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August 22, 2013

Measuring Success of Content Marketing

Nine out of 10 business-to-business marketers are making use of content marketing to grow businesses, according to a recent report. Ninety percent is an immense number to prove that content marketing is, without a doubt, the most significant marketing strategy of the future.

However, just as with any other marketing technique, many individuals state  they have a content marketing strategy, but have a difficult time defining the term in-depth. One definition found on the Web states: “Content marketing would be a marketing technique of making and distributing valuable and relevant content to get and engage a clearly defined plus understood target audience—with an objective of driving profitable customer action.”

If you were to ask how these marketers how they measure the success of their content marketing efforts, many of them would not have a clear answer, likely because they do not understand fully what they wish content to do for them.

Make A Decision Where You Are To Go

To determine what you wish for your content to do for you, you must decide if you wish it to:

  1. Aid in building your brand’s reputation;
  2. Increase traffic;
  3. Increase social presence;
  4. Increase sales and conversions.

Once you have decided what you need your content to do, you may begin thinking more about measuring effectiveness.

You may simply want traffic to grow 30 percent within three months of beginning the company blog. There you possess a measurable goal in a defined time period made out in terms that are easy. However, what if you wish for more? Do you know other metrics that can be used to see how well content would work for you?

Rates of Conversion

To increase revenue, the business needs to increase conversions. However, just to look at conversions as sales alone would be too narrow. Conversions may be sales, but they might also be defined as lead captures, likes on Facebook, and a lot more. To put up conversions, you would need to convince individuals to take some sort of action.

Content may be used to convince people to take action. Making a trade of eBook or a white paper for contact information would be an example of a successful conversion. Customers seeking certain information would be willing to pay for the eBook or white paper by giving their e-mail addresses.

This would be a sample of great content marketing.

Make a decision on how you want the content to increase conversions. Make measurable and realistic goals and then perform a test to view which kind of content and the landing pages offer the best results.

Success for Search Engines

All site owners want to rank well in search engine results pages. Time and again, Google is forced to make a statement that the best way to improve rankings is to publish high-quality content.

Blogs result in sites acquiring 434 percent more indexed pages. Therefore, companies that regularly blog obtain a wider net, because each indexed page provides another opportunity to rank on the much sought after first page.

This is not limited to blogs. Any kind of content readers search for is valuable and will aid  in increasing your search engine visibility. Dedicate time to viewing rankings and see how well blog posts would do compared to the home page. Look for the content that would give you the best results and work to create a lot of it.

Content that does not rank well is a useful measurement tool too. You need to view what causes the poor rankings through testing that content. Create changes until you get it right keep in mind the adjustments you made for use in the future.

Social Metrics

On many social sites, marketers can easily be overtaken by an avalanche of data: likes, favorites, mentions, shares, etc. While overwhelming, such metrics could measure how effective your content would be in the social space.

But taking the measurement one step further may actually give insight on how well the content will perform. Instead of just looking at the numbers, you need to look at the quality of shares you would be acquiring. What kind of people would share the content and with whom? And, most important, will these people be converting?

Certain types of content would find its way to more people. List posts and infographics generally acquire more social chatter (which would translate to improved rankings through social signals) compared to most other kinds of content. Try stacking such content against a white paper that could get less social traction, but put up conversions and bring in more qualified leads. In such an instance, what would you rather have?

Expenses

The final metric you have to consider is cost. If you outsource content creation, tally the dollars spent compared to revenue.

Success would often be measured by how much more revenue you would bring in as a result of the content marketing, compared to the cost of the content. However, with a content marketing campaign, it would be hard to draw particular conclusions or insight. This would be because content marketing results would be more than only direct revenue: it would build the brand’s credibility, trustworthiness and customer loyalty. All things would be a kind of business equity that may not be directly measured through dollars.

Viewing the end results of the content marketing would take months or even years. The length of time depends on variables such as the industry, the amount of time plus money which is spent on the content marketing campaign, the content marketing strategy, how well the strategy has been carried out, the social media presence plus integration with the content strategy and the quality of the content itself.

Just because it takes time to view the end results does not mean you should not keep a vigilant eye on the metrics throughout the campaign course. Test effectiveness of the content compared to other mediums to view those that will aid you in reaching your end goals.

All in All

In years to come, content will continue to be at the front and center of marketing. Make a foundation with content today so you will not need to play catch up tomorrow.


Professional Internet marketing guru Peter Zmijewski provides you tips on measuring success of content marketing. His excellent knowledge will help you to become an Internet marketing expert. He is the founder and CEO of Keywordspy.

One Response to “Measuring Success of Content Marketing

    Important article. I like the comment about balancing money spent on outsourced article creation vs profit.

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