In digital marketing, it’s important to try new things—to take risks, to swing for the fences, and to adjust your strategy on the fly. Some of the things you try will work wonders and some may come up short. That’s okay, so long as you learn from your trials and devote yourself to continuous improvement.
The problem is that a lot of brand marketers don’t have any way to learn from their mistakes or even to tell what works and what doesn’t work in the first place. That’s because they lack clear metrics, and in particular content performance metrics.
Simply put, how do you know whether all the branded content you’re developing is making any impact? What can you do to monitor and measure your content performance, ensuring you’re doubling down on what works and learning from what doesn’t?
Decide Which Content Performance Metrics to Track
The first thing to ask yourself is this: In measuring content performance, which metrics are actually important? These days, it’s possible to measure just about everything…but if you measure anything, you’ll quickly find yourself drowning in analytics. It’s important to be judicious about what you do and don’t measure. To accomplish that:
- Set the organizational goals for your content marketing—what are you ultimately trying to accomplish? How will you determine whether your content is successful?
- From there, you can identify top measurement priorities. For instance, if your ultimate goal is increasing sales, you’ll want to look at conversion data; if it’s improving brand awareness, you might look at website traffic or social media engagement numbers.
- Establish some basic performance benchmarks, which makes measuring content performance much easier.
- Also calculate the costs associated with creating your content and getting the results you need, which can help you contextualize your findings.
Track, Measure, and Monitor
Once you determine which content performance marketing metrics you’re evaluating, the next step is to do it!
- Start by creating a measurement schedule; how often will you stop to gather data and generate analytics?
- Build a measurement dashboard where you can look at all the key metrics and keep track of findings. This could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet.
- Invest in monitoring and analytics tools that can automate the process and furnish you with useable results! Ask your marketing agency for a recommendation.
- Make sure you have a system in place to organize your information for easy reporting.
Turn Data into Insight
The final step in the process is to use your content performance marketing metrics to gather actionable insights.
- It may be beneficial to come up with a scoring system, which you can use to evaluate the success/efficacy of different channels or pieces of content.
- Use Google Analytics to get a good, condensed lineup of powerful metrics, including page views and bounce rates—both of which will help you better size up your content assets.
- Compare your data with your content creation and distribution costs and calculate your real return on investment.
- Create a new editorial calendar, and make further tweaks to your content strategy, using the data you have available.
It’s often said that to do marketing without analytics is like flying blind. That’s very true for those who work in content and for whom analytic data abounds…yet actually putting that data to good use can be daunting.
Driven2020 is here to provide our clients with a truly data-driven approach. Make truly smart, informed content decisions by gaining insights from our team. Reach out to us today to discuss content marketing performance metrics in greater detail or to develop a new online content strategy for your business. (See also: How to keep your law firm’s content marketing engaging; how to get efficient with your content marketing.)