement or shares after a week? Identify the content to start out with maximizing the value for each of them.
7) Asset Downloads
Track form completions and gated content for a measurable ROI. Digging down every individual asset can help you determine how successful it was. Leverage marketing automation tools like Marketo to determine the impact made so as to adjust the marketing efforts.
8) Email-subscriber churn rate
Email churn rate refers to the number of people who unsubscribe from the content you send over as emails. As you try to increase the numbers, watch out for every user who unsubscribes.
9) Lead generation
How does content support lead generation through the funnel? De-coding this metric will help you attribute the leads to content pieces, new leads generated and the number of existing leads which were touched by a content piece.
10) Lead quality
While you may feel lucky to generate leads with your content offering, you shouldn’t neglect the quality of leads. As a considerable time and investment is done in creating content, the quality of the lead is an important metric.
11) Cost per content piece
Calculate the cost per piece by tracking the invoices sent by freelancers. For tracking the internal costs, you need, to sum up the salaries, benefits and other overhead costs which might get a little harder to analyze. If you are resource constrained, consider the pros and cons of outsourcing vs in-house content creation. Finding the cost per piece is useful to planning for allocating the future content budget.
12) Distribution costs
Amplification of content is essential to ensure it reaches grabs more eyeballs. Keeping a track on this metric is essential to know about the expenses done on promoting it across networks like social media and ad networks.
Content marketing and measurement
Understanding user behavior and actions isn’t an easy feat; there is no silver bullet. But with the actionable metrics, you’ll move in the right direction.
Continuous adoption of metrics which serve the purpose of explaining why a content piece gets shared is required if a business wants to survive in a competitive world.
Note down all the metrics you’ll eventually want to measure and begin implementing for content marketing success.