Even if you’re just beginning to dip your toe into the world of content marketing, you will have already discovered the importance of understanding and acting on analytics metrics. Unfortunately to newcomers to the content marketing game, this can be very daunting. Even if you understand what a metric measures, how do you apply that information practically to your content marketing campaign? We hear you!
Don’t stress, with a bit of reading and a bit of practice, you’ll soon be fluent in content marketing analytics and be streamlining your campaigns in no time. Here are the five critical types of metrics you need to be familiar with, and how you can apply them.
Consumption metrics are exactly what they sounds like – they tell you how people are consuming your content. Regardless of what analytics program you use, there are some really basic metrics which will tell you how you’re doing…
For your website or your blog, the ones to watch are page views (number of visitors to your site), unique views (number of individual visitors), bounce rate (how many people click the back button) and average time on site. These will tell you how many people are reaching your site and how long they’re spending on it, therefore indicating how useful/interesting they find it.
On social media you measure increased consumption of your content by reading the click-through metrics – the more people that are clicking through on your links, the more people are reading your content. With email content, consumption is measured with the number of subscribers and open rate.
Retention metrics are useful for understanding how you are staying relevant and top-of-mind to current and future consumers.
For your website this is measured by pages per visit and returning visitors. This shows that people are coming back to your site and are spending more time on it and reading more than one page. On social media this measures your number of followers, and for email it measures subscribers and opt-outs.
Across your website and your social media channels you want to measure how many times your content is shared, liked, and commented on. The sharing aspect of content marketing is one of its most powerful features as this is how you grow your audience and reach more potential customers. You want to make sure that your content is encouraging sharing.
Similar to sharing, engagement is another aspect of content marketing which we really aim to maximize. You want consumers to get involved with your content. Once again this is measured with likes and comments, and for your website it is measured by session duration and page depth.
You want your viewers to be spending longer on your site and reading more pages, so by keeping an eye on these metrics you can determine whether your content is engaging enough.
This is the most vital and the most complicated. People will tell you that you need to measure Return on Investment, and they’re right: you need to be able to measure the impact of your content marketing campaign to justify its existence. But how do you do that?
With Google Analytics you simply need to use their Ecommerce tracking. This will show you the revenue generated and through which channel. Then you need to work out how much money you’re spending on each of those channels. If it’s through your blog, calculate how much time it took to write and get a “cost over time” figure, then you can work out how much actual money you made out of that blog.
Also in Google Analytics, you can assign a dollar value to each “goal”, which can be anything from email subscribers to form submissions or increased page depth. Determine how much money each of these “goals” is worth and then Google Analytics will tell you how much you’ve earned from them.
If you’re advertising Pay-Per-Click your analytics will tell you how many clicks you’ve got, how much you paid for them, how many conversions you got from them, and therefore how much you’re paying per conversion.
Once you’re familiar with these basic types of consumption metrics, and the most important features within them, you’ll be on your way to running the smoothest and most successful content marketing campaign you can imagine – and one that you can boast about in the boardroom!