Affordable Content Marketing: Finding The Right Metrics For Your Focus

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This is the fourth of a four-part series called “Content Marketing on a Budget: How To Get The Best Content Mix For Your Buck”. Over the course of these posts we’ll be helping you understand how to think about content marketing so you can make the right content choices when you have a limited budget.

Figure Out What Content Success Looks Like

After you’ve done all the hard work of planning your content, choosing what types you need, and creating the content assets themselves, you have one  last piece of the puzzle to figure out before executing the campaign and releasing your content into the wild. You need to know what successfully performing content will look like to you — namely, what metrics you’ll need to track. By identifying metrics that relate back to the focus and goals you set during your planning process and tracking them, you’ll be able to build up some information that can tell you how effective and efficient you’ve been with your budget. These insights will also help you improve future content efforts.

Choosing the right metrics is especially important now because of the fact that there is just so much trackable data that it’s easy to get lost among numbers and graphs that don’t telly you anything important about the content you’ve decided to create and the goals you’ve set for them. To help you identify which metrics you should track, we’ve identified a few metrics you’ll want to look at, based on common content aims for each of the funnel stages:

TOFU Focus: Building Brand Awareness

These are generally top-of-funnel metrics that will help you get a sense for how well your content is getting in front of the eyes and into the minds of your audience:

  • Likes, Shares and Follows on Social Media: Use the native analytics platforms built into the social media pages, or otherwise leverage a marketing platform that can track and pull all the data together to measure social engagement. Keep track of the types of content you share on these platforms, the audience targeting, timing, and other variables and try and establish a benchmark for content posting.
  • Article/Post Views or Reach: The analytics within each of the major social sites will also help you get a sense for basic post reach across your audience on those networks; in the case that you’re publishing the content on your own website, you will likely be able to track reach along with a host of other details to go along with that. Again, you can identify variables within the content and publishing process that can help you improve and expand your reach.

MOFU Focus: Engaging Your Audience

Once your audience is aware of your brand and has gotten familiar with your brand and products and you’re interacting and engaging them with content, you can track your success in doing so through the following

  • Comments: The number and nature of comments can tell you if you’re making inroads into starting conversations with your target audience. Are they asking the questions you expected them to? Who is commenting and what are they saying? How fast are you able to provide answers to their questions?
  • Click-throughs: The rates and various types of click-throughs you get (on links, on play buttons, on call-to-action buttons, etc.) can help you find out more about why and how audience members are engaging, what they are interested in, what kind of information they’re looking for, and what their intentions are as they explore your channels.
  • Non-Sales Conversions: Sometimes your content will entice your audience to know more, and they will interact with your company through sign-up forms, live chats or phone calls associated with the content. Track these metrics to see which pieces of content are most effective in creating these conversions.

BOFU Focus: Enabling Sales Conversions

Great content can be one of the salesperson’s best friends, a tool that can help answer final questions and tip comparisons in favor of the product or service being sold. The metrics here should focus on how content makes sales easier and more likely when introduced by the sales team.

  • Sales Conversion Rate: Providing content to a sales lead can help address the pain points and questions of the leads in an engaging and memorable manner when coupled with the sales pitch. Tracking the sales conversion rate with and without use of various types of content can help show how content affects the rate.
  • Duration of Sales Cycle: Good content, such as an explainer video or case study, can provide key information that a lead can hold onto, return to, and think about independently of speaking to a salesperson, which can help shorten the sales cycle. As with conversion rate, you should track the effect of various pieces of content on the average duration of the sales cycle.
  • Average Order Value: Content can also help convince leads to buy more by providing a large set of information and communicated value to them. As with the previous two metrics, the use of content (perhaps content that is specifically geared towards increasing average order value) should be tracked to see if any significant correlations can be found.

This wraps up our series on affordable content marketing — if you missed the previous entries, make sure to check out those posts out here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), and if you found these posts helpful, please subscribe using the form at the bottom of the page or on the main page of the blog!