In my experience, businesses often have all the ingredients of a content strategy but the challenge is to bring it all together into one, comprehensive strategy that sets the agenda for an organisation’s marketing content and in this blog post I want to focus on one of the hardest – and most important – parts of a content strategy that is often overlooked: measurement.
Whilst it doesn’t have the ring of a fancy buzzword (maybe we could call it ‘Contentalytics’? No? I’ll get my coat), measuring and reporting on performance is core to any marketing strategy, so why doesn’t it spill over into content strategy territory?
Bumps in the road
It’s no exaggeration that content done well is the golden ticket to the land of standing-out-from- the-crowd. However, when it comes to proving its value, the businesses I’ve worked with can find it tricky to know what to measure and the importance of reporting it.
The result? Great content is produced but it goes into a special, magical place where no-one really knows what it does. Is it the conversion tool you need it to be? Is it driving organic traffic?
Then there’s the time-old problem of resources. Often the people power needed to action a content strategy is surpassed by its demand, leaving content editors or marketing officers not knowing where to start to get a handle on their organisation’s content production.
An open-and-shut-case for measurement
Here at Spindogs, we pride ourselves on our expertise and putting our in-house knowledge at the fingertips of our clients, so get ready for some technical terms.
The value of measuring the performance of your content lies in being able to report key returns on investment (ROI) to the right – probably senior – people in your organisation. Have you ever felt like content is treated in silos from other types of marketing? Reporting on ROI is your first step to bridging that gap. With a solid set of stats, get ready to rock up at marketing meetings and say “hey, content is marketing and it’s working!”
Another value of reporting is clocking up well-earned kudos for your efforts. Have you ever posted a blog post and felt unsatisfied that that the only thing you’re able to report on is page views whilst your PPC colleagues are talking conversions and sales?
Organisation-wide appreciation will hopefully turn into further investment into content marketing efforts, whether it’s paid promotion of content or growing/upskilling the team to increase the output.
Last, but not least, findings should inform content planning. For example, have you noticed topics your audiences engage with more than others? Is there a format they prefer, for example, are they more likely to read and clickthrough an infographic over a standard text post? Are they fans of listicles or how to guides?
My top tip is to look for low hanging fruits in content you’ve already published. Do you have a historic blog post or page that is a really popular drive of traffic to your website? Take a look at it with a reviewer’s eye. Does it clearly link through to a relevant product or service page? Does it use the most up-to-date imagery? Can you add sub-headings to improve the layout?
What you should be measuring
There’s three main things that you should be looking out for when measuring the performance of your content:
- Analytics: tools like Google Analytics measure page views, bounce rates and next page path
- Search Engine Optimisation: tracking ranking keywords (e.g. SEMRush) or queries (Google Console) highlights the volume and activity of traffic to your content by search terms
- Goals: from eCommerce sales to newsletter sign-up or form filling, goals track people who go on to convert on your website
Getting a handle on measuring the performance of content, whether blog, site content, video or white paper, is essential for a truly effective strategy and content generation.