Organic content marketing is an incredibly popular strategy for businesses of all sizes in all industries, and for good reason. When done correctly, content marketing can help you build brand awareness, attract new customers, and convert website visitors. While all of the potential benefits of content marketing are incredibly promising, it can be difficult to measure the effects of content marketing. Shockingly, over 50% of marketers are unaware of how effective their marketing strategy is. Whether you are just beginning to plan your content marketing strategy or just trying to evaluate your current strategy, it is helpful to know how to assess its success. Read on to learn how to evaluate your content marketing strategy.
What is the Goal of Your Content Marketing?
If you don’t see a two-fold increase in conversions one month after implementing your content marketing strategy, should you abandon the failing strategy? A big part of how you evaluate content marketing depends on the goals you have for your strategy. Before getting wrapped up in all the numbers, it is important to remember the objective of organic content marketing. Organic content marketing is meant to provide valuable content to your target audience to establish industry authority. Eventually, both of those things lead to more conversions. Content marketing is not a quick and easy solution; it is a strategy that takes a consistent effort over time to see results.
Data and analytics are certainly important, but you should frame your content marketing goals in a way that aligns with the design and long term impact of content marketing. Some actionable metrics to focus on include
- Converting users
- Conversion rate
- Social media engagement
- ROI for marketing
- Customer acquisition cost
- Customer lifetime value
Clearly outline your content marketing goals with your entire team. Make your goals very detailed and clear so you can easily assess your progress toward them. Define what success looks like, including what your target audience is. Your entire team should be on board with the goals and when/how you will measure the progress toward the goals.
Track and Analyze
The next step to determining the effectiveness of your marketing strategy is to track the metrics that apply to your goals. While traffic is not the sole determinant of your content success, it certainly is important and easy to measure. Consider social traffic, organic search traffic, direct traffic, email traffic, referral traffic, and paid traffic. Break down your traffic at each point in the sales funnel to assess how your content marketing is doing. For example, if your website traffic is booming but visitors are not converting, that will mean something different than stagnant website traffic.
Engagement is another metric that is important for content marketing. Which specific engagement metrics are relevant to your strategy will depend heavily on the goal of your content marketing. For example, if your primary goal is to build brand awareness (as it is for 74% of B2C marketers) then you should focus on consumption metrics like social reach, document views, time on the website, blog views/comments, and inbound links. Neil Patel provides a great detailed description of which engagement metrics to focus on based on your goals.
Adhere to Your Specific Goal
Content marketing has the ability to benefit your business in numerous ways. However, if you use every possible metric to analyze your content marketing, you will likely decide it is not effective. The type of content you create, where you publish it, and how you promote it all depend largely on your goal. It is nearly impossible to create cohesive content that is ideal for five different goals. Focus on one primary goal at a time, and measure your content marketing strategy based on that goal alone.
Evaluate Potential Improvements
Even if your content marketing strategy is not performing as you would like, that does not mean it’s time to toss it. Before throwing in the towel on content marketing, you should assess your current strategy for improvements. With a few small changes, you may be able to take your content marketing to the next level and see progress toward your goal. Consider the following when analyzing your current or future content strategy.
- How frequent is my content? Content marketing requires consistency to be effective. You will need to produce content on a reliable basis to really build authority and see any results.
- What is the quality of my content? Throwing out any random content will not help your business. You need to provide value to your target audience. To do so, your content should be helpful, interesting, and/or entertaining. Produce content people want to read, see, or watch, not just something you think will lead to sales.
- Am I following best practices? A lot more goes into posting a blog than first meets the eye. Be sure you are following the best practices for SEO to maximize the visibility of your content. Use your other channels (like social media, email newsletters, etc) to share and promote your content.
- Am I differentiating? Creating a paraphrased copy of the content from competitors won’t fool anyone. While there is some room for recreating popular concepts with your own twist, unique content has the greatest benefit.
- Do I need help? Trying to write all of your own content can be overwhelming and make content marketing seem like an impossible feat. Even if you have a stellar marketing team, content marketing may just be too much for their workload. That’s where we come in. The Content Cucumber provides you with a dedicated writer who can fulfill all of your content needs. Your writer is available any time you need to produce exceptional content that is an extension of your brand voice.
Content marketing is a promising tactic, but its effectiveness can be hard to measure. Take the time to layout your content marketing goal and listen to the data. If your content marketing is not where it should be, there are still many ways to improve your strategy and see amazing results. The best part? You don’t have to do it alone. Outsourcing your content writing takes the stress out of content marketing. Learn more about how Content Cucumber will improve your content by visiting our website or requesting a sample piece HERE.