Over the last year or so, Google’s algorithm changes significantly impacted your online marketing strategy — putting more emphasis on content marketing over SEO. Now, we’re not saying SEO is dead (plenty of others make this claim), but certainly, SEM (search engine marketing) now relies more heavily on your content marketing strategy than almost any other aspect.
And, remember the old adage — What’s important gets measured and measure what’s important — or something like that.
So, how do you assess the success of your content marketing strategy?
Assess your content strategy
Marketing Profs posted the cool infographic to the right answering that very question using the sales funnel framework – awareness — consideration — conversion.
The infographic, created by Brandpoint (a content marketing agency), identifies metrics to assess your content marketing strategy and gives some interesting stats on how your content marketing strategy impacts these metrics.
So, let’s start at the top — awareness.
No one can buy your brand if they don’t know it exists. The old saying,
“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”
is just plain WRONG.
In the old days, a few years ago, consumers learned about your brand through advertising on TV, radio, newspapers. But, today, people fast forward through commercials or avoid them altogether by watching on YouTube or Hulu and listening to satellite radio.
Gaining awareness today means showing up in search engines (93% start with search) or in consumers’ newsfeeds on social networks (15 Million consumers research brands on their social networks). Both of which require new, interesting, valuable content, since consumers won’t share junk and search engines don’t return junk high in SERPs (search engine results page — and most consumers don’t look beyond the first page for a link to the information they want).
One way to assess how well your content marketing strategy is working is to assess success in SEM and SMM (social media marketing). Metrics such as:
- site visits from new visitors
- growth in the size of your social networks
- # of social mentions
- where you show up in organic search (available in your Google Analytics if you link Webmaster Tools).
Another way to assess the success of your content marketing strategy in terms of awareness is to look for which pieces of content work best — drive more shares and more traffic to your website. This way, you not only have information about how successful your content marketing strategy is but insights on how to improve your content marketing strategy. That’s because part of the success of your strategy relies not only on WHAT you say, but WHEN you say it — especially on social networks.
At a recent conference, I heard a stat suggesting that consumers (both B2C and B2B) are 75% of the way to making their decision BEFORE they ask for a sales rep or visit your store. The old Yellow Pages slogan “Let your fingers do the walking” is certainly true when it comes to Web 2.0. We don’t visit store after store roaming aisle after aisle looking for optional brands to buy, we do it online.
So, what metrics show we’re successful in driving consideration of our brand?
- Longer website visits
- More page views per visit
- Repeat visits
- CTR — click-through rate
- Lower bounce rates (visits of only a page)
- Social media engagement — shares, RT, etc.
Unfortunately, some businesses only assess conversions. This is a mistake, as it fails to recognize how important the entire funnel is in terms of generating conversions. Just measuring leads of sales from your content marketing strategy isn’t enough to truly assess conversion rate. A tool such as Awe.sm is really good for tracking where sales came from and which content drove those sales. It’s also sensitive to other goals that support conversion, such as email subscriptions, white paper downloads, etc.
Other metrics assessing your content marketing strategy
Of course, not every metric assessing the success of your content marketing strategy fits neatly in this sales funnel framework. Some examples include:
- Sentiment – as improving consumer attitudes is an important goal of any promotional strategy
- Influencers – as these folks have a significant impact on awareness
- Share of Voice (SOV) – this metric assesses your performance vis-a-vis competitors
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.