How Do You Know Your Blog Is Doing Its Job?
In order to know if things are going well with your blog, you’ve got to be able to count, quantify, and measure your success. That’s where tracking and metrics come into play! There are so many different ways to measure data online. It’s important to know how to approach measuring data when it comes to your content marketing. Here is one way to approach the whole topic of metrics for content marketing.
The difference between content and formats
One of the hardest things to measure is content effectiveness, mostly because there exists great confusion about its changing nature and purpose.
One common problem is thinking of “content” and “formats” as synonyms, which leads to frustration and, with the wrong scaling processes present, may also lead to Google disasters.
What is the difference between content and formats?
Content is any message a brand/person delivers to an audience;
Formats are the specific ways a brand/person can deliver that message (e.g. data visualizations, written content, images/photos, video, etc.).
Just to be clear: We engage and eventually share the ideas and emotions that content represents, not its formats. Formats are just the clothing we choose for our content, and keeping the fashion metaphor, some ways of dressing are better than others for making a message more explicit.
Strategy, as in everything in marketing, also plays a very important role when it comes to content. It is during the strategic phase that we attempt to understand (both thanks to our own site analysis and competitive analysis of others’ sites) if our content is responding to our audience’s interests and needs, and also to understand what metrics we must choose in order to assess its success or failure.
Paraphrasing an old Pirelli commercial tagline: Content without strategy is nothing.
Remember these important things:
Don’t be data driven, be data informed;
Think strategically, act tactically;
Content’s metrics vary depending on the goals of content itself.- via Moz
Which Metrics Really Matter?
In this age of trackable, accessible everything, there’s not much you can’t track if you put your mind to it. But not all the metrics and tools out there are really going to be useful for you in your business. Some of them are just interesting, and others are clutter that could distract you from the important stuff if you let it. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Here’s a look at a few metrics that always matter, and what they could mean for you and your blog.
Content cannot be measured with a single metric, because no one data point can successfully or satisfactorily tell you whether your program is working. Instead, you need to create an array of metrics that are selected from four primary buckets:
1. Consumption Metrics
It’s a critical data point, and is generally easy to derive through Google Analytics, YouTube insights, or similar. The key is to not stop your metrics train at this depot.
2. Sharing Metrics
Here we’re measuring how successful your content is in getting consumers to share it with others, as determined by tweets, likes, Linkedin shares, Google + shares, Diggs, and the like.
3. Lead Generation Metrics
Whether you require registration before allowing people to read/watch/download your content (which I usually don’t recommend), or whether you’re measuring leads generated after content is consumed, this is where we start determining whether the content marketing effort is making financial sense.
4. Sales Metrics Holy grail time.
If you’re using some sort of customer and prospect database (and you absolutely should be, even if it’s something simple like Highrise or Sugar CRM) you’ll want to note in the prospect record that the potential customer consumed content pieces X, Y, and Z. Then, when your crack sales team turns that prospect into a sale, determine the projected revenue and profit (lifetime value if you can) of that customer, and assign it to the content pieces
What do you track on your blog? Do you have a way to measure how effective your blog is?