How to Measure Your Content Marketing Effectiveness

How to Measure Your Content Marketing Effectiveness

Content marketers face a lot of pressure. They have budgets, and, as important as content marketing is today, they often ask for increases in those budgets. Business owners and upper management in larger enterprises want justification for those budget increase requests.

So, how do you provide that justification? You must prove that your efforts are producing results – that there is a positive ROI from the content you produce and publish. To give this proof, you have to measure the results of your content marketing activities and present them to those who make decisions about your effectiveness and your budget.

You have to take a “scientific” approach to measuring the effectiveness of your content so that you can show that what you do is critical to company profits. Just how do you do that? Here are the steps you can take to measure your success and present the facts to the decision-makers in your company.

Start with Your Website Analytics

There are a host of tools you can use that will analyze all sorts of things about your website, probably the easiest being Google Analytics. You will learn how many people come to your site, what pages they go to, how long they stay on each of these pages, and where they bounce. When you analyze these behaviors, you can look at the pages that are least popular or place where the bounce rate is high and then review those parts of the website to make improvements.

Once you have these basics analyzed, you can use some of the more sophisticated analytics tools. What you want to see are the conversion rates of those who access your site. Do they sign up for the newsletter? Do they provide their email address for further communication from you? If you can show a steady increase in these things, even without purchases, it is a “win.” You have generated leads that can turn into customers.

Social Media Analytics

Hopefully, you have selected just 2-3 social media platforms, based on your research of your target audience. If you are with a large enterprise, you are probably on more of these platforms, but you have a larger team to monitor these platforms too.

Each social media platform provides its own analytics tools, but there are also larger tools that will give you an all-in-one picture. Whichever you use, you will get actual numbers on your “reach,” how much buzz, participation, and engagement you create (comments, discussions, shares), and how many actual purchases come from your social media marketing efforts.

Lead Generation

What your content marketing is supposed to achieve is sales. But those sales come from leads. You need to use your analytics to demonstrate that leads are coming in from your content.

As you look at the analytics, identify which of your platforms and which type of content are generating leads. Do more of this. And when you see that content or channels are not generating a good number of leads, re-model those efforts and then track to see if they are working better.

You want to show a steady growth in leads.

Blog Subscription Growth

Certainly, you have a blog. What are the metrics related to growth in subscribers to that blog? If you are not getting solid growth of followers who have subscribed to your blog, you have to ask why? The obvious answer is that your blog is not exciting; it is not engaging; and it is not compelling. And why is that?

Take a look at popular blogs of your competition. What are the popular topics they are addressing? What value are they providing that you are not? What visuals and media are they using that you are not? Your blog must undergo a renovation. Until you can show a steady rise in subscriptions and lots of discussion from your followers, you can justify having a blog and spending time and money on it.

Email Subscriptions/Responses

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest things to track if your use one of the great tools out there to run your analytics. When you have that right tool, you can schedule automatic mailings to subscribers who may be at different points in your sales funnel. But even better, you will get reports on opens, click-throughs to offers, etc., and actual purchases from those subscribers. 

If you are not getting a good response from your email content marketing, think about these things:

  • Does each email contain a single message? It should. If you try to pack more than one message in an email, your subscribers can become confused. You want one message and one call to action based on that message

  • Is your email personalized? And are you segmenting your subscribers based upon your relationship with them? You have “newbies;” you have leads that have not become customers; you have current customers; and you have those who have not interacted with you in a while who you want to bring back.

  • How compelling are the subject lines of your emails? Without a line that engages your target, your email will end up in the trash.

When your email subscription growth and consequent conversions show steady growth, you have proof that this platform is worth the time and money spent.

Don’t Leave Out Audience Response

While you cannot quantify responses from receivers of your content, it is worth your while to provide decision-makers in your company with these, especially if the majority are positive. This all contributes to the brand reputation, and that is important to CEO’s. Suppose, for example, that you have crafted content related to a major activity of your company in support of a social or environmental cause, and your receiver response is positive, the brand becomes more popular and memorable.

These 6 ways to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns should provide a wealth of ammunition as you justify your staff and other budget needs. Just be certain that your content is doing what it should and that you have the data to prove that.