Content Marketing: Measuring Results

Measuring tape to evaluate content marketing resultsLike other forms of marketing, it’s important to understand how your content marketing efforts are working and where improvements can be made. This means you must actively measure results. Measuring results is an involved process with numerous considerations. Here’s what you need to know.

Set and Understand Goals for Your Content Marketing Campaigns
Each piece of content you create, whether it’s a detailed white paper or a series of social media posts, should have a goal. Not only do goals give your content creators purpose and direction, they give you something to measure. For example, if the goal is to drive sales, you can measure the results of the content marketing campaign by looking at metrics related to sales such as number of leads and conversion rates.

Aligning Performance Metrics to Job Roles
For many marketers, it’s tempting to measure results across the entire campaign. While you certainly need to understand how well your content marketing campaign is working overall, it’s also helpful to understand it from various perspectives including at the content creator, manager, and executive levels.

For example, content creators need metrics that provide them with relevant feedback so that they understand which types of content are working and which ones are not. Metrics such as page views, bounce rates, social media shares, keywords, and visitor demographics help content creators identify popular content and content that should be tweaked or avoided in the future. While managers are interested in popularity, they tend to be more interested in metrics that reveal conversation rates, lead quality, and cost per lead. Executives need an even higher level view focused on customer lifetime value and the bottom line. They don’t care how many eyeballs viewed a blog post; they want to know if the blog’s return on investment makes sense.

Using Analytics Tools
Whether you invest in a content marketing solution that includes detailed analytics and tracking tools or use a free service such as Google Analytics, it’s important to regularly evaluate your content’s performance with analytics and tracking tools. Analytics can tell you where traffic is coming from, which content is most popular, what keywords people use to find your site, and more – but only if you’re willing to look.

Identifying and Leveraging What Works
Content marketing is a huge field with numerous opportunities. While it may be tempting to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, it’s smarter to find out what’s working and do more of that. At the same time, do less of what’s not working. For example, if your blog has a high conversion rate and generates a high return on investment, it makes sense to do more blogging. Similarly, if your article marketing efforts generate traffic but few sales, you may want to do less of that or reevaluate your strategy.

Understanding What Type of Content Appeals to Customers – and When
Customers have different needs depending on where they are in the sales cycle. For example, customers who are just beginning to think about buying a new product or service will need different content than those who are close to making a buying decision. For example, a customer thinking about buying a new kitchen appliance may want to learn about the latest technologies, energy efficiency, and whether rebates are available while a customer who’s ready to buy will be more interested in product-specific content.

Likewise, customers who have made a purchase will need different content such as instruction manuals, tutorials, and tips for getting the most out of their purchase. Content marketing is not necessarily over once the sale has been made. In fact, these same customers can act as champions for your brand by interacting on your blog’s comment pages, posting product reviews, or sharing their experiences on Facebook.

By setting goals, aligning performance with job roles, and using analytics tools, you can identify what’s working and what’s not.

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