You have a content strategy? Great. You’re producing a variety of interesting bits of content pitched at different stages of the buyers’ journey? Fantastic. But if you don’t measure content marketing, you can’t know what’s working (or how to fix what isn’t). All that effort is just making noise.
Measuring the results of your marketing is where a lot of people trip up. Yes, you can get access to an enormous amount of data. But sometimes, it’s unclear what metrics you should pay attention to. This blog post compares different types of measurement and explains the benefits to establishing a content measurement schedule.
What should you be measuring?
To identify which metrics you should measure, you should first reflect back on your objectives to determine what goals were important to you then focus on those numbers. Additionally, reverse engineering the buyer’s journey can help you decide what factors to analyse.
For example, if your goal was to grow your emailing list, you shouldn’t be watching likes and shares. If you look at the analytics six months later and seeing that nobody is actually signing up for your business’s newsletter, this approach obviously isn’t working and you should focus your energy on another measurement. It is important to repeat this process each time you evaluate your metrics so that you can examine what is holding you back and ways to improve your marketing.
What’s the best way to measure content marketing?
When measuring your content marketing, it can be difficult to determine which data gives the most accurate representation of the success of your strategy. For example, if you are scrutinising every individual email you send out and comparing one EDM campaign to another, you may be missing the forest for the trees.
If you want to engage an audience and build a relationship with those personas as a content publisher, an individual campaign won’t tell you much. Instead, content marketing requires a long-term relationship with a customer that involves nurturing and continued satisfactory service to ensure a lifelong customer.
But while the data you get from a part of a campaign is less important than the big picture, it is still important. A content strategy involves many interlocking parts. So what you should be looking at is how each individual part of your strategy is interacting with every other part.
The benefits of long-term measuring
Sometimes you publish an article and eventually forget about it, but then it suddenly blows up due to a current event or new problem that shed light on the subject. These stories are often the most long-lasting and surprising type of content. That little piece of content that you thought was a piece of coal has turned into a diamond. It’s being shared all over the place and is generating a heap of traffic. However, if you had not been measuring and watching your old content, you’d never know that.
Long-term measuring has major advantages when creating new content. There are a million permutations of an idea. If something in the industry happens you can rehash your past ideas, amplify it again in an email newsletter or add updates as things evolve. The possibilities are endless when you consider the relevance of a past article.
The most useful thing to measure in content marketing is how each individual element interacts with others to achieve the goals you’ve set up in your content strategy. When you start doing that you’ll find some pleasant surprises, and possibly also some unpleasant ones. Content pieces that you thought would work brilliantly will be ignored. Older, forgotten pieces will suddenly start driving leads and traffic.
Any content plan you come up with is going to be imperfect. It’s only through careful measurement that you can determine where those imperfections lie.