Content marketing is one of the most effective project promotion strategies. However, promotion with the help of content is a long-term approach, the results of which do not appear immediately, as we wrote in the article about rapid promotion. At the same time, business owners and top managers of large corporations want to constantly monitor the effectiveness of marketing investments. They are often not ready to wait six months or a year to understand whether content marketing is working or not.
Content marketers should use valid campaign evaluation methods at all stages of their implementation. This is necessary both to assess the effectiveness of promotion and timely change of approaches, as well as to communicate with project owners or managers. The marketer should be able at any time to show the businessman the results of his investment in the creation and publication of content.
We have already described content marketing assessment tools in the articles How to Measure Link Building Building ROI, 6 Indicators of Content Marketing Strategy Effectiveness and How to Measure the Effectiveness of Promotion in Social Networks. This article will introduce you to metrics that are used to assess the effectiveness of the promotion of 10 leading burzhunet marketers.
- Jay Beyer, president of content marketing company Convince & Convert
Mr Bayer combines the criteria for the effectiveness of content marketing into four groups of metrics - consumer, sharing, metrics, lead generation and sales metrics. Jay Beyer considers sales metrics to be the main ones, as they directly answer the question of how much money has brought you content. However, the expert considers the mathematical calculation of profit to be insufficient for an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, since sales are not the only goal of content marketing.
According to Mr. Bayer, the sharing metrics are the most overvalued. They have become popular among marketers because of the simplicity of the calculation, but the practical value of retweets and reposting is limited. Presumably, the shareings are involved in lead generation and sales, but this participation is non-linear. Jay Beyer encourages retweets and reposting to be seen as a means to an end, not the end itself.
- Lindsey Bell, an expert marketing company Spin Sucks
Mrs. Bell believes that it is enough to enter in the search box requests like “evaluate the effectiveness of content marketing” to find out about thousands of metrics. It refers to the required metrics the number of views, sharing and sales. However, Lindsay Bell does not consider it necessary to discuss these metrics because of their obviousness. The expert suggests assessing the effectiveness of content marketing using one single criterion - community activity.
Mrs. Bell considers the formation of communities the main indicator of the effectiveness of promotion with the help of content. In this case we are not talking about the number of communities, although this indicator can also be used. Spin Sucks specialist assures that community activity, manifested by heated discussions, personal communication and loyalty of participants, should serve as the main criterion for the effectiveness of content marketing.
- Dan Blank, head of consulting firm WeGrowMedia
Dan Blank uses only one criterion for the effectiveness of content marketing. He believes that effective content should improve the life of the reader, no more, no less. Mr. Blank speaks about the qualitative criteria, the assessment of which is largely subjective. He does not deny the importance of quantitative metrics, such as conversion rates or the number of failures, but he considers them superficial. His opinion on the metrics is as follows:Content marketers need to pay attention to both qualitative and quantitative criteria for the effectiveness of promotion. Quantitative metrics will definitely be needed during a conversation with the owners of a project dedicated to the ROI of investment in promotion.
- Michael Brenner, founder of B2B Marketing Insider
Mr. Brenner assesses the effectiveness of content marketing in terms of conversion rate (ratio of website visitors to sales), audience involvement (average visitor visit duration, number of refusals) and traffic at an early stage of the search.The early stage of the search involves the use of key phrases of a general nature, for example, “which camera to choose,” “buy a laptop cheap,” “how to open a deposit online.” In the later stages of the search, the client uses requests like “buy an HP ProBook 4545s laptop” or “open a deposit in Sberbank online”.
- Heidi Cohen, Marketing Specialist, Head of Riverside Marketing Strategies
Ms. Cohen believes that the criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign depend on its characteristics. In other words, you can evaluate the success of a marketing campaign, knowing its goals and objectives. According to Heidi Cohen, usually the effectiveness of promotion can be assessed using the following groups of metrics:
- People - visits, number of communities.
- Actions - the number of views, the average duration of the visit.
- The impact on the brand - brand awareness and consumer attitudes.
- Sales and leads.
- Financial resources (ROI).
Heidi Cohen emphasizes that marketers often forget to consider promotion costs when evaluating the effectiveness of campaigns.
- Pawan Deshpande, founder of the Curata service
Mr. Deshpande considers the number of subscribers the main criterion for the effectiveness of content marketing campaigns. According to the expert, increasing the audience remains the main goal of content marketing. Therefore, marketers need to be considered followers in social networks, subscribers to the email newsletter and RSS feed.
- Barry Gruber, founder of Content Matters
Barry Gruber considers audience involvement as the main criterion for the success of content marketing. The specialist notes that the criteria for engagement remain the most difficult to measure. He proposes to assess involvement by shareings, page views, average visit duration, conversion rate.
Mr. Gruber offers to monitor brand awareness and the attitude of users to it. To do this, you must follow the references to the company in the media. The number of references in this case is a quantitative indicator, and the nature of references refers to quality.
Interactive Marketing Specialist Rebecca Lieb also recognizes the importance of measuring audience engagement. However, Ms. Lieb admits that she does not fully understand the meaning of this term: “For me personally, involvement always remains a big problem, I do not fully understand how to measure involvement and interpret measurement results in each specific case.”
- Kelly Hungerford, expert at Paper.li
Ms. Hungerford believes that Google Analytics provides marketers with access to all the necessary quantitative metrics for evaluating content marketing. And to assess the quality indicators specialist uses the metrics "Who? What? Where? When? ”, For monitoring which you can also use the Google analytics service.
Kelly Hungerford offers to answer four questions to determine the success of promotion:
- Who consumes your content?
- What does the audience do after reading the article? In this case we are talking about comments, sharing, conversions, refusals.
- Where do readers share your content?
- When (in what cases) are they looking for your content?
Kelly Hungerford suggests using statistical plugins for WordPress and other CMS, as well as social network monitoring services to evaluate the effectiveness of content marketing.
- Michael Kolovich, Internet entrepreneur
Mr. Kolovich considers one of the main metrics of content marketing success to be returns to the site. According to the expert, if readers return to the resource within two weeks after the first visit, they consider it a useful and reliable source of information.
- Neil Patel, founder of Kiss Metrics
Neil Patel, whose views on content marketing were written in a series of articles “Why content marketing is a new type of SEO,” considers the number of social networks, traffic, the number of email addresses received and direct conversions to be the main criteria for success.
Leading marketers of burzhunet use quantitative and qualitative criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of content marketing. They typically use Google Analytics, as well as social media monitoring tools, to calculate quantitative metrics. The most important indicators of successful promotion include leads - sales, subscriptions, calls. Also, marketers estimate the traffic, the average duration of the visit of users, refusals, conversion rate.
Replication of content in social networks is related to qualitative metrics rather than to quantitative ones, since there is no linear dependence of sales on the number of shareings. On the other hand, reposts and retweets make it possible to assess the involvement of the audience in interaction with the brand.
Experts call engagement as one of the main qualitative criteria for evaluating content marketing. They offer to monitor the involvement of the audience activity, which is manifested comments, social cues, conversion rate and returns to the site.
Recognized experts allow themselves to evaluate the effectiveness of content marketing using subjective criteria. A project is progressing effectively if the published content improves the life of the audience - this philosophical thesis of Dan Blanc can drive the owners of untwisted projects crazy. Imagine the face of a customer who heard about saving the world in response to a question about the budget spent.
And what criteria for the effectiveness of content marketing do you use? What tools help you track key metrics? How do you feel about the abstract and subjective criteria for evaluation? Share your opinion in the comments.
Adapt material 20 Experts Select Key Content Marketing Metrics by Heidy Cohen.