Measure Content Channel Performance in 5 Steps

Excellent content marketing spans diverse content channels, including social media, organic search, pay-per-click ad copy, infographics, email marketing, blog posts and other owned media updates – just to name a few. All of these content channels require digital marketing performance metrics, commonly known as key performance indicators (KPIs).

KPIs for each type of content can vary greatly, depending on your industry, customer base, and the length of the sales cycle – and the strategies that work for measuring traditional sources of lead-generation do not necessarily transfer when measuring content marketing channels.

Accurate measurement of content channel performance is critical. Too often, organizations implement a content marketing campaign without any overarching plan, failing to outline explicit organizational goals. Instead of devoting valuable time and budget to maintaining all of the latest social media platforms, these resources should be focused instead on those specific channels which provide the best ROI. By taking the time to assess your content channel performance, you’ll gain insight which will help you more effectively allocate resources to engage with your target audience.

Once you’ve established a marketing plan which identifies your target audience, and the best channels for engaging them, it’s time to begin measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns. The guidelines outlined below will help you gain insight into content channel performance – they should be the cornerstone of any digital marketing campaign, regardless of industry, sales cycle or distribution method.

  1. How many people saw the content? Each impression is a potential lead. When measuring the effectiveness of those leads, there are several tools which can help you gauge performance of your website and blog impressions. Google’s Analytics and Webmaster tools can both provide an overview of impressions and clicks in organic search results. This data can help companies grasp traffic trends, view referral sources, and review page popularity, ranking, and click-through rates. They can also help you track how long users remain on a particular post or page. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also offer detailed analytics of content posts, so you can review the visibility and reach of your social media content.
  2. How many people took action? It is critical to measure your “clicks.” How many people clicked your organic search link, PPC ad, or Twitter link? How many opened an email or newsletter based on the subject line? This is an important figure to note, as it represents the first step through the sales funnel.
    If forms or shopping carts are being abandoned, it is time to measure content and layout as an influencing factor. Side-by-side comparison of campaigns, or A/B split testing, is an excellent tactic for discovering what works. Experimenting with placements, colors, buttons, and calls to action can yield different results – and sometimes changing the wording of your headline can do wonders to improve your click-through rates.
  3. Share-ability. How many people shared your content? When an audience member takes action by sharing content with friends and colleagues, that action increases brand reach and awareness. Even when that audience member does not click or convert, a share or retweet implies that they trust your brand, and are willing to recommend it to others. Content with high share-ability leads to an increase in impressions and brand appreciation – which makes it a critical factor in measuring content channel performance.
  4. How long do visitors interact with your content? Knowing how long visitors remain engaged is key to measuring content quality. No matter how many new impressions you gain, excellent, high-quality content is required to keep your leads interested and engaged. Time spent on page is a valuable metric for determining if you are offering the right content for your audience – if a site or page has a high bounce rate, something needs to be reworked.
  5. How many people took the next step? Conversions are different from clicks – they represent a lead that completes your desired action. This could mean “liking” your company on Facebook, signing up for a webinar or newsletter, or actually making a purchase.
    Content that converts invites the customer to continue their engagement, by offering the opportunity for optional conversion (actions which a lead can take for free, with no signup required – such as a free webinar) or premium conversion (which generally offer something of interest, in exchange for an email address). Both types of conversions should be tested and measured, in order to effectively gauge content performance.

By using this outline, you’ll be able to accurately measure content channel performance. You’ll gain the insight and ability needed to adjust your content accordingly, and notice a significant impact to your ROI. To find out more about how measuring content channel performance can help you increase revenue, and positively impact your bottom line, click here to contact the experts at Strongpages today.