Ever wondered how to tell if you have an effective content marketing strategy? I mean, sure it’s probably never kept you up at night – although it has *most definitely* kept us here at Optimise and Grow Online up, because, well, it’s our thing! 😉
Seriously though, it is quite important to know whether the effort you’re putting into your content marketing strategy is going to pay off.
So, in this article, I’m going to share some key data points that you can hop into RIGHT NOW to tell you whether you’re running a sinking ship, or you’re making serious headway.
Some pre-reading for the new players to the content marketing game
If you’re new(ish) to the game, then check out this article, which is going to tell you how to develop a content marketing strategy, followed swiftly by this article, which is going to tell you the difference between content marketing and blogging.
But if this isn’t the first time you’ve run a campaign, then get comfy while we jump into how to see if you’ve hit the mark with your effective content marketing strategy.
Get quantitative data on your effective content marketing strategy thanks to Google
Google has made it easy to find out how much traffic is hitting your website through tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console.
When Google Analytics is set up correctly you can drill down and identify:
- Number of visitors (both new and returning)
- Number of page views
- How long visitors are staying on your site
- Which pages your visitors are spending the most time on
- Where your traffic is coming from (organic, paid, socials, direct, referrals)
Now, all data is great, but it may not mean anything without context.
So, to determine if your content marketing strategy is effective, we suggest that you:
- Take a snapshot of the figures BEFORE you launch your campaign (or publish a specific blog post)
- Then take a snapshot of the figures AFTER your launch campaign has run its course.
If you’re seeing an increase in the number of visitors and an increase in the time your visitors are spending on the pages you want them to visit, then you’re doing something right. Give yourself a high five!
As a side note: we also highly recommend that you track your website traffic data monthly to allow you to make regular, quarterly, and annual comparisons – not just during and after a particular content campaign.
If Google Analytics gives you the shivers or the idea of setting up the tag on your website makes you question life, then check out our Google Analytics Training which goes into all this and more to get you confident capturing and sifting through the data.
Google Search Console
When it comes to collecting meaningful data, Google Search Console can tell you how many clicks and impressions (a fancy word for views) your website had via Google search.
If you’ve got a lot of both then you know that your website is not only being returned often in searches but it’s also attracting a click – double fist-pump!
Another handy insight that Google Search Console can tell you is the exact search keyword or keyphrase that your visitors used to either find or click through to your website.
This is content marketing and SEO gold. Add these search keywords to your spreadsheet and optimise further for these because they are obviously resonating with your audience.
Unsure how to go about doing a deep dive into your keyword research? Check out our SEO Keyword Research Done For You package.
Your email marketing platform insights can be a content marketing game-changer
A second area where you can grab some really meaningful data about the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy is your email marketing platform.
Because this is where you’re going to see if your content has generated leads or boosted engagement.
Attracting, nurturing, converting, and re-engaging leads
When it comes to lead generation there’s a lot of content marketing juggling that needs to happen. This is because, until leads become customers, they are different stages of their buying journey with you and your brand.
Here’s a very quick and dirty snapshot of this journey:
- Your audience is attracted to your content.
- They engage with your brand via your online presence.
- They then enter one of your funnels and are possible business lead.
- With effective email marketing, you will hopefully nurture your leads through your funnel to encourage them to convert and become a customer.
- Their journey shouldn’t end there though – effectively re-engage your customers for return purchases!
The types of content that you create for attracting, nurturing, converting, and re-engaging your leads should have a specific purpose, audience, and goal, and the details of these should be captured within your overarching content marketing strategy.
However, when it comes to telling if your content marketing has been effective in these areas, well you can look at the data surrounding your:
- New sign-ups to your list/s
- Opens and clicks on your emails
- Replies you’ve received from your list
- Number of sales from your email sequences
Obviously, if the figures are higher than before you started your content marketing campaign, then you’re heading in the right direction, my friend!
Now, sometimes the data isn’t telling us what we want to hear. So, if you’re disappointed with your results then check out this article which goes into the details on how to improve your customer experience. Or, hop right on in and grab my Customer Experience Self-Audit E-course and get to work improving your customers’ journey with your brand.
How social you are can impact the performance of your effective content marketing strategy
The next area you can look to for whether your content marketing strategy is working well is your social media platforms.
If you are marketing to your audience via social media, then you will likely have this channel included in your strategy already.
For every post that you do, that aligns with your campaign, you can take a snapshot of the number of followers, likes, comments, shares, and clicks. Make sure you grab information for both your page and your posts so that you can see where the engagement is happening. When you hop into Facebook Insights you will also find some data around both the organic and paid reach that each post generates.
With regular social posting you’re going to get a nice clear indication of whether your followers are resonating with your content.
Your audience engaging with your posts is a great indicator that your content marketing strategy is effective. And thanks to the social media algorithm gods, the more people who engage with your social posts, the more likely your organic reach will increase, thereby allowing even more people to get eyes on your content.
An effective content marketing strategy comes down to reading the data
Data really is your friend in this space and when you capture it at the right time, sift through it, and read it accurately, then you’re going to get a nice clear picture of how well your content marketing is performing.
You don’t have to be a data expert, but you do have to know what to look for.
If you’re unsure, then we can help clear up the confusion – book a free discovery call so we can identify how to get you some quality results from your content marketing.
For the DIYers, I encourage you to check out our Complete Content Marketing Toolkit to help you create a better content marketing strategy.