We don’t just create content, we create a strategy that delivers results. Measurable marketing is the only way to market. Recently Search Engine Watch outlined 25 tips for measuring success in content marketing. Here’s how we use them at Red212:
The Obvious Metrics
This is the easiest set of data to measure. Google Analytics can determine if there is an improvement in metrics like traffic, page views, unique users, average time on site or pages and average number of pages per visit. Even if you get thousands of visits to your site, are they the right people? While it’s great to show an uptick in traffic as a result of increased content creation, the real goal is delivering the right content to the right people. More isn’t always better.
Engagement and Social Metrics
Thanks to social media, we have much more insight than we used to on how interested your audience is. If no one is liking, sharing, or commenting, your content probably is not reaching the right people or it is just bad. Keep your business objectives in mind when analyzing engagement metrics as well. You may have posted something really controversial about our current presidential candidates and stirred up a lively conversation. But if you are trying to sell baby blankets, and sales haven’t gone up, you might be “conversating” for the wrong reasons. It’s also important to know that not all engagement leads directly to sales. If the sales-cycle is long, and the purpose of your blog is to gain subscribers, keep producing content that earns their trust. Eventually they will convert.
With our long history in SEO, this is our favorite area of data analysis. With the majority of users starting an online search for something on Google, it’s critical that you appear at the top of search results and drive quality traffic that converts. Did your Google traffic increase after a series of blog posts? Are you driving more traffic for more relevant keywords? Are other relevant sites linking to you and sending traffic to your site? Then your content is starting to hit the mark.
Are online users searching for your brand more often than they did before? If your brand messaging is clear in your content, and your goal is to raise awareness, you better have the numbers to show that the content is working in your favor. Reputation is also a very important factor. Some say even bad press is better than no press at all. But online, in Google’s world, their ability to detect sentiment can have an adverse effect on your traffic. Google knows if users are not happy with your brand, and they will rank or not rank you accordingly. Don’t just throw content out into the interwebs – make sure you know what people are saying both on your site and off. Ensure that comments and engagement are positive or that you’re addressing any negativity that arises.
The most important piece of measuring your marketing campaigns is the ROI. Ultimately, you are in business for a reason, and it’s just smart to make sure that your marketing efforts are getting a return on your investment. Is your content driving users to purchase or inquire for more information? Are you improving the user experience in some way? Whatever stage of the funnel you are trying to reach, or whatever the objective, measuring your success is critical.
When you know the data inside and out, you will know the effectiveness of your content. More importantly, you will be able to deliver content that is useful and drive conversions. Remember, we’re here to help people, not just to play the numbers game.