There are four types of content marketing metrics: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales. Most marketers overvalue the first two (blog page views and retweets, for example) and undervalue the last two (email subscriptions from people who first read the blog and, ultimately, sales from among that group). If you focus your metrics on behavior, rather than on data aggregation, you’ll be measuring points of greater business value.
– Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
My websites rarely get comments anymore, although traffic continues to grow year-over-year. My Facebook posts appear to get little traction, but when I measure traffic sources, I see that it’s still my second largest social channel source next to Pinterest.
The interesting thing here is that on the surface none of these assets look like they provide much engagement, yet they tend to convert to subscribers very well.
As Jay Baer states above, marketers and brand owners tend to focus on content consumption volume rather than metrics that move the revenue needle (subscribers and sales). Because let’s face it, it’s much easier to build assumptions by glancing at numbers of likes and shares than actually measuring how effective an asset has been in leading potential customers into a sales funnel.
Here are three ways to look past the initial likes and shares of your content to the behavioral results of your overall strategy.
- A full package CRM solution like Marketo or Hubspot will connect the dots between a potential customer’s first social engagement all the way to final purchase and the touch points that occurred along the way. Marketo leans toward B2B enterprise while Hubspot is more affordable for smaller organizations. These programs are ideal for measuring overall inbound marketing effectiveness, tracking everything from live events, webinars to PPC and email promos.
- If you just want to measure the impact of a single campaign or offer, it’s far easier than you might think to set up a Google Analytics conversion tracking system that will track how effective certain promos or opt-ins are at converting. Bottom line – if something is taking up precious real estate on your website but it’s not performing well, either change it up or let it go.
- Using heat maps to track clicks on any given page on your website will give you an idea of where your visitors are going, what they’re clicking on and more importantly, what they’re not clicking on. SumoApp offers a free WordPress plugin that provides instant results on how a campaign or sales page is performing.
Bottom line – while great content is still king, consumption behavior is more complex than first glance assumptions, so you need a judicial system in place to make sure your assets are performing at their best. While robust end-to-end systems like Marketo are great for big picture (and big budgets), small, simple (and free) systems can be installed pretty easily to provide real-time feedback on how well your content is performing for you.