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7 Metrics To Accurately Measure Your Content Marketing

Did you know that 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog this year? It’s time to take full advantage of the content marketing craze by connecting your customers with the right content.

Creating quality content on behalf of your business has major benefits for your search engine optimization efforts, social media engagement, and overall credibility in your industry.

What is content marketing?

The content created by your organization should both educate your audience about a particular expertise, while also informing them about your product offerings and services.

By answering the most commonly asked customer questions with your content, your company could become the go to resource for your specialty and gain new leads that convert to customers in the long-term.

Content marketing consists of two parts:

1) Content Creation: Creating content that is valuable to your audience in the forms of articles, eBooks, white papers, infographics, visuals, video, slideshows etc.

2) Content Distribution: The process of sharing original content with your audience through different online and offline channels like social media, e-mail marketing, through your blog, in a print ad or wherever else your audience is active and the content is appropriate for that platform.

Once you’ve established what your content strategy will look like, it’s time to define which metrics will help you accurately measure and monitor your success.

Here are seven metrics to effectively measure your content marketing efforts:

1. Brand Lift

Building buzz about your brand should be an ongoing goal of your content marketing efforts. The way consumers perceive your company is really important because there are many competitors gunning for the attention of your customer base. This metric tends to be more abstract, but that doesn’t diminish its importance.

The content that your company produces should help lift the perception of your brand to match the aesthetics, voice and perspective that you’re communicating to customers and potential customers alike.

One way to measure the rise or fall in the sentiment of your brand for the long run is through social media. The sentiment of users talking about your business, products or services through status updates, tweets and more can be measured to understand whether consumer opinions of your business are trending up or down based off of conversations on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere.

When measuring brand lift look to determine whether visitors recognize your business solely off of your content, if your content has helped improve brand recall, whether your brand is looked at as more favorable, or if a prospect is more likely to make a purchase after they’ve consumed your content.

2. Increased Traffic

When your content is created and then distributed to your audience, the hope is that this effort will drive traffic back to your web properties. Measuring an increase of organic traffic from the search engines to your website is a worthwhile method of determining whether the content you’re creating is engaging enough to draw traffic to your website.

Traffic by itself doesn’t pay the bills, but it is often a sign of what content is resonating best with your audience. Take note of increases in non-branded organic traffic because this is an indication of traffic coming from the people in the search engines looking for the types of product or services your website offers as opposed to searching for your business by name.

An increase in traffic is also often the result of your content resonating well on social media, which in turn can cause a spike in traffic to your web properties. Traffic from the search engines is often seen in the long-term, while traffic resulting from social media is often seen in the short-term. Utilize a healthy balance of both SEO and social media to get your content in front of the right audience in both the short and long-term.

3. Social Interactions

A metric that allows you to better understand whether your content is resonating with your online audience is the amount of quality social interactions each piece of content garners. By monitoring the gross amount of tweets, retweets, likes, shares, comments, mentions, and more, your business will be able to understand what content was well received, on what platforms and by what users.

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By analyzing the social activity that is happening around your business, you can take a look at how these social actions are affecting your other marketing channels as whole. For instance, your company should know when an increase in Facebook activity about your content is driving increased e-mail subscribers and web traffic. Being able to accurately attribute what channels spurred what actions across your properties is crucial for understanding what type of content works on what channels and how it will affect other marketing efforts.

When it comes to the individual social channels you are active on, monitor these top three metrics on each network to determine the overall social interactions occuring with your content:

  • Facebook:

    • Page Consumptions: Clicks, Likes, Comments & Shares

    • Best Post Types

    • Post Reach

 

  • Twitter:

    • Replies

    • Retweets

    • Mentions

 

  • YouTube:

    • Views

    • Likes/Dislikes

    • Comments & Favorites

 

  • LinkedIn:

    • Likes

    • Comments

    • Shares

 

  • Google+:

    • +1

    • Comments

    • Shares

 

  • Instagram:

    • Likes

    • Comments

 

  • Tumblr:

    • Reblogs

    • Likes

    • Other Social Actions (Likes, Tweets or Shares Depending on the Tumblr)

 

  • Foursquare:

    • Like

    • Share

    • Saved Tips

 

4. On-Site Engagement

Once traffic is driven to your website from the variety of content you’ve distributed, take a look at the on-site engagement that that traffic generated. It is one thing to drive traffic to your website using content marketing, but if that traffic doesn’t do anything once they’ve visited your website then the traffic isn’t qualified, interested in your offerings or engaged enough to continue interacting.

