Marketing today is a long way from the glamorous Mad Men world of the 1960s (assuming that the show is even halfway historically accurate, which it almost certainly isn’t). Think less slick suits and whisky and more long, coffee-fueled hours in Google Analytics.
I’ve only been working at Velocity for four days (I’m on work experience) and after a lot of reading and a lot of (very) gradual learning, already I can confidently tell you that metrics are the single most important things a content marketer needs to think about.
Your content marketing campaign’s success can only be measured against the goals you set for it. Broadly speaking, strategic objectives should always point to the metrics you’ll be using. These metrics can be split into four major categories:
- Consumption – like raw site and page traffic figures
- Engagement – things like how long viewers spend on your site and the bounce rates
- Sharing – on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tweets, Google+ etc.
- Conversion – how often do content consumers turn into customers or do some other desired action (download an ebook, sign up to mailing list etc.)
Depending on your site and what you’re looking to get out of your campaign, you, as the marketer, need to decide what metrics to track. With that in mind, here is a comprehensive round-up of some of the best material on content marketing metrics that I’ve discovered in my web travels.
- Jay Baer has done a great introduction to content metrics that matter and even offers a more detailed ebook (free in exchange for your email).
- Marketo also freely offer up the definitive guide to marketing metrics (in exchange for a little bit of personal information) to help you exploit your data to improve that all important ROI.
- Ryan Skinner, of Velocity fame, makes a great case for sharing as the one metric to rule them all.
- For those who aren’t that interested in their Google page, Dan Norris offers up 6 other actionable metrics for your content marketing. Don’t forget about the people behind your hits (they do exist)!
- Econsultancy provides some valuable insight into which content marketing metrics are most valuable by examining their own blog’s traffic.
- Velocity also produced Project Open Robe, a case study on the B2B Marketing Manifesto campaign, giving a step by step overview of their chosen metrics and how they pursued them.
- Jim Lenskold separates the key metrics from the feel-good ones to prove the value of marketing in a short interview with Mad Marketing TV.
- Doug Kessler guest-blogged on Social Media Explorer in praise of vanity metrics and the part they place in your bigger metrics picture.
What did I learn from these 8 gems?
That minding your metrics can make a huge difference between content marketing that just sits there and content marketing that flies off and lays eggs and stuff.
That thinking a bit about metrics up front may actually change the things you do, before it’s too late.
And that metrics and analytics really aren’t that hard. It’s common sense that just hasn’t become very common yet.
Go forth and measure.
Michael Crewe is an Exeter University student who spent some time with us at Velocity.
He and his friends produce an excellent music blog called Can You Hear This.
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