Content marketing is all about achieving measurable results for your company. Yet how do you know if your content marketing strategy is actually effective? You'll know it is working if it is supporting your short and long-term business and marketing goals. [bctt tweet="How Can I Assess the Effectiveness of my #ContentMarketing Strategy?" username="StartupInst"]
To do so, content marketers turn to metrics to see how many people are viewing their content, how well they respond to and engage with it, and more. These metrics provide an inside look into what your target audience thinks, feels and wants.
What metrics you be tracking? One exciting aspect of marketing is that there is no one way to achieve success. Depending on your industry, product, target demographic, and goals, there are an endless number of ways you can effectively reach your audience. Despite this variability, there are a few core metrics most organizations are tracking. The Content Marketing institute writes that there are six key metrics you also should be tracking:
- Unique visitors: This metric deals with how many people visit your website. Visitors are only counted once and this number should fluctuate drastically depending on the size of your operations, industry, and the amount of content you are creating.
- Pageviews: Whereas "unique pageviews" will aggregate the total number of times one visitor views your webpage, "pageviews" represents all page visits by all visitors. For example, if one visitor returns to your website five times, each of those visits is included in this count. If your pageview rate is significantly higher than your unique visitor rate, this may mean that users are engaging with your content and clicking through to other pages on your website.
- Bounce rate: Your bounce rate deals with how many people visit one of your pages and then immediately leave, or "bounce," without clicking through to another page. Many marketers agree that a rate less than 40 percent is ideal. By measuring this rate, you can discover which posts, pages, and content your visitors are not connecting with.
- Search engine traffic: This metric will show you how effective your SEO and paid search advertising are performing. This means that you will see how many visitors are choosing your site based on references from Google or other search engines.
- Inbound links: The more quality inbound links you have in your content, the higher your content might rank on search engines. While the number of external links you have on your site is also important, measuring inbound links is particularly beneficial.
- Conversion rate: This metric is incredibly important as it shows you how many visitors are being "converted" on your site. This could show how many people are signing up for your newsletter, downloading a new whitepaper, or purchasing your products or services. While you want to drive traffic to your site, it's most important that you encourage these visitors to take action and convert them. The overall impact of content marketing can be difficult to measure because there are both quantitative and qualitative aspects, but the business case will be easiest to prove to stakeholders if you can demonstrate impact on the bottom line. Conversion rate is how you do that.
Even after measuring these areas, you must be willing to be flexible with your strategy. It's not enough for you to gather data based on these metrics. You have to analyze these metrics to discover what you're doing right, where there is room for improvement, and what those next steps should be.
Demonstrating your impact requires the right approach to metrics. You'll be able to see and respond to results from having an effective, data-driven content strategy. Track your traffic, engagement, and conversions with Google Analytics or another tool and begin taking your content marketing to the next level.