The only way to understand which of your content marketing tactics are effectively driving leads for your business is to apply the right metrics to your campaigns. Here’s how to determine the best metrics for your campaign and how to measure the true success of your content marketing.
Creating and sharing quality content is one of the most effective ways to drive sales leads and market to your customers. However, it’s also time-consuming and requires consistent effort over an extended period of time. The revenue flood gates aren’t going to open after you’ve sent one or two emails. The success of your content marketing efforts needs to be evaluated over a period of months, even years. This is why content marketing metrics are so critical.
Businesses can’t afford to wait a year to see if their content marketing efforts are headed in the right direction. By measuring the small results of your efforts every month, you’ll be able to spot data trends over time and make adjustments along the way to better your chances of driving revenue through content marketing over the long term.
What You Measure Matters
Smart content marketing strategists focus on the metrics that can draw a direct line between their content and the intended goal. And, they ignore just about everything else. With tools like Google Analytics, there’s an overwhelming number of metrics available and you can get lost trying to sift your way through all of the data. Instead, focus only on what really matters. Determine the end goal of your campaign first. Are you trying to boost sales of a particular product, increase downloads of an e-book or get more people to sign up for an event? Once you know the goal, look at only those metrics that can help you determine whether or not a given content marketing tactic accomplished the intended goal.
4 Critical Content Marketing Metrics
Every company’s content marketing plan and goals are going to vary. However, these four content marketing metrics will give you a clear picture of how your efforts are performing, and where and how to adjust your strategy along the way.
Email marketing as a way to drive web traffic is one of the foundations of a smart content marketing plan. Whether you’re using Mailchimp, Constant Contact or some other email sender, the email report that follows will likely be overflowing with stats. Rather than try to make sense of it all, focus on one metric–click-through-Rate. The email click-through-rate is the percentage of people who clicked on the email after they opened it. This is not to be confused with people who simply opened the email and stopped there. Your email click-through-rate shows you how many people you convinced to visit your website as a result of reading the email. It’s an insight into how relevant your content was to that person’s need at that time. It can also indicate that a potential customer is getting ready to buy.
Source Traffic from Social
Marketing your content on your social media platforms is important in just about every industry. However, it can be a challenge to know if all of the hard work is actually paying off. One way to know is to look at how people are finding your website through social media. By measuring the number of web visitors coming to your site directly from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other platform, you can begin to answer that question. And, if one of your social platforms is driving more traffic to your site than another, you can put more of your social efforts into the platform that’s working best.
Web site Visitors
Measuring website visitors is a way to assess your overall marketing strategy, rather than one particular tactic. Are you seeing a steady increase in web traffic month-over-month and year-Over-year? If you’re consistent with your content marketing efforts and using email, social and other tactics to drive people to your website, you should See an increase in potential customers coming to your site over time. If your web visitors aren’t steadily increasing, it’s time to reevaluate your content strategy and see how to better capture the interest of your contacts and followers.
When someone fills out a form on your website, downloads a whitepaper, or takes some other desired action, that’s called a conversion. Conversions prove that a particular series of content marketing tactics created customer interest and encouraged that customer to take one step closer to a purchase point.
Where Does ‘Sales Data’ Fall on the List?
Revenue is where the rubber meets the road for all marketing and sales efforts. Counter to what business owners may think, however, simply looking at sales metrics is not an effective way to measure the success of a content marketing campaign. Why? If website conversions are going up, you should expect sales to also go up relative to that increase over time. If your conversions are up–if people are seeing your content and then telling you they’re interested in learning more about your product or service–but those conversions aren’t producing sales, then you’ve identified a weak spot in your sales funnel where you’re losing people–and potential revenue.
Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts requires you to measure how many new leads your content marketing efforts are generating, and then also measure how many of those leads you were able to turn into a sale. Content marketing is a powerful tool for growing your business. But, it’s anything but cut and dry. You need to look at the right metrics to fully understand which tactics are working and which are not. As you start to assess the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy, start by connecting with a SCORE mentor. A SCORE mentor will work with you to understand the data and put a plan in place with the right metrics to grow your business. Contact a SCORE mentor today.
Southwest Regional Vice President, SCORE
Since 1964, SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 10,000 volunteer business mentors in over 250 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.