Everyone knows that content marketing is an integral part of modern business marketing. One of the best things about content marketing is that all of your results are measurable – often in real time.
Content marketing is one of the easiest means of getting people to know about your business without putting pressure on them to buy, and it has revolutionised the ways people now market and promote their business.
But it’s not just about marketing, the most important thing is making content marketing work for your business success. So how do you ensure that content marketing have some positive impacts on your business?
So, how do you determine which content does well and which one doesn’t? This is where measuring and understanding the impact of content marketing on your business is essential. The trick is knowing what metrics matter and what they really mean.
Understanding the impact of content marketing on your business
For a real understanding of the impact of content marketing on your business, you can’t just measure the movement in immediate sales.
Content marketing is a long-term play; customers will interact with your brand in different, meaningful ways – we’ll call them “microconversions”.
A microconversion could be signing up for an e-mail newsletter, sharing your content with a friend, trying out a demo or even just spending a certain amount of time consuming your content.
Below are four key types of metrics to keep an eye on if you truly want to have a proper understanding of the impact of content marketing on your business:
#1). Consumption metrics
These are the numbers that tell you how many people are actively consuming your content. Some of the metrics to track include:
- Website traffic
- E-mail open rates
- Video plays
Consumption metrics give you some idea surrounding how engaging your content really is and which content is most popular. You can also track repeat visits to get a sense of loyalty and how well you are holding an audience’s attention over time.
You might also want to take a look at metrics like which keywords are bringing people in to your content to spark ideas surrounding new content you can create or verticals you ought to be targeting.
#2). Sharing metrics
Sharing metrics are great for understanding the who, how and where behind the earned media your business is getting. Some of the metrics worth watching here include:
But don’t stop there – dig deeper! Look into who is sharing your content and how often. Repeat sharers are advocates and allies you can build community with. Keep in mind that low share numbers are okay if the audience sharing the content falls right into the profile of your ideal customer.
Also monitor the sentiment surrounding the shares and comments you receive. What are people saying? What insights can you glean from the feedback you’re getting? This info can help you refine and improve your content.
#3). Lead metrics
Some of your best customers may not have bought from you just yet. Monitoring lead metrics gives you an idea of how many people are in the funnel – and where. For example, you can track lead metrics like the following to get a sense of how much genuine interest in your products your content is generating:
- Demo/trial sign-ups
- Sales calls
- Form submissions
As you collect these numbers, don’t forget to measure metrics like your average cost per lead; sometimes, content marketing may not result in drastically more leads, but significantly cheaper ones.
Also consider measuring lead quality: Are the leads more qualified? Are they better informed by the time they make the sales call? Fewer leads may not be a negative thing if the leads you’re getting are more likely to convert.
#4). Sales metrics
The most straight forward metrics of all are sales numbers. As with lead metrics, don’t neglect calculating your average cost per conversion in addition to the total number of conversions over time.
You might also think about calculating the size of the sale to see if your content is influencing larger-quantity purchases, or purchases of more expensive items.