What do you need to know to make sure your content marketing is really doing the job? Here’s how to measure the true effect of your efforts.
Despite the rise in available data and the overwhelming number of third-party tools, measuring the bottom-line impact of content marketing efforts continues to be a challenge for many marketing professionals. But it doesn’t have to be very difficult.
The first step is to establish the objectives that you as a marketer wish to achieve with your content marketing campaigns. It is only after setting your goals that you can make appropriate decisions on which metrics you should focus on. For example: If your objective is to gain new readers, you should look at unique visitors. But if your objective is to increase the engagement you should keep track of average time on page, bounce rates and social interactions.
The first thing that comes to mind for many of us is CTR, or Click-Through-Rate. And yes – CTR has long been the gold standard to measure digital campaigns. CTR is a great measurement to understand if your ad compels visitors to click on your ad. However, it is important to understand that a native ad has an impact on viewers even if they do not click on it. This is especially true for “True Native” ( ads where the full content is displayed on a publisher’s page), but also for Native recommendations or teasers (ads that lead the reader to a landing page on the advertiser’s own site). n this post we focus primarily on Native recommendations. Furthermore, the CTR does not tell you how your visitors act once they reach your site. Therefore – do not get too stuck on your CTR numbers but try to focus a bit on the following metrics as well.
AVERAGE TIME ON PAGE
Audience engagement can be measured by time spent. If somebody only spends a few seconds on your page, you can assume that they have not actively read the page. The more time someone spends on your page, the more likely it is that they are truly consuming your content.
UNIQUE VISITORS AND PAGES PER VISIT
Pages per visit is another metric that is good to keep an eye on if you are interested in audience engagement (and you are!). Unique visitors refers to how many people have visited your site. It commonly uses a computer's IP address and cookies so that a visit from that IP address is only counted once. This makes Unique visitors a metric that helps you understand how large your target audience is.
A page view is when someone loads a single page on your site. A common mistake is to confuse page views with a visit to your site. But a visit is defined as consecutive page views that happens without a 30-minute break. Page views are important to keep track of: A high number of page views could indicate a high level of engagement with your site, but it could also occur a result of your readers not finding what they are looking for on your landing page.
This metric includes actions such as shares, likes, pins and shares. Social interactions like these offer a quantifiable view into how your audience is interacting with your brand and your content. A page with an audience that is interacting shows you are reaching the right audience with compelling content. An ignored page should warn you that there is a poor match between content and targeted audience.
The bounce-rate tells you the percent of visits on your website that are single page only. All marketers should strive to lower their bounce-rates. This because a high bounce-rate can indicate that your readers are not finding what they want on your page, or that they do not know where to go next. A good piece of advise is therefore to make an active plan for what you want visitors to do after reading your content.
A conversion can be a sale, a download, an email subscription or any other action that adds a lead to your CRM. Analyse the conversions generated by your sponsored content to determine what actions this advertisement spurs within the audience of the publication.
To conclude, these are some of the most important metrics to consider when evaluating your content marketing campaign. However, it is important to note that these metrics are the most useful when evaluated together. At Strossle we have helped thousands of companies make the most of their content marketing efforts. Contact your local Strossle representative to learn how we can help you.