Measure Right for Online Success
On today’s internet, content rules. In fact, content has become a deciding factor in traffic and search engine ranking. Not just any content will do though. Only carefully curated content, which appeals to the right audience, will get results. If you want to reach your goals, an effective content strategy is key. Content strategy should be aligned with your company’s marketing goals. If your overall marketing goals are achieved, then you can be confident that your strategy is moving in the right direction. Prior to creating your content strategy, you must:
- – Have clearly defined marketing goals, including a timeframe for achieving them
- – Know the metrics that will measure your goals
Every company wants to achieve something different, and strategies will vary accordingly. Below are some marketing goals and different metrics that can be used to measure results. Consider how these might fit into your plan.
Most business models depend on generating leads that convert to sales. If the primary focus of your content is to generate leads, your strategy should focus on related key indicators.
Click-Through Rate: It’s a key factor in helping you measure the effectiveness of your content strategy. If your content is engaging enough that it provokes the reader to take an action–like filling out a form, clicking a link, downloading an eBook or subscribing to your newsletter–then your content strategy is moving in the right direction.
Conversions: Lead conversions are not only profit boosters, but also an indication that your content is informative and persuasive enough for the customer to trust you. Good content will generate qualified leads, and a little follow up by the marketing and sales team can easily convert them into buyers. Conversions can serve as a benchmark for a highly-effective and persuasive content strategy.
Sales are the end game for ecommerce companies. If your content is helping increase sales, you’ll know it’s effective. If it’s not, you’ll know you need to adjust, improving quality to get better results.
Click-Through Rate: Good content should work to educate, answer questions and build trust with readers. Your content should also be persuasive enough to make a reader take action, like clicking through to a product page or submitting contact information. High click-through rates are an indicator of success.
Conversion Cycle: With the help of good content, sales will not only increase, but the time it takes to convert a prospect into a buyer will decrease. Content can help educate customers and make them feel comfortable with your product and company. Closely monitoring the conversion cycle will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your content strategy.
Cart Abandonment: When ecommerce shoppers start a purchase but don’t finish, it indicates the customers is unsatisfied with some portion of the buying experience. Cart abandonment usually happens when the customer starts to doubt something while making a purchase. Your content’s job is to inform and educate the customer, removing all doubts. If your cart abandonment rates increase or remain steady, look to your content and make improvements.
In a highly-competitive market where many companies are selling the same thing, some at much lower prices, a company’s brand must stand out. In scenarios like these, brand consciousness can help make it easier for a customer to click the buy button on your site or grab your brand off the shelf. Brand consciousness is a universally-accepted marketing goal, because once a company develops trust in the hearts and minds of its customer base, selling becomes almost effortless. Once your brand has been recognized by the masses, you can sell your product on your terms and prices. It is easily the most effective way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. To effectively increase your brand consciousness, track the following.
Sharing on Social Networks: Social networking platforms have made it easy to send your message directly to your target audience. If that message is being shared, it’s a sign of an effective content strategy. Content helps build a brand’s credibility, and when people share it, that helps increase the familiarity of your name. Tracking the number of shares, likes and subscriptions will help you analyze your content’s popularity.
Article views: Article views are another way to measure your content’s success. Many users won’t like or share your content, even if they appreciate it and feel that it has value. However, you’ve still increased brand consciousness in their minds, as they now have a way to help differentiate you from your competitors. Article views indicate interest and help build brand consciousness. The articles on your own website can easily be tracked using web analytics tools. However, for guests posts on other sites, you may have to track in-bound links sent through them.
Content that keeps visitors on a site, as well as coming back to it, is a marketer’s dream. That dream can only be achieved with a highly-focused strategy and a deep understanding of the target audience. Content that doesn’t hold a visitor’s attention for long might backfire, as search engines could tag it as a high bounce rate. If your marketing goal is audience engagement, take a look at these metrics.
Social Shares: High sharing rates indicate content approval, meaning your content is making a great connection with your audience. Carefully track likes, shares and content subscriptions for each type of content you produce to understand what’s working best for you.
Comments: Engaging your audience one-on-one helps in understanding their reaction to your content. Comments are helpful in improving content quality and should be properly addressed. Negative comments provide an opportunity for reflection and improvement, while positive comments can guide you in the right direction.
Click-Through Rate: Content created for audience engagement might persuade readers to subscribe to your newsletter or feed. By tracking the number of actions taken, you can assess the effectiveness of your content. High click-through rates indicate excellent content and a clear call to action, while lower rates mean your strategy needs adjustment.
Success or failure can only be accurately assessed when you’re tracking the right metrics. Know your exact goals and assess the right things, and you’ll be well on your way to determining if your content strategy is up to par or requires an overhaul.