Content Marketing was not invented to make websites look pretty or to be able to speak directly to the end-consumer. At the end of the day, companies are looking to use content marketing to increase their bottom line and to improve market share. Content Marketing has the power to facilitate building relationships with an audience, creating a sense of community and positioning a company as an authority within an industry.
Every marketer worth their salt should be tracking the success of their content marketing campaigns over time. Otherwise, how can you be sure content marketing is bringing you the traction you need to meet your business goals? There are so many tools available, that it can be quite overwhelming knowing where and how to start. As you’ve heard before – less is more, and keeping track of your measurement should be as easy as 123!
The metrics you will pick to measure the success of your content marketing should be personalized according to your marketing activities, your industry and your target market. No matter the set of metrics you end up selecting, keep in mind that it’s easier to choose them at the very beginning of a project for comprehensive and relevant analysis during and at the end. We’ve listed a few powerful but simple tools in this blogpost to help you get started and measure the success of your marketing efforts. Keep reading!
- Metrics for Newsletters
Are you sending a newsletter on a regular basis to your customers? Create a new Excel sheet and track the following metrics over time to ensure the content you’re releasing has real value for your audience. You will be able to find those metrics on the dashboard of the e-mail marketing software you’re using (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, Benchmark Email, etc.). Not sure what each metric means? Check our descriptions below.
- Opening rate: The number of subscribers who opened your newsletter within their email box. A catchy title, a trustworthy email address and the authorization of the recipient to get your newsletter (opt-in) are key if you want to increase your opening rate.
- Click-through rate: So now that the recipient has opened your newsletter, you will want to know how they interact with it. Are they clicking on the call-to-actions (CTAs) as you would have hoped for? Track the click-through rate and see if you can identify a pattern. What does your audience like best? Once it’s clear, give your subscribers more of what they prefer and they’ll stick around!
- Conversion rate: You may have included a CTA in your newsletter such as “learn more here” or “shop now”. Track how many people have clicked on these CTAs and improve on it. Catchy and short CTAs work best, especially if you’re serving high-quality content.
- Number of subscribers: Keep track of your newsletter’s list growth. Not only will it motivate you to keep up the good work but it’s also going to be a clear indicator of your reach. When your list reaches a critical size, you might want to analyze the data a bit further and split your audience by geographic localization, interest, age, … and customize your newsletter. But no matter what, do not succumb to the temptation of buying an email list.
Still wondering if you need a newsletter? Read our previous blogpost <7 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Newsletter> to learn why your company needs one ASAP.
- Metrics for Website and Blogposts
One of the most common pieces of content marketing are blogposts. Keep an eye on your Google Analytics to observe how your audience is interacting with your website and posts. Did one of your blogposts hit the jackpot with tons of views and comments? Try to decipher what made this post so successful and apply your findings to future articles. See our breakdown below of what your Google Analytics metrics mean.
- Page views: This simple metric tells you how many times your page has been viewed.
- Unique visitors: A bit more refined than the page view metric, the number of unique visitors will tell you about the real amount of people visiting your website.
- Demographics: If you would like to know more about your website visitors and polish the content your publishing, analyzing the demographic is a good way to start. Typically, you will be able to learn more about the age, gender, interests, geographic location, language, devices and more about your audience. Knowing all these things will help you tap in to your target market’s mind, and might even make you feel like a secret spy agent.
- Average time per page: The longer people stay on your webpage, the better! But what is a good average time per page anyways? What “dwell time” (or time spent in the same spot) is considered good might vary based on the popularity of your topic, the length of the content and so one. However, dwell times under 30 seconds are considered bad for any website. Dwell times over two minutes are excellent and anything between those values is average. To help people stay on your website longer, make sure to structure your blogpost for an easy reading experience using subtitles, paragraphs and images.
- Bounce rate: Some website visitors will just run away after landing on the homepage without interacting any further, that’s what the bounce rate is all about. Some users may have landed on your website by mistake, while others may have been expecting something else. Make sure your homepage is attractive and polished and that the content you provide is high-quality.
- Comments: Have you enabled comments on your blog?! If not, you absolutely should! Screen through the number of comments that you’ve received for a specific blogpost and check if they are positive or negative. Each comment should, of course, be answered to keep the discussion going.
- Metrics for Videos and Podcasts
Videos and podcasts are the ultimate kind of content marketing and have proven to be what most people prefer. As mentioned for newsletters and websites, analyzing the metrics and popularity of your videos and podcasts is crucial. So, how do you do it? It’s all explained below.
- View count: As you may have expected, view count is the simplest metric of all. It tells you how many times the video has been viewed.
- Play rate: This metric is a bit more relevant than view count as it tells you how many people actually clicked the play button to watch your content in an active way. Play rate is a very important metric to keep an eye on as it highlights whether your video content is relevant to the location it has been placed (YouTube, website, etc.) and if it’s intriguing to potential viewers.
- Engagement: The most important metric of all! Engagement tells you how effective your video or podcast is. Are people liking your content? Leaving comments and sharing it with their friends? Great! Now keep track of this engagement to help learn what type of content your audience prefers.
- Metrics for Social Media
Implementing a good social media strategy takes a lot of time and effort, and measuring its progress on all of your chosen social media platforms is part of the work! Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the likes offer built-in metrics dashboards making it very easy to pick specific metrics that give you the most value. You can import these results into an Excel sheet for further analysis. Some specifics you may want to dig into are outlined below.
- Number of Likes: This is a great indicator of how popular your content is. But, the metrics listed below are even more important as they show a real interaction and commitment to your brand.
- Number of Comments: Comments are a good indicator that people take time to interact with your content. Take this as a real reward! To get more comments, make sure to adopt a conversational tone of voice by asking questions and being inspirational.
- Number of Shares: Some people will enjoy your content so much that they decide to share it with their friends and families. Shares are the ultimate sign you’re doing a great job, keep up the good work!
- Conversion: Social media channels should be used as a way to interact with your audience and learn more about them, not to push a sales-pitch every 5 minutes. The 80/20 rule works very well when it comes to posting more “salesy” content such as announcing product launches or promotions. If you stick to talking about sales or deals just 20% of the time, you’ll be just fine. When you do, keep track of the conversion rate to see how many people were actually interested in your offer.
We hope this blogpost was helpful and that you can confidently start tracking the success of your content marketing. At Pace Creative, we know how to craft content pieces that get read, viewed, commented and shared. We would be more than happy to help you with your content marketing strategy or content creation itself. To learn more about how we can help you, make sure to get in touch with us!