It's that time of year again when as individuals we have to sit down, go through everything we did during the year and analyse what worked out well and what didn't. In life that may be a little easier than it is in business. When you own a business, you need to know how to measure your overall success and the success of various activities you've carried out in the last 12 months. Measuring performance is key for business growth. So let's look at how to measure your content marketing success.
There are 3 very important metrics that can tell you whether the efforts you put in actually bore fruit.
1. Organic Search Results
2. User Actions/Reactions
Organic Search Results
You should monitor how many of your website views are coming from organic searches. High numbers on this metric means that you have done a marvellous job at SEO and you have been creating consistent, fresh and valuable content. Don't expect your organic search views to be more than the ones coming from social media, except if you are a really big brand that has been around for quite a long time and has been exposed through a number of marketing channels. Yet, if you get more than 100 organic search views per month you are doing great! Your New Year's resolution could be to move that number up to 300 or more .
How to monitor Organic Search Results
You can keep an eye on how many people visit your website through organic searches by using Google Analytics. Most content management systems like Wordpress and Wix have downloadable or inbuilt plugins that show you this data.
Getting likes, comments and shares on your social media posts builds a lot of confidence. What is more, it means that the content you create is interesting to your audience. This in turn, tells you that you have done a great job at getting to know the people you want to target and delivering what they really want to see. The number of shares would be the best indicator of how engaging your content is. If a person decides to share a specific post with their network, it means they find value in it as an educational, inspirational or entertaining tool.
How to monitor User Actions/Reactions
Monitoring user actions or reactions is pretty easy. You probably get notifications every time someone likes, shares or comments on your post. But there's more to user actions and reactions. Stay on top of how many unique visitors you get on your website (the higher the number, the wider your reach), how many and which pages do they go through (shows whether they are really interested in what you have to offer or just landed on your page by mistake) and whether they take a step further to subscribe, create an account or make a purchase. You can monitor all these with Google Analytics or specific plugins too.
No doubt the best and most indisputable metric to show you the true success of your content marketing is conversions, or put even simpler, sales. In 90% of the time your sales will be high if the other 2 metrics we discussed above also show good performance. The more people are finding you independently (through Search Engines), the higher your chances of increasing sales are. The more people show interest in what you do online (or have to offer), the more likely they are to buy your product or service. Writing content that converts, however, is not a job everyone can do. Which is why many businesses hire professional copywriters and content writers to the job. High conversions are an indicator of not only fantastic content marketing, but also of business well done on a general scale.
How to monitor Conversions
Every advertisement tool you use, whether Google, Twitter or Facebook Ads (or another), should have a dashboard, which shows you the conversion rates of your ad campaigns. If you want to know what your organic content conversions (not paid) are, you should pay special attention on the user journey through your social media accounts and website. If a person clicked on a link to your newest blog post you shared on Facebook, for example, and after reading the post they moved on to buying a service or product you sell, this counts as an organic content conversion. Another example could be you posting a promo picture on Instagram and directing your followers towards your website. If they do take the route and make a purchase, it is still organic content conversion. You could also use coupon codes with specific details to tell you how the buyers got the codes and help you measure your content marketing success.
How well have you done on these 3 metrics? I'd like to know where your struggles are and what do you need help with.
Also, I'd be thrilled if you shared with me what content marketing topics you are interested in and would love to read about. 2018 is just around the corner and although I've already created most of my content plan, I wouldn't miss an opportunity to give you the information you really need.