So you’ve done it all: you’ve discovered your brand’s voice and narrative, set up a content strategy that works, and have begun publishing posts and sharing them across your social platforms. What now? You’re confident that employing a content strategy is important, especially since 68% of CMOs claim they are moving away from traditional advertising and setting their sights on content marketing. You know that people are visiting your blog, but are they actually turning into customers? One of the most difficult things to do as a content marketer is prove content ROI and know if your strategy is working, this is what we’ll be walking through today.
What Does “Success” Mean For You?
First, let’s define what content success means for your brand. It won’t be as cut and dry as traditional ROI so take the time to create your own baseline and decide what your overall goals are. Before you create each piece of content, try and consider what you are trying to achieve with it. Would you like it to nurture existing leads or help generate new ones? Is it intended to be shared to proliferate your online presence or to transform casual readers into purchasing customers? You want to be sure you’re tailoring your content according to your goals. This whole process will in turn help you tune into what your future content should look like.
Ways to Measure Success
Number of Email Captures
One great way to get your blog readers into your purchasing funnel, arguably the best way, is by setting up an email capture on your blog. The idea is once you have emails coming in, you’ll be able to remarket to your blog readers and, ultimately, track their purchasing behavior. If you don’t have a robust internal dev team, don’t worry. Multiple services like BounceExchange can help you set up an email capture, no development work required.
Amount of Social Media Engagement
As you’re posting links to your blog posts across your Social Media platforms, you’ll be able to get immediate feedback from your social audiences. If you’ve built up a healthy Social Media community, they basically become like a big focus group you can use. Track their reactions closely to see what posts are resonating most with your community on each channel.
Blog comments are one of the earliest forms of internet engagement and continue to be one of the best ways for your readers to respond to your content. Take note of which posts gain the most amount of engaged comments, this will help point to what topics your readers are most interested in.
Track traffic by blog post so you can see which posts are gaining the most interest. Also, track overall traffic to your blog so you can see if your readership is growing steadily as you move forward. Use this intel to craft your future content. For example, are you getting a ton of traffic from Pinterest? Use that information to create future posts that might appeal specifically to a Pinterest audience. Perhaps, at the end of a DIY blog post, incentivize Pinterest followers to use your service or product.
Tools You Can Use to Track Success
Google Analytics or Internal Attribution
If you don’t have internal attribution set up, take the time to really learn Google Analytics. Once it’s up and running properly, it will immediately up your content marketing game. You’ll be able to set goals and apply metrics to each social media channel, create unique campaign codes for each piece of content, and so much more. You’ll be able to clearly see what channels conversions are coming through and which pieces of content are bringing in the most traffic.
Excel Doc to Track Growth
One of the most simple but vital tools to track success is a simple Excel document. As you record your weekly progress, you’ll be able to look for trends and keep your eyes peeled for any issues. Seeing a ton of traffic but a major dip in email captures this week? Your lead captures may not be working correctly. It’ll also make it really easy to create pivot tables and graphs if need be.
Once you have your email capture set-up and start getting some leads, start developing a strategy around how to market to this group of people. Do you want to send a welcome letter, give them more information about your services, or dust them with coupon codes? With a little bit of elbow grease and a pinch of creativity, you’ll find the possibilities really are endless.
Social Media Share Tracker
Different trackers such as AddThis or ShareThis can help you keep track of how many people are sharing your content and on which channels.
Google Keyword Search Rankings
Part of content success is making sure your content is being seen by the right people. Using Google’s Adwords tool can help you see what words to include in your posts, what other people using your same keywords are writing about, and just how relevant your content is.
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blog be, but don’t be discouraged by this. Content marketing requires the slow and careful cultivation of your community. Stick to your content strategy but feel free to make tweaks as you test and learn more about your audience.
Up Next: Now that you know how to measure your content’s success, it’s time to make sure you’re maximizing your content’s growth and reach.