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by John Waghorn on 19th August 2014
In order to run a successful Content Marketing campaign, it’s crucial for you to determine what your digital goals are first. This way, your campaigns will be more focussed and targeted, and it will be easier to observe if results are actually being achieved.
Therefore, as a business your first port of call is to get to the core of what your main goals should be. You may already have a good indication as to what these are, but if not, seek professional advice on what the goal of your campaign should be.
With relevant goals in place, you need a simple and effective way to measure results. This is where metrics come into the equation.
Remember that content won’t be measured or defined by a single metric. In reality, there are a range of metrics that will be assigned to a specific goal – because multiple factors will contribute to the success of any campaign.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at which metrics can be used for some of the most popular Content Marketing goals.
If one of your goals is visibility, then you are essentially looking to maximise the amount of people who are able to view your website and the content that you produce.
Metrics for measuring visibility include:
How many people are actually viewing your content? Spend time looking at Google Analytics to observe the number of visits each piece is receiving. If one piece of content is performing really well, could it be promoted further to improve results? Alternatively, could you bring underperforming content in line with the pieces that are doing well to increase your reach?
High volume of traffic is one thing, but you also need to check that your content is generating unique visits too. As a simplified example, you could have 50 visits in total, but only 30 unique visits, meaning that these users have already visited your site previously. The higher the number of unique visitors in comparison to visits overall, the better.
Where has your traffic come from? If your content is accessible via a wide range of sources, you have a greater chance of maximising visibility. Your content should be shared on social channels, in addition to on-page and off-page locations to attract a larger audience and drive both organic and referral traffic.
As more people search on the move via mobiles and tablets, make sure your website and content can be viewed on these devices. If your site is mobile and tablet compatible, then you can maximise visibility and even measure the amount of traffic you are generating from specific devices too. This will give you a clear indication as to how much traffic you are receiving from mobile/tablet, compared to desktop users.
Metrics for measuring engagement include:
High levels of likes, shares, follows, comments and mentions on platforms such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn will contribute to greater engagement. This is why you should actively incorporate social channels within your content strategy where possible. The nature of these networks will allow you to build, engage and interact with your target audience and ultimately drive more traffic, sales and profit.
If you are creating marketing videos for your target audience, then regularly monitor and measure your view count. In this instance the higher the engagement, the better. To take it a step further, you can also track completion rate and drop-off points as well, to see if users are watching each video from start to finish, or if they are leaving before the video ends.
If one of your individual goals is to encourage users to download a specific document, such as a whitepaper or a .pdf file, you can use call to action buttons and event tracking to monitor the uptake. Are users downloading what you want them to? Could the call to action buttons be placed higher up the page to improve the download rate? Are the buttons shouting out to your audience or are they hidden on the page? These are some of the questions you should be asking before using trial and error to see if the engagement rate can increase.
Once traffic has landed on your content, take a look at what this traffic does next. This will enable you to see if people are interested in what you offer and whether they continue interacting with other pages on your site.
Observe the traffic stats for each individual piece of content, as well as bounce rate, time on site and pages per visit for individual visitors. This is an ideal way to determine if the traffic you are generating from Content Marketing is helping to improve the overall engagement rate and add real value to your business.
Unlike visibility, whereby people physically see your content, brand perception refers to how people perceive your brand and whether they value you as an established and trusted authority in your industry. Remember – customers are more likely to do business with brands they’re familiar with.
Metrics for measuring brand awareness include:
Where has your brand been mentioned? If your content is being featured in established publications and referral traffic is coming in from these sources, then this will help to create a positive image for your company. Furthermore, if you are avoiding negative press, this will also work in your favour as your business can deliver the best message to your customers.
Does your business dominate the first page of the search results for branded search terms? If not, see if you can secure more profiles and create content to push the rankings of these profiles. Ideally you want to end up in a position where your website, blog, social profiles, positive mentions from other sites and good PR links appear on page one.
Similar to visibility, could you expand on how many people you connect with and improve your overall reach? To do this, you could look at maintaining social profiles and engaging with your community, creating more on-page and off-page content, starting video conferences and webinars, and spending time promoting your content too. This will all help to get your brand seen by the people who matter to you most.
These are just some examples of how metrics can be used to determine if your Content Marketing goals are actually being achieved. If you have any more you wish to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
There are a whole host of other goals that your business might be looking to focus on, but it’s important to make sure that you can define and observe if results are being met through using dedicated metrics. Without which, you’ll have no real way of measuring results and your campaigns will be less focused and targeted.
The great thing about using metrics is that if something isn’t working, you can refine your strategy accordingly and measure the impact this has had overall.
Goals thumbnail image from Bigstock.
Visibility image from Bigstock.
Engagement image from Bigstock.
Brand awareness image from Bigstock.