Creating a High-Impact Content Marketing Strategy: 4 of 5
Measurement is the only way to know if your content management strategy is actually working. And in light of the recent changes in Google’s search algorithms, the generic goal of simply driving people to your website is not a particularly valuable strategy.
When your goals become specific and quantifiable, your actions become more focused and actionable. Here are some important things to consider in order to establish relevant goals, key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics for your content marketing program.
Set measurable goals for specific areas.
The high-level view of a Google Analytics dashboard provides a macro view of your site’s traffic and reach: i.e. number of page views, average session length, bounce rates, page views per session, etc. But you need to dive in deeper to see what’s really going on in the trenches. For instance, a high bounce rate on a call-to-action page is of much higher concern than on a blog — where followers will typically visit your site, read the latest blogpost, move on, and revisit your site once the next post appears.
The fact is, different types of content/pages on your site fulfill very different roles. As such, you need to establish goals and metrics that are relevant for these specific areas. A viable goal could be to get website visitors to linger longer on a product announcement page. Or to spend more time in your e-commerce section. Or to generate 30% more leads on a direct call-to-action page. The possibilities for relevant metrics are numerous, and dependent on your particular needs.
Use engagement as the path to conversions.
While return on investment (ROI) is the Holy Grail of marketing, return on engagement (ROE) is the way to get you there.
Think about the traditional sales-process analogy of needing to court prospects before asking them to marry you. In the world of digital marketing, it’s actually more like speed dating. You have only seconds to stop a prospect in his/her tracks, and to keep that prospect from moving on to a more interesting option. That’s why the quality, relevance and interest-level of your content are key to getting consistent and repeated engagement during an often-extended conversion process.
Devise ways to measure engagement.
Return on engagement (ROE) is a hot topic these days, since it is an effective way to build a following and strengthen your brand. Valuable indicators of positive ROE include:
- More time spent on key pages in your site, versus the simple amassing of clicks and impressions.
- The growth of a loyal and consistent audience for your blog.
- Increased volume of positive reader comments for your blogposts.
- Indications that people are finding your content shareworthy, and passing it on.
- Increasing incidence of positive feedback for your brand in social media and on other industry sites.
- Leaders from your company being invited to write guest articles or blogposts, and/or to speak at industry events.
Continually put content engagement to the test.
As with all facets of a content management strategy, you need to continually analyze and fine-tune the metrics you’ve established — with the overarching goal of optimizing conversion rates and overall ROI. Some effective ways to do this include:
- Establishing a rating system to assess each piece of content, based on how well it has achieved your stated objectives.
- Evaluating engagement with content that is being streamed to relevant social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
- Assessing search-engine rankings for your overall site, and for key landing pages, on a regular basis.
This continual improvement mindset is not only key for assessing your current position. It is invaluable for determining what types of content — and what topics you need to stress — to optimize your digital footprint and strengthen your brand image.
Other Posts in this Series:
Building a Manageable Content Marketing Calendar
Cost-effective generation ideas for a variety of shareworthy content.
Driving sales through social media and digital promotion
Using retargeting to re-ignite promising leads