Once you’ve launched a content marketing campaign, it’s important to know if the work you’re doing is successful. Measuring the time spent on each component of your plan, the effort put into sharing your pieces, and the finances spent on advertising and promoting your content can seem daunting when you’re looking at the work from a black-and-white, dollars-and-cents perspective. With a shift in perspective, though, you’ll find adding a few tools to your repertoire can help you measure your content marketing success.
Understanding Content Marketing
When you start a content marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the differences between sales—where you’ll be able to give a clear, definitive number that shows your investment in the client and the return through their orders over the years—and marketing. The goal of a sales team is simple: to increase the company’s sales. But a content marketing team might have several different goals for the same campaign and the tools used for its implementation, including the following:
- Social media networks – Common goals include tracking the number of shares, likes, or the organic reach. Others might track the number of clicks to watch a video or the number of people who clicked through to a company website.
- Blogs – You might want to keep tabs on the number of shares for your piece, the number of people who followed through on your call to action, and the number of hits on your blog’s individual posts.
- SEO – You might be tracking the number of clicks or calls that went to your website, or where you stand in the search rankings.
The idea of content marketing is to reach new, qualified customers through a series of concerted, concentrated pieces and publications that add value to customers’ lives while positioning you as a thought and opinion leader in your industry. Readers build confidence in your abilities, and, in turn, become faithful followers and loyal customers.
Top Metrics for Success
- Time – Track the amount of time users are spending watching your videos on social media or, more importantly, remaining on each page on your website. Review the pages that have the longest engagement times, and look for similarities in content or call to action. As you publish content, make sure to include those commonalities. This is a continual process and a strong indicator of the quality of your content marketing.
- Bounce Rate – In addition to time spent on various pages, track bounce rate. A high bounce rate could mean visitors find exactly what they needed within seconds of arriving on your page—which is great! But it might also mean that they aren’t able to find what they need, and leave because they’re frustrated, bored, or unengaged.
- New/Returning Visitors – Track your new and returning visitors. While new visitors are fantastic, returning visitors are equally important. The most common statistic quoted is that it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to accommodate a returning customer; others show that it’s about 50 percent easier to sell to current customers, noting that a five-percent increase in retention can increase profitability by 75 percent. When you measure your content marketing’s success, track the return rates of your visitors. A low return percentage shows that visitors aren’t taking the next steps to becoming customers, and should be an indicator that it’s time to make some changes to your content.
- Conversions – When measuring content marketing, one metric that stands out above all others, and applies to each and every content marketing media option: conversions.
At the end of the day, you want to see your prospects, followers, and fans become paying customers. In addition to conversions, you want to track the cost of obtaining a new customer—which means you’ll need to know how much you can spend on each acquisition. Start by calculating how much revenue each customer generates on average, and divide your upcoming revenue goals by your average individual customer revenue. Factor in your average close ratios, and you’ll be able to see how many leads you need and how much you can spend to acquire each customer.
By watching bounce rates, time spent on each page, and number of unique and returning visitors, and combining that information with the customer acquisition cost, you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Are leads returning and moving down the funnel? Or are you spending money publishing white papers, videos, blogs, and ebooks that your customers are quickly abandoning?
Ruby Receptionists understands the importance of creating experiences and fostering happiness with customers. Customers return, time and time again, because they’ve created an environment that encourages engagement and connection. Their interaction with customers serves as a good lesson to content marketers everywhere: the mark of truly successful content is a meaningful connection between brand and audience.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.