Imagine this – you’re in a meeting. Your content marketing campaign has popped off. You’re happy with the results, but then another team member asks how you know it’s successful. You freeze. The methods you were using to measure your campaign are not universally agreed. This is a scenario that you may well have faced but fear not, marketing citizen, it’s time for you to hit them with the superior content marketing measurement combo to prove your success on every possible spectrum imaginable.
The primary reason you’re most likely powering up your strategy with a content marketing campaign is the prospect of high authority beastly links. You can count them up, that’s a measurement. You can get an average domain rating, that’s a metric. You can look which are follow vs nofollow, that’s another stat. These are ok, but why should anyone outside of SEO get excited about the number of links you’ve just generated?
Links and SEO benefit
Check your ranking data, do links achieved match up to ranking increases? SEOs at this point might start trying to attribute this to their impeccable on-page optimisation. Make sure you tell them to back that up. It’s time our content marketing got some love.
If you are using keyword tracking tools you can note down on the ranking graphs when changes were made and see if that matches with any ranking increases, particularly useful if those ranking changes are for keywords and pages that were internally linked in your content marketing piece.
If the SEOs were working on a totally different part of the site, you can safely attribute said work to your content marketing efforts.
Social media engagement
Social engagement is to SEOs what anger management classes are for The Hulk, it’s just not doing it for either party. Outside of the SEO bubble, many people care about social engagement and rightly so.
Some of the most engaged and popular content every month receives 0 links but goes viral in terms of shares, comments, likes, and retweets. If your social pages gained new followers and engagers, that’s an audience you can later remarket to and are now interested in your business. Winner.
Take it a step further and check out your post reach for some more numbers. You’ll be seeing impressions and click-through rates in no time, that’s some more juicy data to help you report on how well your content marketing has gone.
If you want some qualitative data you can check the comments and replies. People are unfortunately brutally honest on social media so be sure to use that for feedback for the next piece, and maybe even reply to those who didn’t understand your campaign. But remember: don’t feed the trolls.
The Dark Social isn’t anywhere near as sinister as you may think, it’s just referring to copy and paste shares of your URLs. Let’s say you find a dank YouTube meme, you copy the URL and smash it over to your pals in a group WhatsApp chat. If that was a business site, for example, that would be showing as direct traffic, especially because WhatsApp’s data is encrypted and can’t be tracked.
There are tools online that track dark social shares that integrate with your website and then report on copy and paste statistics. That’s even more numerical insanity to build your measurement combo with.
Speaking of direct traffic, you know you need to be looking at how much traffic your content marketing has brought in. People want to view the content but then some users will want to explore the site and maybe you might even get some conversions from this.
More than likely, if you do receive a conversion from this, it won’t be immediately after viewing your content marketing. You can still find the data for this though by diving a bit deeper into Google Analytics.
In short, you’ll be able to see if your referrals are having any impact on conversions and how many in a specified date range. Go through Conversions. Multi-Channel Funnels then tap into Assisted Conversions.
Now click into referrals and you can see the exact sites that have contributed to a conversion – perhaps that nofollow link might not have been so pointless after all.
Brand awareness is often just a marketing buzzword thrown about in boardrooms like you’re attending La Tomatina in Valencia. Ultimately, you need to assess whether you’re in front of the right audience, whether that be a new emerging target, or an existing customer base. If you’re reaching people who would find your brand engaging and relevant, you’ve made them aware and hopefully, they’ll end up converting one day.
But wait, you can actually measure brand awareness. Google’s Search Console will show you your brand searches with accompanying metrics. If you see an increase that aligns with your content marketing and you aren’t doing any offline activity, it’s a safe bet that your content marketing has made an impact on many.
So the next time you’re in that meeting and a fellow colleague swipes your links metric away with careless disregard, hit ‘em with the rest of your arsenal.