How did your content marketing strategy perform in 2019?
Maybe you’re not sure, or worse—you aren’t measuring its performance.
Content marketing is, at the end of the day—marketing. If the purpose of marketing is to drive sales, then content marketing shares this purpose, too.
Regardless, if content marketing is something your business is putting money into, you should measure what it’s also getting out of it. In this post, we’ll tell you how you can measure the return on investment (ROI) of your content marketing so that you can double down on what works and see the results in your bottom line.
Collecting Data Points
Anything you’re doing in your content strategy that is measurable, measure it. Gather metrics on the blog posts you publish, as well as on lead magnets, videos or any other content in your strategy. Look at points of engagement such as social media shares, comments on blog posts or “likes” on Facebook. Measure conversions, such as how many people click on a link you posted on Twitter, and how many people among those ended up making a purchase from clicking the link.
Tracking these metrics for each content piece helps you understand which topics and content types perform best for those who end up being your buyers.
Content Marketing Outcomes
Besides generating more sales and increasing your bottom line, what other outcomes are you looking to see from your content marketing efforts? Do you want to…
- increase brand awareness?
- demonstrate your authority?
- educate your customer base?
Make sure you know all the goals you have, so that you can include ways to measure each one whenever you report on your content marketing ROI.
Content Marketing Performance Reporting
Regardless of your goals for content marketing, it operates as part of your sales funnel, drawing in potential leads who “stumble” across your online content. The best way to track the performance of your content marketing strategy and efforts is to measure and report on it regularly at every step of the sales cycle.
Step One: Lead Generation
Measuring your site traffic can tell you how your content is performing in terms of generating new leads. However, not every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Internet is relevant to your business.
Are you targeting the right leads??
Measuring how many leads you attract versus how many are converted to buy measures the effectiveness of your targeting.
- Higher conversion rates are a sign of effectively attracting and engaging of your target market with your content strategy.
- Lower conversion rates mean you aren’t doing enough to zoom in on your niche and speak to a specific consumer type with real wants and needs.
Step Two: Engagement
Providing value online is the key to getting the engagement that grows brand awareness and helps you target your ideal customer. Engaging with your leads through emails, social media, blog posts, videos and livestreams can keep them interested in your brand along the way as they learn about what you offer and whether it’s a match for their needs.
How many likes, shares, clicks, follows are you getting? Measure these trackers on social media and on your blog. Doing so will quickly reveal which topics get the most engagement, so you can do more of them. Here are some markers you should track for each of your blog posts:
- On-page time (the average time spent on the post)
- Number of social shares
- Click-through rate for important links in anchor text
- Sales conversion rate
- Number of blog comments
Step Three: Sales
Content is a tool for sales enablement, so your sales metrics can directly measure your content marketing ROI when buyers are converted through their interaction with your content.
The most important thing when it comes to tracking sales is not how many sales you converted (although that’s important, too). What matters more is tracking where the sales came from, so that you can improve the buyer’s journey and tweak your content strategy to suit your end buyer’s interests.
For example, if your blog post about how to organize your closet step by step has gone viral and it’s currently your largest source of sales, that’s good intelligence. Now, you know to incorporate more how-to blog posts into your strategy using the same keywords that are causing the viral post to rank high in Google.
By focusing on what’s proven to work best, you make your content marketing efforts (and investments) more profitable. Track the effects of each action taken in your content strategy, such as:
- How many shares a blog post gets
- How many purchases come from a link in your blog post
- Sales conversion percentage