One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is measuring ROI. Maybe it's because they spend so much time actually creating content that, once it's published, their energy for distributing it and finding ways to measure its success is limited.
Well, that's just not a good enough excuse — especially because there are real, tangible returns to be gained by measuring your content efforts. No matter what goal you're using content to achieve, measuring your results is the best way to know whether you're on the right path to success. And to do so, you need to identify the correct metrics based on your overall goal.
That's why I've outlined the three main goals of content marketing — thought leadership, lead generation, and SEO — and indicated which metrics you should be using to track success according to each goal.
Some people think that thought leadership is more of an idea than something tangible and easily measurable. And you wouldn't be completely wrong if you thought that, too.
Thought leaders are professionals who want to make a name for themselves within their industry — but more importantly, they're people who are committed to sharing their unique knowledge and experiences with their audiences with the goal of educating and engaging them. And because that isn't exactly something you can measure on a chart, it can be hard to know how to track the results of a content strategy that has thought leadership in mind.
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That doesn't mean you should create all kinds of thought leadership content — like guest-contributed articles, press mentions, blog posts, whitepapers, and more — and just cross your fingers. There are a few metrics you can use to gauge your effectiveness:
Content marketing and inbound marketing go together like two peas in a pod. In fact, content really is the driver of inbound marketing, so if you're wanting to generate leads, using content is a very smart way to go about it.
Here's (a quick rundown of) how it works. Your off-site content, like guest posts and press mentions, lead people to your site. And when your website is full of valuable, informative content, you can use it to engage and convert those visitors into leads. To know whether the content you're creating is working to create that funnel of opportunity, you can look at metrics like:
Today's content world is a crowded one. So in addition to creating original, high-quality content, how can you make sure your content is getting seen over time?
Search engine optimization plays a huge role in getting your content seen. A technical audit of your website and comprehensive keyword research will help you lay a foundation for your SEO efforts. But to know how effective they are and how well they're setting up your content for success, you need to look at the right metrics:
No more making excuses or being in the dark about how to measure success from your content marketing efforts. Identify the goal you're trying to achieve, and use the corresponding metrics to assess whether your content is effective.