4 Ways to Track Your Content Marketing and Learn
Lurking in the back of every marketer’s brain is the idea that metrics are really useful, but this is quickly stifled by the terror of – which ones do I track? The failsafe for everyone is to look it up on Google, which is great unless you want to learn about which metrics to track for your content marketing. Then you get pages and pages of results detailing which are the metrics that matter. And none of them recommend the same one. Overwhelmed? You will be!
There is no magic formula for which metrics to track, or how to track them. Just as each business is unique so is the way that they operate creating no ‘one size fits all’ policy on tracking what is successful. There are more ways to measure performance than there are ways to perform, which is why there are so many metrics available, but not all are necessary for every company, or even necessary for a company at all. Do not fall into the trap of looking at your sales figures or your social media results in isolation and think that you have the whole sales process down to perfection. One is only a monetary value and the other appeals to your company ego. There are four different types of metrics that need to be carefully monitored and the results assimilated in to company practises to really streamline your sales potential and create more sales.
One of the easiest ways to know if a metric will work for you, and what you need to track, is to break your metrics into four groups of the most important things you need to know to develop your business, and then see what you need to measure. If you can track what works for you, and how you make it work for you, you can learn from it and let it guide you through to the path of best practice.
These four essential business development groups are:
Are these the only content marketing metrics that matter? To your company, maybe not, but you have to start somewhere and by simplifying what really matters you can focus on what makes a difference.
Before you invest a tidy sum of time and money in expanding or strategizing on your content, you need to check how it is being consumed, and for some content, if it is being consumed. What is the point of creating it if it isn’t doing anything? Your time and money could be better employed elsewhere.
Look at your primary online real estate and see what metrics they have to offer without buying any add-ons. The first places to look are:
Your consumption metrics is the data that lets you take a look at when your content is accessed by a direct user. Anything that allows you to get a better understanding of what your potential clients are looking at, how they are consuming it and what they are doing after they have consumed it, is valuable marketing information. Leave no stone unturned! Think of every piece of online real estate you have then look for the metrics that they offer.
These are the metrics, as the name suggests, that track how often your content marketing is shared. It’s great to get any type of share, but you particularly want to pay interest in the ones that lead users back to your website or other media. The best place to start is Twitter. How often were you retweeted? Did it contain a link? Where to? How many times were you mentioned? Did that contain a link? Look at what was important enough to be shared and by whom. Do the same with your Facebook page, Google+ profiles, LinkedIn account and Pinterest etc. and get a feel for what your consumers want to see.
Google analytics has plenty of information on sharing and can tell you probably more than you want to know. Get familiar with it and leverage the information it contains to really understand what makes your consumers tick.
One thing you need to understand is that your content is a means to an end. You may not be charging people to read it, but you’re not giving it away either. Your content is a breadcrumb trail to a sale. You need to be able to track where your leads are coming from, and where they go to better serve your clients and lead more of them to spend money. Some leads will convert with very little guiding, but in general, you will need to point, push, or even shove, some of your potential customers on to the next step. By knowing the path they take, identifying their pain points and measuring their activity you can create content that harmonizes with their sales path and makes it smooth.
Measurable metrics that are a rich source of lead generation information can be found in activities such as:
The technology is there to track almost any aspect of your lead generation from landing pages to phone numbers, so make sure that you take advantage of it. It will make your lead generation more erudite and garner more success.
The best way to track your sales metrics is to make the best use of your CRM (Customer relationship management system) and use their data to analyse how many leads are turning into sales. They offer the most reliable and useable sales data in an easy to digest format which takes all the mystery out of using it to get closer to a more efficient sales funnel.
You cannot look at any one group of these metrics in isolation, though they are all rich in information. Your marketing campaigns need to identify what is of most use and then be based around maximising it. Each number represents a potential customer and they have something to teach you if you’ll listen.
By being able to trace a sale through each of these steps is the nirvana that you need to aim for. In fact, tracing every sale through each of these steps should be your ultimate nirvana. The more you know about the habits of your customers, the more content you can create that attracts your chosen demographic and then brings them to a successful sale. Metrics should be as close to your heart as your product is. Your product is your path to an income; metrics are the path to a perfect sale.