In our last article, we discussed how to create and share great content. But working out whether your content is actually great, means turning to numbers and defining objectives. The measurement of the effectiveness of your content is key to a successful campaign. A digital conversation should be like a real conversation, two way and engaging. If it’s not working, you must be prepared to change your tactics.
If you don’t assess the performance of your content across all your efforts, how can you determine which was most successful and why? And how can you determine which type of content to invest in going forward? This is extremely important, as there is no one size fits all answer to content marketing.
Consumption metrics will tell you how many people have accessed your content – through page views etc. This can be measured through Google Analytics for posts which sit on your website, LinkedIn Impressions, through Twitter Analytics, through SlideShare views and more. Using a service like MailChimp to send your news out means that you can track who did or didn’t read your mailer, and measure this against previous efforts.
Google Analytics can be whittled down further to establish the geographical location of visitors, the social media platform or email campaign from which they found your post and bounce rates. Bounce rates, average session duration and pages per session reflect how engaging your content is – the longer the viewer stays on your website, and the more pages they visit, the more engaged they are with your content.
Your audience’s path on your website as it is a good indication of ROI. For example, perhaps a visitor came to your site to read a blog post, then followed a link to your services page, then clicked to your about-us page, and then filled out a contact-us form.
Sharing metrics will tell you how engaged your readers are with your content. If a potential customer comes across an article which is not only valuable to them, but also their peers, then they are more likely to share it. The more shares a piece of content gets, the more valuable it is to your potential customers and therefore to your business.
Social profiles help to build up long term relationships with customers and potential customers. By sharing great content on social media platforms, you will build up a following which means that when you share content in the future, its reach will be greater.
You can measure Twitter interaction through Tweet Reach which will allow you to search for the URL of your piece of content and measure how many people have tweeted it, and how many of their followers have seen it. You can measure LinkedIn interaction through followers gained, shares and likes on a post.
It’s healthy for a business to sit back and assess their new business leads in a holistic way. Though it’s hard to assign direct sales to content marketing alone, especially in B2B, it’s important to know where your leads have come from and how much value they have generated for the business. In order to do this, you need to make sure you ask your new business leads about where they found you. At Keen as Mustard, we look at all of the new business meetings we’ve had, and how they found us. Sometimes, we might have been recommended through word of mouth, but an additional piece of content has reminded them to get in touch.
The more that people cite your content as part of their journey in approaching you, the better your content is doing.
If a piece of content is not successful, try to work out why. Is it the content itself, or the way it has been presented or marketed that has made it unsuccessful? Conversely, if something has worked really well, try to work out what it was that you did right – and do it again. Don’t be afraid to experiment – doing so is far more beneficial than trudging along with a mediocre strategy that isn’t working.
Emily Slee is PR Account Executive at Keen as Mustard