Guest Post: Measuring Your Content Campaign
These days the tools to measure digital marketing campaigns are developing almost as quickly as the marketing campaigns themselves, which means that you can truly see how your content is working for you. The trick is knowing where to start.
No matter how sophisticated analytic technology becomes, there will always be ambiguity when it comes to measuring your online marketing force. You likely can’t compare your statistics with Nike, but you can determine if your presence – and sales – are increasing as a result of your content initiatives.
Before you start measuring growth, determine your starting point and set some relevant goals. Do you want your social media interactions to convert into 5x more sales? Do you want viewers to visit one more page per visit? Do you want to double your database through newsletter sign-up? Do you want 60% of leads to be driven by social media?
There are no hard and fast rules about which statistics will be right for you. Take the time to consider company organization, departmental goals, marketing resources and appropriate timeframes up front to establish a solid base for your plan and your analysis.
Once you’ve started to deploy your content campaign, you can get straight to measuring. The sooner you start seeing patterns (and success!) the sooner you can adjust your campaign to capitalize. One of the best things about content marketing is that you can always make updates along the way.
Focus on these three big elements to cover a solid foundation in your analysis.
1. Social Growth
“Engagement boils down to interactions between individuals and content.” Evan LePage, Hootsuite
It all comes down to reaching more people and engaging them in your brand.
Traditionally, reach would have been measured purely in followers, and engagement in likes, comments and shares, however different value can be attributed to different forms of engagement.
When analysing your social presence, ask yourself if your audience is truly invested in your content.
- Are they personally promoting your brand within their own social circles?
- Are they following you on all platforms, or are there tendencies towards certain accounts?
- Are they ultimately interested in spending money?
As you start to see where your key engagement is coming from, adapt your investment of time and money accordingly. Are certain accounts stronger? Are certain times more prosperous? Does organic online engagement (ie: actually communicating with your fans) drive traffic?
And last, but certainly not least, where are viewers accessing your content? If you still need inspiration to make your web presence mobile-friendly, keep an eye on how many people are viewing your content from a mobile device.
2. Website traffic
We often focus on CTR (Click-Through Rate) as a means to see who is transitioning from advertisements or social moments onto a website. While CTR is still a good way to judge whether your marketing efforts are attracting visitors, it doesn’t say much about the visit beyond initial landing.
To get a better sense of true click-through value, monitor your bounce rate: the number of visitors who click through onto your website but then immediately leave. Sure the initial click shows interest, but their hasty disappearance proves they have no interest in investing their time or money.
When analyzing your website traffic, ask yourself which viewers are most valuable.
- How much time are they spending on your website?
- Are they reading several pages per visit?
- Are they signing up for a newsletter or returning regularly?
- What content (subject, format, length, look) is proving most popular?
- What ad placements are most effective on your page?
For most businesses the statistics offered by Google Analytics will paint a thorough picture of where your traffic comes from, and how it behaves. Once you determine who is most engaged with your brand, you can identify which streams are most valuable to this group and continue catering to them with customized content.
3. Sales funnel conversion
As fast and agile as the online marketing world is, revenue can still require patience. A content marketing campaign is designed to gain the trust and loyalty of the appropriate target audience, so while engaging content may boost sales immediately, the greatest return will come from long term brand ambassadors.
That being said, don’t sit back and wait for sales to come to you down the road. Use the data you’ve collected regarding your followers and their behaviour to create a sales push that resonates with them. Tools like Salesforce in combination with Google Analytics can help you track leads back to specific campaigns to see which messages converted the most leads.
The good news about online: what’s not working can be changed – whether that means day to day, week to week, or month to month, everything can be updated, adapted and tweaked based on results.
Finally, don’t forget to listen to your followers for some good old fashioned feedback. While numbers will show their general habits, nothing is more accurate than their own comments and suggestions. Keep in mind that all criticism can be constructive and chances are you’ll learn something.