What exactly does it mean for your content marketing to be “working?” In general, this implies it contributes to your marketing and commercial objectives. Here’s a quick way to track and convey your content marketing program to your team and management.
How to Monitor Basic KPIs
Begin by selecting how frequently you’ll gather data while putting your measuring program in place. A monthly measurement of marketing performance is an excellent place to start. It has worked well for Eurawest Technologies, while we monitor some variables every week to ensure that monthly targets are reached — especially those that can be addressed quickly.
Create a spreadsheet that documents and keeps track of the following:
- Your marketing objectives. If you have numerous, prioritize them. (By this stage, you should have established goals with your management team; if you still need to, now is the time.)
- You’ll use the key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess your content’s marketing efficacy.
- Your strategy for getting this performance data.
- Who will be in charge of gathering and reporting this information?
Based on our experience at Eurawest Technologies, here’s a basic spreadsheet you may utilize. If you want to share your metrics spreadsheet with colleagues within your organization (which we highly encourage), consider using Google Sheets or a similar shared platform so everyone can access it and make adjustments as needed.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for everyone involved in content marketing to understand the fundamental KPIs for assessing the marketing effectiveness of your content. Whether or whether they are actively engaged with your content analytics, content producers must understand how their work contributes to overall corporate goals.
Here are some examples of KPIs to consider tracking:
Measuring the efficacy of content marketing may be as straightforward or as complex as you make it. Don’t measure only to have some data to give to your management. If you’re not sure what you should be measuring, consider the following two questions:
- Do these measurements support my primary objectives?
- Can I act on these metrics (that is, will they provide me insight into how to enhance my program)?
Unless you can respond “yes” to the above questions, you probably don’t need to gather the data – at least not initially. Michele Linn’s piece covers three essential data items you may collect and use immediately: Every Content Marketer Should Use These 4 Google Analytics Reports.
One of our core aims at Eurawest Technologies is to get new email subscribers since this is critical to our business strategy. We keep track of how many subscribers we have, but we also look at statistics like:
- Where do subscribers come from (e-books, our blog, webinars, co-registration possibilities, etc.)
- What drew them to Eurawest Technologies (for example, process, content production, distribution and promotion, measurement and reporting, and so on)?
- Opt-out percentages by month and sources of the opt-out
Tips for Measuring Content Marketing
Our measuring procedures are constantly evolving. Tracking, analyzing, and reporting on performance takes time. But, over time, we’ve recognized how critical this cycle of monitoring and optimization is to the success of content marketing. Keep the following points in mind when you develop your measuring processes:
While some vanity metrics (e.g., Twitter followers and website traffic) are simple to measure, they are rarely helpful in isolation. We track our social growth, allowing us to examine trending and anecdotal data on where we receive the most shares and social engagement. However, we’ve discovered that tracking conversions to email subscriptions, themes of interest, and registrations for a Eurawest Technologies activity is more vital. It allows us to confidently adapt our content marketing strategy, knowing that we’re meeting our readers’ interests and expectations – improving our bottom line.
Gather Actionable Metrics
Collect only data that you want to utilize and can act on. For example, we developed a key performance indicator (KPI) sheet years ago to track monthly development in our email program, website, and social networks. After a year of analyzing these KPIs, the Eurawest Technologies team re-evaluated them. It made one significant change: we now only track our most actionable data, such as email subscribers, email engagement rate, time on site, and event registrations.
Speak With and Learn From Peers in the Industry
We measured content performance by looking at growth in specific categories, such as social followers, email subscribers, etc. However, we discovered this only accounted for some Eurawest Technologies conducted on each channel monthly. And we needed to track conversions from our monthly tweets, blogs, and emails. We can now identify which activities are creating engagement and which are converting. We rely on numerous industry colleagues and speakers for continued education and advice.
Be Prepared to Change
We once found that we were tracking email opt-ins by source but doing nothing with the data. So we refined the approach to consider email deliverability, opt-outs, and completed profiles – all of which may be used to increase our email effectiveness. What you measure will change over time, so review your list of metrics quarterly, biannually, or yearly to ensure you’re gathering the data that will best answer your essential questions. We analyze our metrics periodically to ensure they align with Eurawest Technologies’ aims as they change.
Data Collection Can Be Automated
Consider how you can use reports to automate data collecting. We were able to automate dashboards in Google Analytics, Salesforce, and our marketing automation system with the assistance of our team. We can review these dashboards once a week and then have a straightforward approach to updating our KPI sheet once a month. If automatic data gathering isn’t possible, think about other resources and team members you may call on if you need help analyzing the performance of your content. Because our marketing processes are touched by numerous team members at various times, giving supervision roles for each KPI has increased ownership and responsibility.
Allow for Analysis
It is not enough to collect data and enter it into a spreadsheet. You must examine the data to determine where the chances for improvement are — and what the best path to making those improvements may be. For example, if data shows that our blog posts on content marketing strategy have received a high number of Facebook shares, LinkedIn posts, and tweets, proper analysis of these data points can help us identify the best ways to leverage these high-performing topics across our other content platforms and lead to a conversion.
Measuring the outcomes of your content marketing initiatives allows you to discover what your audience enjoys and utilize that knowledge to improve. The result? Prospects are happy, customers are more satisfied, and management is more comfortable.
What analytics strategies and tools do you use to track and measure the performance of your content?