Unfortunately, when it comes to measuring the success of your content marketing strategy, there are no hard and fast metrics. But before you can begin to get an accurate sense of your return on investment, you must know what it is you want to accomplish.
Only then can you measure progress against key performance indicators (KPIs), such as reach, engagement and sentiment.
Unique Visits: How many individuals have viewed your content within a given time? This allows you to compare different forms of content and trends over time, but not all unique visits are equal. A unique visit to a white paper might be much more valuable for lead generation than one to a blog.
Geography: Knowing where your content is being read can help you better understand where to allocate resources based on audience goals. There are several tools that can provide page-level details and help you optimize content for specific geographies.
Mobile Readership: Understanding how your content is being consumed and viewed on different devices is key to determining how to optimize content design and delivery.
Time Spent: How long do readers spend with your content? How many pages did they visit? Where and when did they exit? Time spent is a good early indicator of how engaged the traffic is to your content.
Heat Maps and Click Patterns: There are many great tools available that can illustrate how your audience engages with a webpage and its content. These patterns show what is most relevant to your audience and allows you to optimize content and design.
Page Views: Often overlooked, a high page view to unique visits ratio is a good sign of an engaged audience, and quite often means that they are coming back regularly. It’s also a good measure of how deep or far along in a website they may have gotten.
Comments: With social media, everything is out there. For everything you make available online be prepared to engage in a conversation. Users are the best advocates for any product or service, so if they’re engaged enough to openly discuss your content, consider it a success.
Social Sharing: Make your content easy to share. With just a few social shares, the reach of your content can increase exponentially.
With goals in place and the appropriate KPIs selected, you should be able to see if your tactics are moving the needle. If they’re not, don’t throw in the towel right away. Step back and evaluate. Consider what your audience wants and needs, and then tweak your plan. Staying tuned in to your audience is essential for a successful content marketing strategy.