Reaching the right people online requires more than uploading and publishing content. Most content marketing strategies lean towards creating and curating optimized material for the target audience.
Using data analytics to streamline strategies and segment audiences for more targeted marketing messages helps drive business growth.
Still, producing content is only one part of a successful strategy. Business leaders need to measure their success. It lets them know whether the content works and helps them make better business decisions.
In the following sections, you’ll learn tips to check if your online content works well. We’ll use data analytics to do this.
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What is data analytics?
Data analytics collects, processes, and looks at data to get information. The data should give you actionable insights into your online content’s performance. It helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t so you can improve it. By improving your content, you can better connect with your target market.
Using data analytics, you can also ensure your content achieves its objectives. Depending on your goals, these predictive analytics allow you to increase visibility and measure results for further optimization.
You can track how many people see your content using certain metrics. These include website traffic, page views, click-through rate, and referral traffic. You can also view how much they engage with the content. Some examples of engagement include social media shares, downloads, feedback (reviews), and purchases.
Data analytics also helps you check if your content resonates with and appeals to your audience. This information is key to determining which areas to improve to increase engagement.
While not necessary for success, higher and continuing education can level up your ability to grow your business. Several popular online data analytics degrees are available that you can apply to build growth strategies.
Why measure the success of your content marketing efforts?
Here are some benefits of measuring the success of your content marketing activities:
- Utilizing data analytics helps you to detect issues so you can resolve them. Doing this results in the optimization of your online content. It also encourages precise audience targeting.
- Reviewing analytics of successful content helps inspire new content. When you base new content on pieces your audience enjoyed, you set your content strategy up for success. Take note of style, topics, media type, length or duration – every detail matters. Then, let your content team get creative within the framework of what your audience loves.
- Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) helps you increase profit margins long-term. Align your KPIs with your business goals. Examples of these include click-through and conversion rates. The data shows business success and growth as you meet and exceed your KPIs.
The benefits are clear, and 44% of content marketers agree. Using data to improve your content leads to greater success.
Key metrics for measuring content marketing success
You can use different measurements to see if your content performs well in views and sales. Here are some of the most crucial:
Website traffic pertains to the total number of visitors on your website. One way to measure the success of your content marketing is by how many people view your content. Tools like Google Analytics will provide this information.
The pageviews metric refers to the number of times people look at a specific website page. Take note that pageviews differ from unique pageviews. The latter indicates how many different people view your page. Greater pageviews suggest your content is engaging and valuable to your audience.
According to Google, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors visiting your website and leaving the same page without further activity or navigation. This metric informs you of which pages are the least engaging.
Time on page
Time on page represents the visitors’ average time on your website. It indicates how engaging each page of content is to your audience. High time on the page suggests your audience finds your content relevant and engaging. Crucially, the content also matches their search intent.
Wordstream defines conversion rate as the percentage of visitors who execute the desired action (CTA) out of the total number of visitors. Each piece of content may have its own goal (CTA), but collectively all goals should align with the business’s goals. For example, the goal of a gated lead magnet such as an ebook may be an email opt-in. For an e-commerce website, the goal (CTA) could be a purchase or an email capture in exchange for a discount code. Measuring your conversion rate is necessary to see if your content is effective.
Social media engagement
This social metric includes page likes, comments, shares, and follows. It is an essential metric for measuring the reach and engagement of your social media content.
Email marketing metrics
Email marketing metrics include open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates. You can use them to determine if your email marketing campaigns reach the right audience. You can see this through the view rate, click-through rate on embedded links, and forward rate.
These measurements show how engaged your audience is with your content. Poor metrics may suggest that you need to improve your email marketing strategy. For instance, a high spam complaint rate can reveal something wrong with your campaign.
Sales metrics are all about revenue generation in business analytics. They may include revenue, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value (CLV). For those in e-commerce, these KPIs are critical in evaluating content marketing efforts.
Revenue tells you the business’s income over a period of time. Conversion rates describe how many users took the desired action out of the total number of users. According to HubSpot, customer lifetime value (CLV) is the total revenue a business can expect from one customer over the course of their business relationship.
Return on investment (ROI)
ROI compares your revenue to your total business investment. It’s a straightforward way to determine whether your business is making or losing money. Keeping track of the ROI of various departments, such as marketing, sales, research and development, etc., is vital to maintaining a healthy business.
Search engine rankings
Search engine rankings refer to your website rankings in search engines like Google and Bing. The algorithm decides which pages rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Many factors contribute to ranking success, including keyword usage, backlinks, domain authority, and SEO optimization. High rankings mean search engines perceive your content as relevant and valuable to your audience. It leads to increased organic traffic and visibility.
Referral traffic represents the number of users visiting your website who arrived via a link from another site. This metric can help you understand how your visitors share your content. It can also let you know where your audience comes from.
