Recently I was discussing content marketing with a couple friends of mine who own startups. During the conversation, we got into a pretty familiar conversation. At one point, they both started to focus on all of the money that was wasted on marketing while seeing no measurable results. This is a pretty common conversation that founders have with marketers and I’m willing to bet that, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably done the same. While there is always a bit of risk when deciding where to invest your content marketing budget, you can go a long way towards mitigating that risk by carefully tracking the success of your efforts.
In a recent study, over 80% of companies surveyed say that they invest at least a part of their marketing budget into content marketing but the majority of those marketers struggle to measure their ROI. While most marketers are still measuring the success of content marketing through web traffic, that’s just one small piece of the puzzle and can’t be the only metric by which you measure success. Things like email signups, social media engagement and pages per visit are also valuable conversions by which you can measure the success of your social media campaigns.
So how do you track your success?
Focus on Measurable Goals
As with all of your marketing efforts you have to make sure that you sit down with your marketing team before you start your campaign for an in depth planning session. What goals are you going to focus on to drive your ROI? Remember, specificity is important here. Saying that you’re going to try to get more names on your email list isn’t enough – deciding that your goal is to increase your email list by 10% every month is something that you can actually measure against. Likewise, “increasing conversion” isn’t a real goal – increasing conversion rate by 25% within three months is.
Monitor Your Goals Regularly
Goal tracking is kind of like watching the stock market. Unless you’re an expert, you really don’t want to watch them daily. If you do, you run the risk of falling down a pretty deep rabbit hole that can be tough to pull out of. That said, you don’t want to let too much time go by between checking your metrics. Create a tracking spreadsheet and monitor the results weekly. Separate your list into Conversion, Reach and Engagement. This will allow you to focus your various types of content into these three buckets and determine what’s working and what’s not.