Eight steps to help you measure the successes and failures of your content

The success or failure of your content strongly affects your organization’s growth. Find out what objective performance measures need to be put in place to track it.

Measuring the successes and failures of your content is important in determining the return on investment (ROI) of your digital marketing.

Several metrics serve as important benchmarks to measure the success of content. These metrics include leads generated, sales data, subscribers and average time spent on website pages.

Generally, certain results are expected from great content. These results should be the content marketing target goals of any business. Great content should achieve the following:

  • Promote your brand awareness.
  • Increase your website traffic.
  • Convert leads and generate sales.
  • Guide prospects.
  • Develop and strengthen your online reputation.
  • Encourage conversation.
  • Increase your social media engagements and PR results.

Individual pieces of content should achieve at least two or more of these results, and your entire content marketing strategy should achieve them all.

Eight steps to help you measure the successes and failures of your content

Let’s look at the eight steps involved in measuring the successes and failures of your content.

1) Establish your business goals

To measure the success or failure of your content, you need to have specific goals you wish to achieve. A major question you need to answer is: What is the primary goal of your business? This is because the success of your content is measured by how well you are able to achieve your business goals.

Your business goals serve as checks that keep you focused and form the central point around which all your marketing strategies are targeted.

Your business goals also help you determine metrics that encourage business growth. When business goals are established, it will be easy to measure and track different metrics.

2) Set metric goals

Metric goals are based on S.M.A.R.T objectives. This means they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Setting metric goals will help you keep track and determine how well you have been able to achieve your business goals after some time.

For instance, if your goal is to increase customer generation rate, your metric goal could be to “Increase customer conversion rates by 10% in three months”.

3) Establish your baseline metrics

You cannot measure your progress without knowing where you’re starting from. Establish baseline metrics that can be used as a reference point to measure progress.

This process provides an avenue to compare past performances to the current state of your business. Baseline metrics also form the basis of testing KPI, which measures the performance of your marketing strategies.

4) Monitor your traffic

Effective digital marketing is to increase traffic to your site. More traffic means your business is being seen by more people. A decrease in the volume of traffic to your site may be an indication that your online visibility has reduced. Hence the need to monitor your web traffic.

To track your content’s success using traffic volume, compare other pages of similar content. Note that all websites are not the same. Most websites have their homepage having the most traffic than any other page.  You can achieve heavy traffic to your home page through one of the affordable SEO services.

5) Track actionable metrics

Traffic alone does not indicate successful content marketing. Actionable metrics are more specific indications of the success or failure of content marketing. Do not focus your time and energy on collecting vanity metrics. Vanity metrics include information such as the number of your visitors, subscribers or followers. 

Although numbers can be indications of online presence, you cannot determine success based on them alone. You should instead focus on tracking metrics that express the success of content. Actionable metrics are statistics of repeatable and specific tasks and they include; about of sales, revenue, conversion rates, profit, retention length, etc. Focus on tracking objective performance measures.

6) Check the average time on your website pages

Another way to measure the success or failure of a content is through the average time users spend on a web page. This is because the average time users spend on a webpage is an indication of how engaging users find the page.

If the average time users spend on a specific page is higher than the average time spent on other pages, it is an indication that that particular page is more engaging than other pages. You should analyze the content of that page to determine what makes it much more engaging. 

The information obtained from the analysis can be used to re-strategize on ways to improve content. This is because with such information you can determine the type of customers you attract and what content they are most interested in. 

7) Avoid losing subscribers

Subscribers are the core of your business. Your subscribers determine your sales and conversion rates. One of the major goals of content marketing is to increase your subscribers. If you are losing subscribers, it is an indication that you are not doing something right.

If you discover that you are losing subscribers, find out where they are going and why. Knowing your competitors is a way to avoid losing your customers. Understand their motivation for leaving and what your competitors are doing that you aren’t. This will help you devise ways to improve user satisfaction and increase your client base.

8) Analyse monthly reports

A monthly report will paint a clear picture of the state of your business. It gives you detailed and specific insights on areas you have the most success in and areas you need to improve on.

To measure the level of success of content, you need to know details of the happenings in your business each time. It gives you an avenue to access past performances, predict future performances and guide your decision-making process.

Are you measuring the successes and failures of your content?

There are numerous factors that determine the success or failure of content, such as customers, target audience, proposition etc. An analysis of the right metrics will provide you with accurate information on where you stand.

The results of your measurement will give you insight on your current performance and places you need to improve on. If your measurements do not align, this may be a sign that your content marketing is failing. There are different strategies you can put in place to improve your content.

Tim Absalikov is the Acting CEO of Lasting Trend – Digital Marketing Agency in New York City. Tim is an expert in technical optimization. He has a deep understanding of SEO, SEM, UX and UI considerations, shopping campaigns, PLA, RLSA, dynamic retargeting, works with E-Commerce and Web Analytics.

Photo by Jodie Cook