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Is Your Content Marketing a Failure? These Five Metrics Can Tell You

by Alesia Krush  |  
January 6, 2014
  |  10,706 views

If you do content marketing, you probably want it to help increase sales in the long run. However, the tricky part is that usually there is a time-and-space gap between a piece of content you publish and a closed sale.

So, what metrics can marketers track to make sure their content strategy is headed in the right direction?

1. Traffic: Down the Black Hole

Launching a content marketing campaign is a little bit like setting up a sales funnel: Your task is to capture as many people with your content as you can, and to make sure they make it to the end of the funnel.

So, the first metric to measure in this respect would be the sheer number of people you managed to get into the "funnel"—that is, traffic to the page where your content is located.


In turn, the amount of traffic you manage to drive to your content depends, in part, on...

  • The page's search engine rank
  • The size of your email subscription base
  • The number of social followers you have
  • A host of other factors

How to Measure Traffic


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Alesia Krush is a digital marketer at software provider Link-Assistant.Com, which offers SEO PowerSuite, a professional toolset for all-round SEO, and BuzzBundle, a social marketing app launched in 2012.

Twitter: @AlesiaKrush

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Comments

  • by 40deuce Mon Jan 6, 2014 via web

    Great advice to start off a year that is likely going to be focused a lot around content for most marketers.
    Also, thanks so much for recommending our social software Powered by Sysomos to your readers!

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Marketwired

  • by Tara Mon Jan 6, 2014 via web

    Thanks for the tips. I will definitely review these metrics and use them as a benchmark to gauge whether our content is producing or not!

  • by Robin williams Tue Jan 7, 2014 via web

    Nice it works...

  • by Anoop Srivastava Tue Jan 7, 2014 via web

    Good Job Alesia. Content Relevancy is very important when we develop new website. if you have quality relevant content that you will definitely attract the visitors.

  • by Steve Peck Fri Jan 10, 2014 via web

    Alesia - Really appreciate the call out for measuring content ENGAGEMENT quality. My company has developed a technology to measure engagement across downloadable content like whitepapers and ebooks, and we've been amazed to see how making even basic changing to formatting and images used within documents can improve engagement metrics like bounce rates and time spent.

    All too often marketers stop their measurement with the traffic data outlined in this post, which we've come to understand as vanity metrics that don't tell the entire story. One might think a piece successful if they register 5,000 people that view or download the content, however if 95% of those visitors bounce from the document after the first page, the story changes considerably.

    Even social sharing metrics can be misleading on their own, as we've seen in most cases that roughly 85% of our customers readership decide to share whitepapers or ebooks on the first page, based merely on title or executive summary alone.

    Given this, do you have any strategies or recommended tools marketers might use to best interpret engagement data once captured?

  • by Alesia Krush Tue Jan 14, 2014 via web

    Steve,
    First off, thanks for your comment!
    As for engagement data interpretation, I believe advanced settings in Google Analytics can help with that.
    You'd basically want to know 2 things:
    - how engagement changes depending on a particular traffic channel
    - how it correlates to content characteristics
    I'd particularly recommend looking into Flow Visualization options in Google Analytics (support.google.com/analytics/topic/2472754?hl=en&ref_topic=1727148), as well as into the Audience -%3E Behavior -%3E Engagement section.
    These can show how various metrics are related. For example, you may see that the visitors coming to you landing page A via channel B all drop off, while visitors coming through channel C interact with the page's content. Which could mean that channel B, or your offer on it, are poorly targeted.
    Then, you'd need to test, and test, and test again to see which variables are responsible for which effect.

    By the way, I totally agree with what you say about social metrics. I know many people who share, bookmark, retweet articles simply because they like the title, but they hardly ever go back and read it through. So, yes, those can be misleading, depending on your audience.




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