Are your content marketing efforts accomplishing anything substantial? How do you know?
How are you measuring the weight and worth of your efforts?
There are multitudes of statistics you can glean from your marketing platform or from Google Analytics. The trick is to establish what’s important to you (or your boss)—and then to consistently monitor those meaningful metrics.
Here are six noteworthy stats that help reveal the true merits of your content initiatives:
Email clickthrough rates
Email is still one of the most effective—and cost-effective—ways to reach customers. However, go beyond measuring mere “open rate,” which doesn’t tell you much.
When you send out your weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter, how many recipients are clicking through to your website? If your emails are consistently driving high volumes of website traffic, your content is doing its job. If no one’s clicking, your content’s not sticking.
Email subscription rate
If your subscriber base is steadily growing, it’s proof that you’re enticing them with good content.
To ensure the subscription rate balloons instead of shrinks, follow this data-backed guidance for email success:
- Send concise messages.
- Send them from a real person.
- Send emails earlier in the day and week.
- Use simple language.
- Include more image area (rather than big chunks of text).
- Send emails on a regular schedule.
This metric gauges the amount of time visitors spend on your website before heading elsewhere. If visitors are bouncing after two seconds on your site, something’s not right.
Are your users sticking around, or are they fleeing at the sight of your content? Closely track dwell time to find out.
There are several ways to measure and capture leads. Email subscriptions, signups for a white paper or other downloadable content—any piece that gathers contact information of potential customers or clients is fair game for lead generation.
Social media shares
If your content is insightful, useful, helpful or valuable enough to earn substantial social media shares, you’re hitting a meaningful target.
Of course, not all shares are equal, but each share is a sign that you’re on the right track. It also means you’re expanding your audience.
“Likes,” impressions and comments are fine, but shares, retweets and email forwards are more important.
Collecting empirical data is paramount, but don’t discount anecdotal evidence.
If a client says, “I enjoyed that blog post” or “Thanks for sharing that how-to article,” that’s a strong vote for your content marketing. Gather testimonials, grab quotes from customers and gather feedback to find proof that your content is connecting with clients.
A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.