Content marketing can be a rewarding endeavor.
For example, GE teamed up with BuzzFeed to create branded content, and most people who encountered this content thought that GE was "inspiring" and "innovative," and GE saw a 138% brand lift on social media as a result of this branded content.
At Influence & Co., we've also seen content marketing pay off. We've used inbound marketing as a core component of our marketing strategy since our company was founded in 2011. But in 2018, we went all-in on inbound and pivoted away from conferences and most travel. As a result, we saw a 47% increase in marketing-generated revenue between 2018 and 2019.
The reason we could make the call to pivot our strategy? We knew what our ultimate content marketing goal was (lead generation), and then we worked from there to determine the most effective tactics we could use to continually work toward that goal.
Once you determine your primary content marketing goal and the tactics you'll use to get there, you need to choose which metrics you'll track. Otherwise, you won't be able to tell whether you're making progress on your content marketing ambitions.
These days, so much content is being released into the wild that breaking through the noise can seem overwhelming.
Simply creating engaging, insightful content won't cut it: You also have to set up that content to be found in search results. A technical website audit and keyword research can help you lay the groundwork for your SEO strategy. But if you want to know how effective your SEO efforts are and how they're helping you see measurable results, you have to keep track of the right metrics.
Content marketing and inbound marketing go hand in hand. In fact, content drives a successful inbound marketing strategy. If your goal is to generate revenue for your business, marketing's main role is to drive leads for your business — and content can help.
Essentially, your off-site content, including guest-contributed articles and press mentions, encourage people to visit your website. Then, if your site contains helpful, informative, engaging content, you can use that on-site content to engage with those visitors, and then you can use gated content to convert them into leads.
Having all of this content at your disposal is great, but if you want to know whether your content is actually serving its purpose and leading prospects through your marketing funnel, you have to track certain metrics.
Thought leadership can seem like an ambiguous goal that's not easy to measure. That's only partially true.
Thought leaders are experienced professionals who are looking to be viewed as experts in their industry. More important, they're committed to sharing their expertise with the goal of engaging and educating their audiences. Because that can't necessarily be measured and mapped out on a chart, it can be difficult to determine how to track the ROI of a content marketing strategy focused on thought leadership.
But thankfully, a few metrics can help you determine how effective your thought leadership content strategy is:
It's no secret that content marketing can drive real business results. The tricky part is measuring those results and refining your content marketing approach accordingly. Start with the above metrics that apply to your primary content marketing goal, and you'll be well on your way to understanding how your content strategy impacts your business for the better.
I'm a content-obsessed word person with a passion for finding the coziest coffee shop in town. By day, I'm the director of content at Influence & Co. In my downtime, you can find me reading a book, sipping a latte, drawing, hand lettering, or watching "The Office" for the zillionth time.