In part one of this post, we discussed the importance of refining your content marketing strategy using data and how to go about doing this. We explained how to use analytics, social media and keyword research to ensure that you are choosing the right topics and reaching the right people. The second part will build on this advice, looking at how to more accurately measure your content ROI and the one metric you simply have to be using (hint: it involves conversions).
Time is money
In order to better establish the return on investment you are receiving on your content, you need to be tracking the time put in. This will enable you to assess where your time is being put to good use and where it is being wasted. For example, if you are spending days producing a detailed white paper but it gets next to no engagement then you need to be reevaluating your approach.
It is easy to underestimate the time it takes to create content; there is a lot more to the process than just writing copy:
- Image sourcing
All of these aspects need to be factored into the time required in order to provide a more accurate picture of your input. When these components are combined with you analytics, you will be in a far better position to determine the ROI you are achieving in your content marketing strategy and can adapt accordingly.
We have spoken about measuring the time and resources inputted to the process but what about measuring the output? How can you work out an accurate return? Two words: conversion tracking.
If you do not already have event tracking and conversion goals set up in your analytics then you should jump on the bandwagon quick. It’s a simple process that involves writing a small snippet of code to add to certain events (read more about how to do this here). These may include:
- Clicks to phone number
- Clicks to email address
- Contact form submissions
- Product purchases
- Brochure requests
The list could go on and this is about deciding which actions count as a conversion for your business. Once the code has been implemented on your website, you can then set up conversion goals in your Google Analytics. With these in place, there are a myriad of tools at your disposal and using the multi-channel funnels section in your Google Analytics (don’t worry, we’ll write a separate blog post on this), you can see whether any of these conversions have come from your content creation. If you can assign a monetary value to each conversion then even better!
Never underestimate the potential value of just asking. Reach out to your customers and ask them directly what kind of content they would like to see. Make a note of any questions you get asked by current or potential clients and create a blog post accordingly. Instead of sending a lengthy email, you can send them a link to your blog post; this will make them feel as though you have written it just for them, plus you can use it as a handy resource on your website for other customers. The chances are if one customer has asked the question, others will too.
In short, data is essential for refining your marketing strategy. Too many marketers wile away the hours writing content that is neither relevant nor of interest to their target audience. A whole myriad of data is now so easily available and the majority of it is free. So use it!
Pay close attention to the data but do not become too distracted by the numbers. Content creation is an inherently creative process and it is important not to lose this. We mentioned the importance of building ‘human’ relationships in the introduction to part one – don’t sacrifice the story element. Here it is about letting the data guide your strategy, helping you to make data-driven decisions that will allow you to create content that resonates and exhilarates.