You probably know that content marketing is important. You also know that when properly executed, content marketing can help you attract the right audience and turn these into leads. However, how would you tell you are on the right track?
Because one data point is not enough to successfully or satisfactorily tell whether your program is working, you cannot measure the performance of content with a single metric. Instead, you’ll want to create your metrics from the four most important pillars to track:
For many companies, this is the most basic content metric. Unfortunately, it’s also where many programs end. Consumption metrics is a critical data point, especially for those running an advertised based product. The questions you need to ask yourself include:
• How many people consumed your content?
• What channels are they using?
• What is the frequency and depth of their consumption?
You can derive this data from Google Analytics and YouTube insights. Remember, the manner of consumption is more important than mere views. In your Google Analytics, it might help to look at the following:
• The time your visitors spend on-site
• The number of pages viewed on average
• How frequent the search robots return to index your website
• How many people visit one page and leave. Including internal links and related articles could prove helpful.
• The number of inbound links
Not stopping here is the key. You need to see how visitors are engaging with your content.
This metric is often public, and can, therefore, deliver a lot of data without you having to go anywhere. However, it’s easy to drown in the data offered and lose track of what is relevant to your business. The people liking and following you on social media should do much more than that. They should engage with your content, which involves sharing and responding to your content and following your call-to-action. You need to track the things that will help you make informed decisions including:
• The conversation rate: This gives you a better understanding of how your target audience feels about your content. By looking at the number of comments per post, you can improve engagement and nurture your leads.
• The amplification rate: This helps you to measure brand awareness by showing you how often your content is shared and the reach achieved as a result. It can illustrate the type of content you should be creating and what channels you need to focus on.
• The applause rate: This can be seen as the endorsements people are giving your posts, including likes or favorites, which can indicate what your audience likes and doesn’t like.
• The Economic value: This shows you the social sites that drive the most traffic to your home page. By tracking this behavior, you will know which networks are converting the most.
Research shows that 74 percent of consumers rely on social media sites to help them make their purchase decisions.
Lead Generation Metrics
At some point, a potential lead will have to convert. Whether you require registration before you let visitors read, watch, or download your content, or you measure leads generated after consumption. This is where you can determine whether your content marketing efforts are making financial sense.
Those who have an online lead form on their website can measure how long it takes visitors to fill in the form from when they first visit the site. You achieve this by determining how many filled in the form immediately after they consumed your content. Additionally, you can set a browser cookie to track when a visitor fills out the lead form once he/she has viewed your content, even when there’s an interval between the events. If for instance, most of your leads come in via phone, you can have a simple script installed, one that shows a different telephone number in various parts of the site when your visitors take actions like downloading a presentation or watching a video. You need to know how often your content consumers turn into leads.
Every other metric has been working to this moment, which is when you make some money and hopefully turn a profit. When using a customer and prospect tracking database, you are also automatically recording all the required information about these potential leads including the type of content they consume more and the kind they seem most interested in. With this information, you can create personalized emails to help turn prospects into sales, after which you can put a value on the content pieces that helped shape the sale. However, you should not double up. You need to know how often your content consumers turn into customers.