Written your blog? Filmed your video? Recorded your podcast? Congratulations on creating your new content! However, the work doesn’t stop there. Once your content has been uploaded and distributed, your focus needs to turn to measuring your content marketing success. There’s no point creating all this content if you have no way of establishing whether or not it is reaching the right people and answering their questions

By digging into all of the relevant data available to you, you can begin to answer the following questions:

  • Who is reading your content? Are they the people that you were initially looking to target?

  • Which topics are proving the most popular?

  • Does the style and format of the title affect the level of interest?

  • What content has lead to people getting in touch or making a purchase?

This information is incredibly helpful as you continue to refine and adjust the content. No content marketing strategy should be firmly set in stone. Yes, you can discuss ideas and plan possible titles for the coming months, but don’t be afraid to change it up if something isn’t working! It’s all about being adaptable and flexible in your approach.

Here are our top tips on how to measure your content marketing success.

Google Analytics dashboard

Monitoring User Behaviour

Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information. You’ll be amazed at how much it has to tell you about who is viewing your content, how often and where they came from. 5 key areas to consider are:

  • Pageviews. Arguably one of the most important metrics available to you, pageviews tell you how many people have landed on a page within a given period. It is vital for establishing which pieces of content are generating the most interest.  Be aware that page refreshes are counted as new page views, because you’re effectively loading the page again.

  • Average Time On Page. The amount of time that an individual spends viewing a page can be incredibly telling. For lengthier pieces of content, you obviously want the audience to be sticking around for longer. An average time on page of just a few seconds should prompt you to reconsider the content, from the title to the structure of the page itself.

  • Bounce Rate. A high bounce rate on a particular piece of content is a good indication that the audience didn’t find what they were looking for quickly enough. It is a measure of how many people arrived on your site and quickly left without interacting with anything on the page or visiting any other pages. The title of your content might have unwittingly misled people who were then disappointed with the information they were faced with. Alternatively, it might be the style of content that proved off-putting e.g. not everyone is in a suitable situation to watch a video.

  • Unique Visitors. If you’re keen to see whether anyone has viewed your content more than once, you can delve into the unique visitors log. Google Analytics uses an individual’s IP address and browser cookies to track how many times they visit a site. The unique visitors metric will provide you with a more accurate estimation of your audience than pageviews on their own.

  • Audience Demographics. Want to know more about the people reading, watching or listening to your content? Concerned that your content isn’t reaching the right people? With Google Analytics, you can begin to discover their age, gender and location. This can help you craft your next piece of content to ensure it is as well received as possible by your target audience.

Checking Social Shares

One of the clearest indicators that someone has fully enjoyed and engaged with your content is social sharing. If someone goes to the effort of linking to your content, it has clearly impacted and interested them in some way. Ultimately, they are more likely than others to make a purchase or inquire about your services.

Should someone share your content several times, you can be pretty confident that they’re a loyal follower of your brand. In fact, you could term them a ‘brand ambassador’. These individuals are so taken with your content that they’re encouraging their friends and family to check it out themselves, further boosting your brand awareness and audience reach. The more brand ambassadors you have, the faster your follower count will grow.

Keep a note of what content generates the most social shares, and on which platforms. You might begin your content marketing strategy posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc, only to then look at the data and discover that one or two platforms are proving far more successful than the others. With this insight, you could either choose to only focus on one or two, or consider ways to adapt your content for the strengths and nuances of each platform. For example, do you need to produce higher quality, more interesting images for use on Instagram? Do you need to make greater use of hashtags on Twitter?

To make it as easy as possible for individuals to share your content, make sure that every piece of content is accompanied by a set of sharing buttons.

Tracking Conversions

Ultimately, the purpose of your content is to generate more leads and build brand awareness. To measure your content marketing success in lead generation, you can keep track of how many people choose to give up their contact information in return for a download. These  individuals are more likely than others to convert as a sale. If you then follow up this download with a relevant and suitable follow up, you can monitor their open rate to see if the lead is still interested or provide them with further helpful content to encourage a stronger relationship between them and your brand.

Confident that you know how to measure your content marketing success? Follow these tips and you’ll be flying in no time.

Written by Anna Carruthers December of 2018