Bringing your audience to you is an important part of getting them through your sales funnel, and offering quality content can capture your audience and help to drive conversions and maintain loyalty.
But in our oversaturated world of noise, how can you make sure that the content you put out is doing its job? How can you stand out from the crowd?
Why Content Metrics Matter
Success for your content marketing is hinged upon your ability to evaluate your marketing activity, from creation to distribution. Analytics can be used to identify issues and opportunities in your content strategy. You’re looking to answer questions like:
- How do I measure content performance?
- What about content is actually worth measuring?
- How do I measure the performance of a content campaign?
To answer these questions, we turn to metrics, the science of measurement. Many businesses are able to survive and even thrive by having an understanding of how their content is performing.
What Are the Best Content Metrics to Track?
We wish it were that simple. There are many different metrics out there to follow, but not all of them pertain to every industry. To list the “best” metrics for you, we’d have to publish a hundred different articles with lists specific to your exact industry.
Each piece you create should have a specific objective, so you should always ask yourself before creating an article why you are creating this content? Without knowing your objective, it’ll be difficult to determine exactly what you’re looking to measure, and what metrics to track. Typically, you’ll be looking to increase brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention, or upselling within your desired industry.
Best Overall Content Metrics
Since we’re not able to give you a definitive and exhaustive list of the best metrics to track, what we can do is provide you with a few of those that tend to be most useful to everyone
Generally speaking, here are a few of the basic, overall metrics you’ll want to pay attention to, regardless of what your objective is.
Customer engagement is the amount of people who spend at least 15 seconds with one of your articles. If they’re not even clicking to open and view your work, there’s something wrong. Either you’re missing your mark with the information itself, or your headlines aren’t catchy or informative enough.
Not to be overlooked, this can tell you a lot about the meaning of your content to your readers. If someone goes out of their way to share your content with their social network, that means that they’ve found value within your offering. Pay attention so that you can provide similar content in the future.
Average Attention Time
This is a true measurement of how long someone is actually engaged and interacting with your content. It actually tracks the time someone is spending scrolling through, clicking on, highlighting, and paying attention to it.
Average Finish Time
This will tell you if you’re hitting your mark with your headlines and opening. When your audience is getting through an average of 90% of your story, you’re doing something right. On the other hand, if they’re bouncing out around the 25% mark, something’s not hitting with them. Sometimes your quality may be it, but it’s usually your lead-in or headline.
It’s designed to show what share of a post’s traffic is attributed to social media. Social lift could tell you how much organic social traffic your story is likely to get so that you can prioritize distribution. It’s simply calculated by dividing shares by views and adding one. (shares/views + 1).
Average Stories per Person
This is relative to your click-through rate. So, someone landed on your content and decided to read it. That’s great, but one of the goals we’re looking to accomplish with content marketing is convincing your audience that they want to stick around for even more awesome content on your site. Average stories per person tells you who’s reading more than one of your articles in a visit.
Email Conversion Rate
Generating leads is probably another one of your goals for your content marketing campaign. You want them to feel they received enough meaningful content from what they’ve read, that they’re hungry for more. When your content convinces your audience to sign up for your newsletter, that’s an excellent indicator that you’re on the right track.
Lead Form Conversion Rate
Even better than wanting to see a newsletter? Having them express an interest in a relatively expensive product or service that you offer.
Doing your own original research will get you more attention through the major press outlets.
Putting Content Metrics to Use
Now that you’ve collected this data, you’re awash in numbers and percentages and more metrics. So what do you do with all of that? How do you determine where you’re supposed to go from here? Enlist the services of Clock Tower Insight to help you muddle through the information, leaving you with a clear idea of how your campaign will perform.