Content marketing is the process of producing and sharing visual and written content with the goal of raising brand awareness. An effective content strategy can nurture prospects through their buying journey and into your sales funnel.
In their most recent B2B content marketing report, the Content Marketing Institute revealed that while 91% of B2B respondents use content marketing in their business, only 35% measure the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing strategy. When questioned as to why they did not measure the ROI of their strategy, 27% stated that it was because they did not know how.
Content marketing metrics
Reading the results of data analyses can be quite enjoyable while the task itself can be daunting. Digital technology has made the process of data analytics easier than ever, and unless your business is taking advantage of this information you may lose prospects to your competitors.
The digital marketplace is constantly changing and, alongside it, the effectiveness of lead generation strategies. Data can provide us with valuable insights into the effectiveness of our efforts.
The Content Marketing Institute breaks the process of content marketing metrics into four categories:
Consumption metrics provide us with an insight into how often the content is viewed and the channels which are used to do so. The importance of metrics may vary depending on the channel.
The following analytics are important when measuring the effectiveness of your blog:
- Page views:
It is important to have an understanding of which blog posts receive the most views. These metrics may help you to understand why these pages are more popular than others. Take note of the blog topics that are receiving the most views and any other trends that are occurring. These can give you an insight into the type of content that your audiences find most interesting.
- Time spent on page:
While this may seem like an insignificant statistic, the amount of time being spent on each page can give you an indication of your audience’s viewing habits. Are they reading your work or just scanning through it quickly?
- Visitor analytics:
These can let you know what proportion of views are coming from new and repeat visitors. Knowing the proportion of repeat visitors viewing your content can give you an insight into the quality of your work and the reliability of it as a source of information.
Many social networks provide helpful measurements that can give an impression of the popularity of your posts.
Twitter provides information regarding the total engagement with your tweets and the impressions of your tweets. Total engagements indicate the level of interaction that your tweet has garnered. The impressions metric provides an indication of the number of times people saw your tweet on their newsfeed. However, this does not necessarily truly portray the number of people who have viewed your tweet. Social media users often scroll quickly through their newsfeeds, many doing so mindlessly. While it could have appeared on their Twitter feed, it does not mean that they consumed the content of the tweet.
Each post that is published on LinkedIn provides the author with post analytics. These metrics include the views, the likes, and the shares that the post has experienced. While these three metrics are visible to anyone viewing the post, the post analytics provide the author with further information including the job title of the viewers, their employer, and their location.
The most important consumption metrics regarding your email campaigns are the open rates and the click-through rates. Email service providers can supply this data.
- Open rates:
Open rates allow you to determine how often your emails are opened by recipients. This can, however, come with some limitations. The preview settings employed by many email service providers may block the email’s images or script, while many recipients disable image loads to protect themselves from computer viruses and spam. This can lead to the misreporting of open rates. Despite the limitations, this data can be extremely helpful in determining the success of your subject lines.
- Click-through rates:
The CTA is often considered the most important metric for your email marketing strategy. This data provides you with an overview of the number of recipients that clicked on a link embedded in an email, such as a call-to-action button. It can provide insights into the effectiveness of the content that you include in your emails which may vary depending on your segmented lists of recipients. Knowing which email strategy to employ with each segmented customer can help to greater tailor your email strategy.
Sharing metrics can provide an understanding of the quality of your content. The number of shares received by a piece of content is an indicator of its quality.
- Social media:
The social networks that are used to distribute your content will depend on the social media preferences of your target audience. The posts that you share and the posts that you like now appear on your followers’ social media newsfeed. While the shares should be noted, the number of likes that your posts receive should also be taken into account when examining your social media sharing metrics.
It can be useful to have an understanding of the number of shares that come directly from your blog. If the number of blog shares is low, it may have something to do with the position of the in-post social media share buttons. Experimenting with different positions may alter these numbers. The WordPress platform makes these metrics easily accessible.
Lead generation metrics
Lead generation metrics help to determine how often your content generates a lead. Useful metrics to help determine this are:
- Blog subscriptions:
Blog subscriptions are simple to measure. This data is easily accessible on the WordPress dashboard. Google Analytics can also provide you with this information.
- Blog comments:
Good content encourages the engagement of its audiences. Enable the comment sections on both your blog and video platforms. Measuring the engagement level of each piece of content can add insight to the production of future content. The blog host WordPress provides comment metrics on the dashboard. Social media provides easily accessible comment metrics.
- Email subscriptions:
Your landing pages should include call-to-actions to allow visitors to sign-up for email subscriptions. This can give you the opportunity to reach larger audiences with a newsletter. Your email provider can provide you with this number.
- Conversion rate:
Content is used to engage with prospects and ultimately convert them into customers. Understanding what content was viewed during the prospect’s buying process can help to further navigate your content strategy and drive sales.
While the goal of a content strategy is the generation of leads, its ultimate purpose is to turn these leads into customers and increase sales. To measure your sales is to measure the success of the business.
This data allows you to understand whether or not the content you are making is earning you what, if any, ROI.
Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool for determining the metrics of the following:
Google Analytics can help you to determine the amount of revenue that your online content was responsible for.
- Length of time:
This data can be used to determine just how long it took for a consumer to complete a sale. It can be useful for further developing your content strategy and ensuring that the right content is released at the appropriate point in the buyer’s journey.
The importance of metrics
The importance of particular metrics depends on your business goals and the channels that you are using to distribute your content. Some content creators focus on the total number of visitors their content has received or the demographical information of their audience. Others may find it more useful to identify which type of content is receiving the most interest among their audiences.
Having an overview of the effectiveness of your content strategy can help to optimize the lead generation efforts of both your sales and marketing teams. It is important to have an understanding of the strategies that are working and those which are not. The information gathered can help to improve future strategies.
Data is the driving force behind successful marketing strategies. While it can sometimes be a lot of information to wrap your head around, your sales and marketing teams, along with your business as a whole, can only benefit from having these insights.