Measuring the success of your content is a core part of any marketing strategy. Whether it's securing a budget or proving the worth of a particular type of content, being able to show the impact of marketing activities is an essential part of your job.
But understanding what success looks like for each different content type can be a challenge, especially if you only have a background or specialism in one or two categories.
Measuring success on social media is more straightforward than most other content types as major platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram have their own analytics features. This allows you to set up specific metrics to gauge your performance and even set benchmarks to identify what success looks like. Of course what constitutes an achievement for your brand is reliant on your objectives, as the key performance indicators (KPIs) will vary depending on whether you want to boost engagement, grow your business or raise brand awareness.
Here are some of the most important key performance indicators (KPI) to measure on social:
- Follower count - key to measure reach but it's important to focus on quality of followers too by factoring engagement-related KPIs
- Impressions - the amount of times your brand is being shown to users
- Web traffic - social media campaigns usually hinge on driving users back to the main website
- Clicks, Likes, Shares - metrics that help measure how much people are interacting with your posts
- Sales revenue - key to measure if you want social to help business acquisition
It can be more difficult to establish the success of graphics because they normally rely on another platform. Whether it's your own website or social media, a graphic that has fantastic potential can fail because of external factors. This makes it incredibly important for you to consider how you want to share your graphic or infographic and what you want users to do after they see it. From this, you'll get a much clearer idea of what KPIs you need to measure to gauge its success.
Here are some of the key metrics to measure:
- Website traffic
- Time on site
Much like graphics, you need to carefully consider where you're hosting video content to give it the best chance of success. This will probably also influence the type of content you produce. Shorter videos sit well on social platforms, while longer content can be placed on YouTube, Vimeo or embedded onto your own website.
The obvious measure for success is view count but that's only half the battle when it comes to videos. Here are five key metrics you need to be tracking:
- Play rate - the number of people who watched the video divided by the number who accessed the landing page it was on
- Social shares - key if engagement or brand awareness are your objectives
- Average watch time - you can determine whether your content is interesting for the viewers and how it could be improved; is it too long? Too detailed?
- Bounce rate - how many people you're losing after the video
- Click-through (CTR) - the number of users following your CTA
The success of blog content depends on a number of factors aside from how good your actual content is. The design and usability of your website, loading time, user journey, buyer cycle, and personas can all have an impact on whether your blogs are being successful or not.
The most important metrics to track will depend on your wider business objectives, but these are some of the essential KPIs that can gauge the performance of a blog with your audience:
- Leads - how many realistic sales opportunities are you getting from your blog content?
- Social shares - key for engagement objectives
- Visitors - to boost brand awareness and visibility
- Time on site - key for understanding how appropriate/relevant your content is and achieving engagement objectives
- CTR - to determine how many of the visitors are moving further down your marketing funnel
Measuring the success of thought leadership is one of the most complicated. Sure, someone may have downloaded your whitepaper but did they read it and, if they did, what were their thoughts? For many brands producing thought leadership content, success is about having influence in your sector and improving the authority of your business.
This means the KPIs are focused on how people are interacting with your content rather than just the download figures:
- Social mentions - being a thought leader is all about getting noticed
- Inbound links - if you're an established brand, people will be driven to your site
- Branded queries - this opens up the conversation, boosts engagement and encourages brand loyalty
From quizzes to interactive ebooks and infographics, content that encourages users to interact with it can be incredibly effective for brands, but success can - again - be difficult to measure. Whether or not it's a worthwhile venture depends on the objectives you have and where it's placed in your buyer cycle. Interactive content like chatbots or quizzes can be great for encouraging visitors to progress towards a sale, while interactive infographics and ebooks are effective for brand awareness.
Key KPIs to measure are:
- Bounce rate
- Time on page
- Social shares
- Google SERPs
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