Content Marketing is a way of communicating and interacting with your client, customer or potential customer without trying to directly sell to them. The purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain customers.
This is done by providing them with valuable, interesting and free content. Content marketing educates your client. It gives you a chance to answer the questions potential customers ask. It gives you an opportunity to turn them into a happy client. Content marketing is not meant to be blatant self-promotion. The modern user is looking for useful, interesting and engaging content. They want to be educated.
They want to be entertained. With content marketing, you can do 3 important things: increase brand awareness; raise brand loyalty and initiate meaningful engagement with your client. And ultimately, you can improve your bottom line.
Measure Your Content Marketing
So how do you know that your content marketing is working?
Here are 7 ways for you to measure:
1. Does your content generate traffic?
Let’s start with what is easy to measure. When you release your content, does it result in an increase in traffic? More specifically, does your content drive more organic search traffic over to you? If you are using keywords, is your content driving you up to the rankings? Does it attract links from desirable sources? Analytic platforms will enable you to measure many aspects of traffic. Page views will tell you how many readers you attracted. It will tell you which content was most popular. There are metrics to show how many actual users viewed your site. Bounce rates will tell you how many people left your site without viewing other pages. Did you attract new or returning users? Traffic isn’t the be all and end all, but it is a good place to start.
2. Does it give you brand lift?
Does the content you produce increase your brand awareness? Does your potential customer remember who you are? Based on your content, will your customer choose you ahead of competitors? A way of measuring this is through social media. Who is talking about you? What are they saying? Do they recognise you through your content? Do they share what you post? Customer and reader surveys will help you measure this abstract concept.
3. How long do your readers stay engaged?
It’s not just about how long a reader is on your page or on your site. How long is your reader engaged with your content? Do they scroll through? Do they click? Do they interact in any way? Or is your site just open in the background? Web analytics tell us that readers that spend more time interacting with your content are much more likely to return.
4. How much social interaction are you generating?
Social media platforms give you direct feedback on how your content resonates with your readers. How many likes do you get? Is your content shared? How many views did you get? Was it re-blogged? Or re-tweeted?Social media also tells you who is sharing your content, and which content gets the most shares.
5. Does it lead to conversion?
It’s all good and well if users are finding you and sharing you, but does your content result in a conversion. Are users signing up? Do they register? Will they subscribe? Did they buy? The generation of leads, subscriptions and even direct sales are a key objective of content marketing. Once you have contact with the user you have an opportunity to turn them into a client. Once a user has converted this could mean revenue generation.
6. Are you becoming an expert in the industry?
Is the content you produce causing a stir in the industry? Are your peers beginning to see you a thought leader? Is the press starting to quote you? Does the industry seek your opinion? Establishing yourself as an authority figure has many advantages. As your content gets shared more freely, your reach will increase.
7. What is your return on investment (ROI)?
How much did it cost to produce your content? How many leads did your content generate? How many of these leads ultimately resulted in direct sales? This is not always easy to measure. Your content may not be resulting in direct sales in the short term. It may be increasing the numbers that subscribe to your newsletter. It could increase your following on social media. In the long term, however, it may be yielding results. It is not enough to have a content marketing strategy for your business. You need to constantly measure how effective it is.
Keep testing your market. Tweak where you need to. Make changes as you go. In this way, the rewards of content marketing can be yours. Read more about Content Marketing Here and why Content is still King.