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5 Content Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Analyze

Today’s guest post comes from Campbell Mcdonald – Enjoy!

Nearly every marketing initiative involves a healthy dose of trial and error; it’s the only way to know what works and which areas need improvement. But without the right information guiding your content decisions — or none at all — you could seriously derail your content marketing strategy. small_4291948239

Still, many B2B marketers rely on assumptions to inform their content decisions. In fact, Content Marketing Institute found that only 21 percent of B2B marketers say they’re successful at measuring ROI. Resorting to biased, faulty data not only blinds you to what readers really want, but also drains your time and resources.

Your content marketing strategy should be fluid, iterative, and evolving based on the insights you discover from a comprehensive performance analysis. It takes time to manually sort through specific data points and information to extract key insights that drive business results, so knowing where to look is critical.

To understand how well your content marketing strategy is performing from an objective perspective, you need to analyze these five metrics:

  1. Social: The number of social shares your content receives gives you an idea of how valuable it is to your audience. If they share it with their networks, then they found something truly useful that advances the conversation.
  2. Traffic: An effective content strategy helps boost traffic over time. Tracking unique visitors per day, week, and month for each post gives marketers a baseline for success and month-over-month growth.
  3. Conversion rate: Measuring how many readers took a tangible action is a telling indicator of success. Actions such as downloading gated content, signing up for a webinar, or purchasing from your e-commerce site advance leads through the buyer’s journey. Always ask, “What can my team do to increase engagement and conversions through content?”
  4. Leads: Lead generation and qualification are two key aspects of the conversion rate. By tracking leads as they move through the funnel, you can deliver more targeted content that expedites the sales process. A common practice is to start with lightweight, educational content for top-of-the-funnel readers before offering in-depth articles and webinars that engage more qualified prospects to move deeper into the conversion process.
  5. Team performance: Measuring the performance of individual content creators on your team can also reveal key insights into effective content creation. You can evaluate whose content drove the most leads, shares, or conversions, then analyze their creative process to determine best practices that your team can implement. Most importantly, you can recognize the value that content creators bring to your organization.

To put these metrics into perspective, look at Bizible and how it assesses its blog’s impact on the business. The company wanted to understand exactly what drove viewership of content, so it looked at blog posts’ performance, including page views, social shares, time spent on the page, leads, and revenue. It uses the framework from successful posts to guide editorial decisions and produce content that converts.

For example, Bizible’s strongest-performing post shared data from its LinkedIn Ads campaigns. It started a conversation with the company’s target readers and shared tips, wishes, and tactics based on its experience with paid social. The company experimented so readers didn’t have to, and sharing this data was a meaningful way to add value and incite click-throughs.

When done right, measuring content performance can accelerate your business objectives. Having the ability to definitively know what performs and recognize employees who drove real business revenue is also a great way to boost morale and foster a little positive competitive spirit.

Content marketing is a powerful way to increase brand awareness and drive sales. By using reliable performance metrics to make decisions, you can capitalize on viable opportunities for growth.

FINAL-CAMPBELL-HEADSHOTCampbell Mcdonald is the founder and CEO of Pathful, an analytics tool that helps content marketers get the information they need to increase sales conversions. Since founding Pathful in 2012, Campbell has revolutionized content marketers’ ability to understand how consumers engage and interact with their website at every step of the sales funnel. Previously, Campbell founded several other startups, including Own Your Deal, Parking Mobility, and Thick Solutions, and has a background in product development and management. He currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

What Customers Want

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s guest post is from Mark Kirkpatrick– Enjoy!

photo credit: shutterstock

photo credit: shutterstock

The only consistent in the wants and needs of internet users is change. This has less to do with finicky temperaments and more to do with the change of the infrastructure of the internet itself. The gap in demands of internet users now compared to ten years ago is just as vast as that between the technologies of each of these two eras.

For online entrepreneurs—or anyone with a website, really—this means that incorporating what your customers want to see online is determined just as much by human nature as it is by keeping current with internet trends, and updating accordingly.

Fortunately, the things people want are not fundamentally different from moment to moment, and are grounded in a few fundamental principles. Knowing these will help optimize the changes you do choose to make in accordance with new developments.

Device Functionality

While the idea that making sure your site or content works on the device being used to access it sounds like common sense, this becomes a little bit more complicated in practice. Currently, internet access occurs from two primary categories of devices: computers and mobile devices. As most are aware, computers are on the decline and mobile devices are gaining popularity.

This is worth noting because, while making sure your site had a mobile component was good enough in the past, in certain cases, mobile should now be the focus of your site’s design. A quick look at a few sites, both big and small, offering currently popular services will reveal a clean, minimal design, ideal for mobile devices.

While mobile access is the biggest factor in the current look and function of the internet, it’s worth looking ahead to new developments, such as 3D printing or “the internet of things” for an idea of how internet use might look in the future. While these two innovations might not necessarily determine the look of the internet in the future, keeping up-to-date with these and other new technologies and offering functionality before other, similar sites, is one way to offer an edge over competitors.

Easily Viewable Content

When providing content to your customers or viewers, your goal is likely not just for it to be viewed, but for it to be understood. This is how content generates sales: with new information, customers now want what it is you’re offering. Accomplishing this is a multifaceted feat: form is just as important as function. While creating quality content has its own set of best practices, the currently dominant shape of popular content is in videos.

Some cynics believe this to be due to a decline in attention span. However, for younger generations, short videos fit into a schedule determined by short periods in between classes or brief study breaks. While a detailed article can likely only be skimmed in that period of time, a short video will get its point across, and, if it’s good, be shared with other young consumers on their breaks.

However some surveys even suggest that people watch even long online videos without any qualms. Small videos are nowadays being incorporated not just on websites and social networks but even within ads. Videos have been popular since the early days of YouTube, but with Instagram, Vine and Snapchat each changing how videos are viewed, and in turn increasing their relevance in consumers’ lives, video marketing is expected to be more important than ever.

Social Media Relevance

In the case of Snapchat specifically, these are not just videos but disappearing videos. With messaging apps on the rise, private, individualized content is likely to be the shape social media will take in the future.

Whether or not things continue in this direction (sites like Ello offer alternate, privacy-centric solutions), staying up-to-date with social media trends is key for business relevancy. While creating a Facebook page was a great tactical move for businesses in the past, Facebook is beginning a slow decline. And when knowing what customers want before they do is starting to determine the speed of marketing, starting a new campaign on a site that’s even just beginning to go stale could offer diminishing returns.

While the ideas above offer some ideas of how to meet customers’ needs, both conscious and subconscious, new news could leave internet users suddenly wanting something they never knew they wanted before. To market to this group successfully, staying ahead of this news, when possible, will ensure your campaign exists even before your customers know that you have something they want, offering an immediate source of gratification. In a constant state of change, keeping one step ahead of that change, while requiring a little more risk, will also lead to the highest rate of success.

author_markMark Kirkpatrick is an online writer and tech enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. In addition to researching how technology affects every industry, he also contributes to 1800-Number.com’s blog with his knowledge of business communications and innovations in virtual office tech.

 

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