How Do I Know If My Content Marketing Is Working?
This is a question we get from almost everyone we work with, whether they are just getting started or have been producing content for years. If you’re currently running Content Marketing programs you better have the answer, because sooner or later someone is going to ask you. Once again, the answer depends on what type of business you run and who you are targeting but regardless of what line of business you’re in or who your customers are, you can’t answer the question if you haven’t taken the time to clearly define your goals.
There are several objectives that Content Marketing can help your business achieve. At the top of the list are business metrics such as Leads, Lead Quality and Sales. Content Marketing is particularly effective at driving high quality leads because your content should be designed to attract potential customers who already have a strong interest in your products or services. If you provide potential customers with reliable and accurate information that they deem valuable, this helps establish your brand as an authority in the space and they will be more likely to come back to you when they are ready to purchase and to recommend you to other prospects.
Engagement metrics are also important to track as they are a strong indicator of how strong your content is and if it’s meeting the informational needs of your prospects and customers. The most basic of engagement metrics include Web Traffic, Bounce Rates, Page Views Per Session and Average Session Duration. How you interpret the data on these metrics is determined by the goals you have identified for each piece of content. For example, if the piece of content that attracted a visitor is a downloadable infographic you might expect a visitor to spend far less time engaging with it than a five-minute video.
The impact of your Content Marketing efforts can also be measured by their offsite performance. This is where, for many, you will get the biggest bang for your marketing buck. If people like your content and think it’s valuable, it’s very likely they will share it on various social platforms or link to it from their site. Word of mouth, or peer recommendations, are extremely powerful as they are generally seen as the most trustworthy. It’s important to monitor how much site traffic you are receiving from different platforms (YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.), track which content is achieving the highest engagement on which platforms and which pieces of content are driving the most leads and sales. The most important element of your approach to measurement is having a methodology in place to optimize your Content Distribution strategy by continuously refining the best performing combination of content topic, format and placement.
The final component of an effective Content Marketing measurement approach is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ensuring that every piece of content you publish is effectively crafted and tagged for SEO is critically important. How your content performs in search results will have a direct impact on how much traffic you get to your web site and how much exposure your content receives. Text, graphics, audio and video all require a slightly different approach for optimization but the results you will see are well worth the effort.
To learn more about how to optimize content for search and measure and improve the performance of your Content Marketing programs, feel free to contact us with your questions.