If you’re smart, you probably have a content marketing strategy in place, but, if you’re like a good percentage of marketers, you might not be actually measuring if it works or not. According to a 2015 report written by Jon Cifuentes called The State of Marketing Analytics: Insights in the Age of the Consumer, 45% of marketing professional didn’t use effective analytics or weren’t talking the numbers over with their content teams. While 73% of marketers were analyzing the past, only 27% were drawing up a map for the future.
Why is it important to measure your content marketing strategy’s success? Well, you’ll want to know what kind of impact and reach your marketing materials are having out there in the wilds of the Interwebs: how much exposure your article or blog is getting through social shares, inbound links, and conversions. While getting a share or a like is not going to directly increase your revenue, it might increase the amount of traffic to your website, and increased traffic will likely lead to increased leads and conversions.
That means, if you have the proper tools in place, you’ll see what return on investment (ROI) you’re getting from each piece of content you produce, which will influence you to write more content in that vein to expand your business.
Before We Begin
First, you should first figure out what in the carnation you’re actually measuring. Do you want to measure the success of your content through the number of likes and shares and how much sheer brand exposure you get? Or do you want to measure your content’s ROI -- how much money you’ve made? Which one you want to measure is up to you. Is your content only going to be successful when 1,000 people look at it, or are you only going to be happy when your company has a few tens of thousands of dollars in its pocket?
Knowing what goals you have will influence the corresponding metrics you should track and the tools that you use.
1. Google Analytics
If you do a little searching on the web about what tools you should be using, by far and away virtually every single one of them is going to mention Google Analytics. You know why? It’s free and it’s heads and shoulders above the rest in terms of sheer power it gives you. With Google Analytics, you’ll get daily visitor figures and learn where your traffic is coming from -- which is valuable if you’re running an email, guest post or social media campaign. Google Analytics will also tell you the bounce rate on your articles, which may be a good indicator of how successful your articles and blog posts are. The tools will also give you access to ROI statistics, so you can assign monetary figures to specific conversions.
You can also find out which content pieces are generating the most social media traffic across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn -- which is very useful to know because these networks all have different audiences. You’ll be able to tell which articles are attracting people from which network, allowing you to refine your content and better distribute it.
2. Built-In Social Media Analytics Tools
The really nice thing about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is that they all have an analytics tool built into their network that you can use and they’re all free of charge. If you post to social media as part of your content marketing strategy (and you probably should), the insights you can gleam are worth their weight in gold.
For instance, with Twitter Analytics, you can measure follower exposure and engagement, get a detailed analysis with each tweet and find out what actually interests your audience. Facebook Page Insights, on the other hand, can tell you when your fans are most likely to be on the network and tell you all about how many comments and views your posts are generating. YouTube Analytics can even show where your audience is from, and how many people watched your videos right to the very end.
If you use the Medium publishing platform to post or repost content, the site also provides basic insights for free, such as how many people viewed your content, how many people read it to the very end, and where they’re actually coming from. You can also see how many people recommended your piece to others, as well.
But you say that checking up to five social media analytics tools as a part of your content marketing strategy is a real chore? You can use HootSuite, which combines Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram analytics all in one place. You can get a limited Hootsuite plan for free, but it offers only basic functionality and bare-bones reports. If you’re looking for more, you’ll have to pay for the privilege on a monthly basis.
This solution does much more than providing stats. You can generate leads, increase sales, automate marketing, manage customers and a whole lot more. It’s costly -- after a one-month free trial, Hubspot is said to put users back USD$200 a month -- but it might be worth it. Hubspot allows you to figure out what blog pieces, landing pages, emails and social media posts do well in terms of specific keywords, so you’ll know how your content has affected search engine rankings. This tool will also give you tons of detailed information on how your leads are reacting to your content and what they’re clicking on.
Still need help with figuring out what tools might work best with your content marketing strategy? Why not give Cyan Solutions a call or email? We’re happy to answer any questions you might have around content marketing and, what’s more, we can help you make your words sparkle and shine.