Fundamental to measuring success, is defining objectives and measures at the start of your campaign. What is it you want to see from your content marketing?
- Better SEO rankings?
- A lift in email newsletter subscribers?
- More leads?
- More sales?
- An increase in social followers?
You may have had great ideas which could be turned into beautifully crafted content, but if you haven’t considered how you’ll be measuring the success of your content, or what the aim of your content was in the first place, the content you’ve just spent all that time creating could be wasted.
In our previous post – 3 Ways to Create Content that People Actually WANT to Consume we explained the different content tactics you should use depending on where the visitor was in your buying funnel.
Here’s a reminder of our funnel…
Objective: Attract Strangers
Taking this concept, you may decide that because you are targeting ’Strangers’, you will be creating infographics, videos and blogs, increasing your SEO rankings and general PR. Measures for attracting strangers will be things like:
Achieved by people consuming your content and distributing it to their network through their blog, their website, or some other link-generating method. This is the most effective way of increasing your SEO rankings.
If you’re generating links back to your site, your rankings should improve. If you have good rankings, the likelihood of strangers stumbling across your site when they’re conducting informational searches increases.
- Unique visits
Number of unique visitors to your site. The more the better – these are new people who have never visited before, and therefore represent awareness.
- Onsite engagement
Bounce rate and time on site are both great indicators of engagement. Visitors should be browsing your site MORE and for LONGER if you’re creating engaging content.
Objective: Convert Visitors
If you want to work on keeping your visitors returning, and convert them to a lead or sale, you might want to start a relationship with them by signing them up to an email newsletter with the offer of a free report, industry whitepaper, or invite only seminar or workshop. Metrics you’re looking for here are:
- Number of leads
- Number of email subscribers
…and then unique opens and clicks within the email showing the engagement.
- Number of returning vs new visitors
This will tell you if your content is genuinely valued, as you will see an increase in returning customers the more compelling your content.
- Number of downloads
If you are creating assets which are downloadable you can both collect email addresses in order to send the asset via email, and you can track the downloads to assess the success.
- Number of attendees
If you’re holding in-person events, track the number of attendees (and encourage them to bring a friend!).
- Video views
You can access drop-off stats within YouTube, mirroring the drop off against your video, along with loads of other cool analytics.
Tip: You should make sure you have high converting landing pages – regardless of your call to action (sign up, download, attend, enquire…), you can maximise engagement and conversion with some bespoke, best-practice landing pages. Look at Unbounce for an easy way to set up and test landing pages without needing to use your IT department.
Once you have your lead, the idea is to close. For that lead to become a customer they need to trust you. This is of paramount importance. You’ll be providing testimonials, case studies, data sheets, calculators, and analysis – all kinds of tools that will help your lead to make that important decision. The key metric here…
Yep. That’s it. If your objective is to close, then there isn’t a better measure than how many you closed vs how many leads you had.
We believe that whether you are a new visitor, a lead or a customer, you should always be the recipient of amazing content. Your measurements for delighted customers will be things like:
- Provision of unprompted reviews and testimonials
Sites like TripAdvisor for the travel and leisure industry are a great example of this. Google star ratings or review sites specific to your industry are a great indicator.
- Social media engagement
Your customers will be your greatest ambassadors. They might need a bit of encouragement, but if you’re active on social media, they will reciprocate.
- Email newsletter engagement
As before, opens and clicks are a great indicator of engagement, but also any call to action which isn’t lead-generating is another way to see that your customers are engaging.
Tip: Create a newsletter JUST for customers. This can be advertised as an exclusive customer-only newsletter where they are rewarded with first-look content and customer-only offers.
Tools to Measure Your Content Marketing Success
Whilst Google Analytics is a great start, having a deeper understanding of your content marketing metrics is a must. Using just one analytics data source is a risk, so we recommend using a variety to make sure you have a 360 degree view of your content metrics:
- Radian 6 – http://www.salesforcemarketingcloud.com/products/social-media-listening/
Crucial for in-depth social monitoring.
- Core Metrics (Now part of IBMs Enterprise Marketing Management suite) http://www-01.ibm.com/software/uk/marketing-solutions/coremetrics/
Provides web analytics, assists in providing sophisticated content recommendations and helps to bring together offline marketing initiatives with online campaigns.
- Omniture http://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/digital-marketing.html
This is like a very bespoke version of Google Analytics. Everything is personalised to the client, making things like analysing a user journey and optimising for buyer behaviour a lot more targeted and a lot easier!
Here are a couple of other tools we use regularly, which feature either a free trial or a free version to use before scaling up to a paid subscription:
- Buffer app bufferapp.com
Buffer allows you to post to multiple social sites through its platform, and acts as a URL shortener. The great thing about Buffer is that not only can you see the engagement (clicks, retweets) but you can also see what Buffer labels “potential” – this is the number of people who may have seen your post. What’s more, you can connect it to Bit.ly…
- Bit.ly enterprise https://bitly.com/
Bit.ly is essentially a URL shortener. But more than this, it tracks link performance across different platforms and its social media dashboard allows you to monitor and optimise your content publication.
- Wildfire app www.wildfireapp.com
Excellent because it links seamlessly with other Google packages you might already be using, Wildfire app allows you to create paid promotions and integrate them with bespoke social landing pages which all feed into the Google products you already use.
- Unbounce http://unbounce.com/
Perfect if you struggle to push things through your IT department. Unbounce lets you use a template to create a bespoke landing page which is optimised for converting – whether it’s a download, an enquiry, an email newsletter sign up.
- MailChimp http://mailchimp.com/
MailChimp is an email campaign management service, perfect for starting your email newsletter list and managing your subscribers. You can download or pay a small fee for email templates, and the best thing is that you can send 12,000 emails to 2000 subscribers absolutely free.
At WMG, we use a range of tools and expertise to analyse the success of a single asset, and of an overall campaign, always with a very clear focus on the objective and the outcome – and importantly, your rankings. Get in touch if you’d like to to know more about bringing metrics to your creative campaigns.