Your content marketing takes too much time…
It’s not producing the results you want…
Is it time to give up?
As someone who relies on content marketing for our business I know from experience how powerful it can be.
But…content marketing is also hard and it takes a well-thought-out strategy and a focus on performance measurement and continuous improvement to make it successful.
Did you know that more than 50 percent of B2B marketers are unclear on what content marketing effectiveness looks like? No wonder so many companies fail at it!
So…how do you know if your content marketing works?
If you regularly track and measure the following metrics, you will get valuable insights into the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.
Email conversion rate
They are probably not ready to buy just yet, but are they interested in hearing more from you?
Getting more email subscribers is typically one of the main goals of content marketing. And there are many ways to drive signups with content.
You are probably asking your readers to subscribe to your mailing list at the end of your articles. But how many visitors actually signed up to receive your emails? Do you need to work on your CTAs, or change your tactic and place lead-boxes in your content instead?
You need to answer these questions if you want to get more email subscribers. After all, these are the people who will receive your nurture campaigns, and some of them will become paying customers.
But how do you actually measure the conversion rate for your optins? For example, you can use a tool such as OptinMonster to grow your email list by creating custom opt-in forms. This tools integrates with Google Analytics allowing you to see how well your campaign forms are performing in terms of clicks, views, and overall conversion rates. And because it tracks referral page for each conversion, you can see which content on your site is driving the most conversions.
If you are comfortable getting a bit more technical, you can also track your email conversions by setting up Goals in Google Analytics. To learn how to do this, read my article on how to set up Google Analytics goals.
If you are like me, you are also using content upgrades to get more opt-ins. A content upgrade is a bonus content that you create for a specific article and your readers can access it in exchange for their email address. These type of opt-ins usually have a high conversion rate (10% or more). If your content upgrades are getting low conversion, you should try to make them more closely related to the main article.
If your subscriber list is shrinking, this as a pretty clear indicator that there’s something wrong with the quality of your content.
This is a crucial metric that so many marketers forget. If you are using content to guide people down a well-defined content conversion funnel, you need to understand the results you are getting. Do you know how often your content results in a conversion or how it contributes indirectly to lead generation?
It’s great to earn lots of organic traffic for your content, but what is the value of that traffic if it’s not converting? You need to optimize your content so it drives people to take a specific action on your site.
Depending on your business and your goals, this action e.g. conversion can be anything from e-book download to product purchase. In order to track this efficiently, you’ll need to set up goals in your Google Analytics for each piece of content.
Shares on a piece of content
How often is your content shared with others? Answering this question helps you understand how well your content is fulfilling two major goals – brand awareness and engagement. Things like likes, shares, and tweets are important because they tell you whether or not your content resonates with your audience.
No shares typically means that you didn’t deliver on your readers’ expectations. In some cases, it could also mean that you didn’t make the sharing easy e.g. you didn’t add easy-to-use sharing buttons on your content pages.
If your website is on WordPress, you can use Warfareplugins to create custom, mobile-ready social share buttons.
What’s great about this plugin is that it lets you add custom images and text for sharing on different social networks. So, for example, when someone shares your content on Twitter, the plugin will share a unique message you added for Twitter.
If you want to perform a deeper analysis, you can compare the number of shares on a specific blog post to the number of visits to that page so you can work out the ratio and see if you can make any improvements.
You can check the visits to your blog posts in Google Analytics under Behavior à All Pages. Here you can search for a specific blog posts to see page views and a number of other related metrics.
If your blog post has a decent number of views, but a small number of shares, it means that you need to work on improving the content to make it more “shareable.”
Links to your content
Content serves many different purposes and one of them is earning inbound links. The more links you get, the more your website will be perceived as relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative. Attracting links organically from other authoritative sites speaks about the quality of your on-site content. Not to mention the impact this has on your SEO.
So when was the last time you checked how many inbound links your content has earned? Analyzing your inbound links is quite easy with the help of tools such as Ahrefs, so there is no excuse for not doing it!
Ahrefs offers a Site Explorer tool that, among other things, allows you to analyze the links to your website from external sites. You can enter your website domain or a specific URL into the search box to get a complete backlink profile report. Further, you can use the available filters to view, for example, only Do Follow links to your content or choose to see only backlinks from Blogs.
Here’s a screenshot of a couple of the top backlinks to a RazorSocial article:
For this example, I entered the article URL and used filters to see how well it performed in terms of getting Do Follow links.
Tracking these links is important because it shows you which specific pieces of content are bringing you the best results.
If your content is not getting you backlinks, then all the time and effort you’ve put into it didn’t really pay off.
Domain authority of your site
Domain Authority is a score (on a 100 point scale) developed by a company called Moz. It uses over 40 different factors to determine the overall authority of your site. It’s useful to know the score for your website because it tells you how well it will rank on search engines. Naturally, you’ll want to increase your website’s DA as much as possible.
You can check your DA for free with Moz’s Open Site Explorer. All you need to do is enter your URL and the tool will show your Domain Authority and Page Authority, as well as some domain link metrics. Here are the stats for our razorsocial.com website:
Since content is one of the main factors that Moz’s algorithms look at when calculating your website’s Domain Authority, if you focus on creating quality content on a regular basis, your DA will increase over time. And if your DA is low, you should look at your content first and find ways to improve it.
Content marketing is hard…
…but it can be extremely valuable if you understand the mechanics and measure the results.
What are your key metrics for measuring content marketing effectiveness? Let us know in the comments below!