Take a look at the traffic each individual piece of content is driving and focus on the bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit of those particular visitors. Is your traffic from content marketing stay onsite longer than other visitors referred through different sources? Did your traffic discover your website through one piece of content and then continued to look at other resources across your website? Did visitors from content generated on your website bounce off your website less often or more often? Did your web visitors look at more pages per visit when they came from content or when your website featured more content?

Ask these questions to determine whether traffic generated from content marketing is typically more engaged than traffic from other sources. This is a worthwhile way of determining if your content marketing efforts are driving real value to your business. If your content efforts are often the most viewed part of your website, it might be safe to say that your audience is finding value and that you’re educating them on a particular expertise.

5. Lead Generation and Subscriptions

One of the most valuable metrics to monitor when it comes to your content marketing efforts is if your lead generation efforts increased, as well as your subscriptions to your e-mail list or followers to your social media accounts.

Lead generation is important because leads are the most likely people to convert and make your business revenue. Revenue is the most important measurement of your content marketing efforts because Twitter followers, visits to your website, e-mail subscribers, etc. don’t make you money on their own.

By using a signup form on your website, visitors must enter their contact information to gain access to exclusive content created by your company about the industry. This visitor is now a lead that can then be added to your CMS (contact management system) and cultivated to eventually become a paying customer. Measure that rate at which leads are generated from your website’s content to see what type of content is working and what isn’t to get more traction from your web visitors.

Offering original content to your audience can help build your e-mail lists and your social media following overtime, which is beneficial to monitor to understand what type of content your business should create and how often it should be released. Again, by offering original, informative, and educational content to your audience; it motivates them to sign up for your e-mails or follow your business on social media to gain access to this exclusive content in the future. Measuring your content marketing’s impact on your subscriber growth can help inform future decisions on what strategy to utilize and what value this marketing approach really has.

6. Thought Leadership

Content marketing can define your business as the expert or thought leader in an industry which can lead to many valuable benefits. By consistently releasing quality content on a topic, it can lead to an increase in mentions and coverage by the press who now consider your business and its staff, experts on an industry.

Take a step back and monitor whether press mentions of your content and business increases overtime, if other thought leaders reference your content, if the media is requesting your input on certain subjects, other experts wish to contribute to your content or if requests for your leadership to speak an industry events are increasing overtime. This is a strong metric to consider because it is often difficult to quantify, but certainly defines the success or failure of your content marketing strategy.

Look at how your content is performing and helping to position your company as a thought leader. By becoming an industry known expert, your content could continue to gain more traffic, follows, subscriptions, leads, and conversions overtime. Work to cultivate the growth of this metric to ensure a cohesive and effective content marketing strategy.

7. Conversions

Conversions from your leads, subscribers, followers, and visitors are what drive revenue for your business and illustrate the true value of your content marketing. Cultivate your leads from social media, e-mail and web traffic in a CMS to eventually convert them into a paying customer.

In the end, the revenue driven from your content marketing efforts is what defines the success of your campaigns. Conversions can occur across many touch points in the consumer marketplace and content helps drive your company’s unique value throughout that experience.

Monitor the impact your content marketing has on your conversion rate to better target your audience, educate them on your expertise and turn them into customer advocates.

Content marketing helps provide the search engines with information to rank your website for the right keywords, encourages other websites to link to your content, fuels interactions on social media, a basis for thought leadership in your industry, and helps educate leads that can eventually convert into paying customers.

What metrics does your organization use to measure your content marketing? How often are you analyzing the results of your content strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments below or with us @SumAll on Twitter!


  • myfragrancestore

    Great article can I get someone to evaluate my brand to see how I can get more traffic: http://www.myfragrancestore.com Thank You for any feedback in advance.

  • Jay Hunter

    Interesting article Brian! I think “Brand lift” is an awesome term for the types brand awareness and brand perception that you mention. I haven’t heard it termed that way before but it makes a lot of sense. I have read a few other of your articles as well, good stuff. I am curious, what are some of the marketing measurement tools you have used? I have tried google analytics, marketingstick, and hubspot and all seem great.

    • http://www.brianhonigman.com/ Brian Honigman

      Hi Jay! Thanks for reading this piece and my others in the past. In terms of measurement tools, I use Google Analytics, Facebook insights and Sumall to get the bigger picture of the progress of all my social media and other marketing activities. Of the three tools you listed, which helps best illustrate the conversions driven from your marketing channels?

      • Jay Hunter

        For checking out conversions, I like using google analytics and mixpanel. For traffic reports MarketingStick has a nice drag and drop report editor I love.

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