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition (CPA) measures the cost of converting a new customer. It includes expenses like creating and promoting your content and any paid advertising. This metric helps you see how cost-effective your content marketing is.
It also provides insights on how to save money on the campaign.
Research shows that keeping customers costs less than getting new ones. Using data insights allows you to see which strategies enhance brand loyalty.
Interactive content, surveys, and user-generated content (UGC) help improve customer experiences. Use these types of content to gain further insights into your customers. Then, strategically improve content to increase customer retention and protect customer lifetime value.
Tracking these metrics can help you manage your content marketing by highlighting its strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let’s look at a case study that illustrates how data analytics can help with the heavy lifting and lead you to a bigger and better strategy.
Have you ever wondered how Netflix knows which movies or shows to recommend for viewing? Such is the power of data analytics.
This helps it earn billions of dollars per year in customer retention efforts. But it doesn’t stop at suggesting content you can view. 80% of the content streamed on the platform depends on these recommendations.
Netflix also uses data-driven insights from previous productions and social media. They use these to fund and distribute original series and films. This way, they can predict what’ll be the next blockbuster hit. Pretty amazing, right?
So how will you use data analytics?
How to measure content marketing success
To achieve success with your content marketing efforts, follow these five steps.
1. Set goals
Before you test the success of your content marketing, set clear and specific goals. Establishing targets and goals gives you direction. It also provides a benchmark to measure your progress.
It’s crucial to define your goals based on your business objectives. To generate more leads, improve your lead-generation and conversion strategies.
Practical goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- S – Specific goals are clear and well-defined.
- M – Measurable goals are quantifiable and have specific metrics attached to them.
- A – Achievable goals are realistic and within reach.
- R – Relevant goals align with your business objectives.
- T – Time-bound goals have a set timeline for completion.
Here’s an example of a SMART content marketing goal:
“To generate 50% more leads through blog posts in the next quarter, with a target conversion rate of 10%.”
2. Define KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you track your progress toward your goals. Tie these to your goals and align them with your business objectives.
Choose which KPIs are relevant to your content objectives. This way, you can concentrate on content development based on data-driven insights.
For example, e-commerce website owners running email marketing campaigns should focus on open, click-through, and conversion rates.
However, business owners running a social media campaign would track follower growth, engagement rates, and content shares. Tailor your KPIs to highlight areas in your campaign that make sense according to your business goals.
3. Use analytics tools
A variety of analytics tools are available to give you insights. They give you an overview of user behavior and engagement with your content. These tools are easy to use and don’t need much technical know-how.
For example, Google Analytics provides data on website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. However, it doesn’t provide information about social media platforms. For that, you’ll need to use a tool like Social Sprout or Hootsuite.
For more advanced analytics, try solutions like Zoho. Recommended by Forbes, Zoho provides analytics for brands including HP, Hyundai, and IKEA.
Other SEO-specific analytics tools can help you track metrics like keyword rankings and backlinks. Examples of these tools are Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
These tools are integral to making data-driven decisions. You can also see how your content stacks up against competitors.
4. Track performance
Taking a snapshot of your content’s performance is useful, but only to a point. You must track your performance over time to gain an edge over your competitors.
If your blog gets more visitors after a specific type of post, try to determine why. Was it due to a current trend? Was the post evergreen and focused on a popular keyword?
Understanding why successful content does well is essential. It helps maintain your success in content marketing.
5. Optimize your strategy
With diagnostic analytics, look at how your content is doing. Make the necessary changes to improve problem areas.
For instance, affiliate marketers may consider on-page SEO strategies. Social proof of customer satisfaction is an example. Internal linking of relevant content on your website is another. These strategies may enhance the search engine visibility of their content.
Another strategy is to include a category dedicated to trends and news in your blog. In contrast to evergreen content, trending content is a way to stay timely and relevant for your audience.
As for digital creators, try narrowing down your niche and addressing a pain point based on data insights.
Create appealing images and videos or enable interactive content by conducting live sessions on social media. You may consider further optimizing your social media content by scheduling its publishing times.
Sprout Social reports that uploaders can maximize content visibility at certain hours. Tools like Later can help automate this.
Use data analytics to level up your content marketing efforts
Your content marketing efforts are critical to your business’s growth and success. Data analytics, including measurable KPIs, allows you to track those efforts.
Leveraging analytics tools can help you collect data and track various metrics like the ones discussed in this article. The valuable insights from these analytics can be vital to improving strategies and growing your business.
In today’s customer service-driven world, prioritizing what your readers want is more important than ever. Data analytics is how you do that.
Follow the steps in this guide to better understand your ideal customers and how to meet their needs in new ways. Succeed there, and business success and growth will follow.