As much as it pains me to say this, I’ve been doing the whole metrics thing all wrong and I’ll bet you have too.
Don’t get too down on yourself just yet, it’s not totally your fault. After all, if you’ve been at this content marketing gig for a while now, like I have, you’re probably just entrenched in habits that worked perfectly well way the heck back in 2012. But it’s been well over 500 days since then, and in Internet-time, that’s practically a geologic epoch.
Fortunately for you and me, there are plenty of smart people out there willing and able to kick us in our collective butts and put us in the know:
The Freelance Strategist’s “7 Content Marketing Measurements You’re Probably Undervaluing”
This excellent article by the experts at Contently is part of their highly informative Contently Labs series. In this case, they managed to pull together a ton of compelling research from sources like Upworthy, Medium, ChartBeat, Alchemy Worx, Eloqua, and Microsoft Research, to determine why most of the standard metrics you and I have been using for so long are no longer providing the insights we need to succeed.
Personally, I’m comfortable with monitoring my pageviews, visit duration, bounce rate, and other standard fare. But maybe I need to branch out:
“Pageviews and visits are easy to understand and, until recently, it was hard to track the other behaviors of website visitors. But if your brand is like most, and your endgame is truly to increase awareness and build deeper relationships with your audience, shouldn’t you be using metrics that tell you whether you’re achieving your goal?”
Those other metrics are a bit tougher to nail down, but the technology exists and a savvy content marketer needs to make an effort to so sooner rather than later:
- Brand Lift – What’s the prevailing sentiment around your brand? Is it getting progressively better as your audience grows and matures?
- Engaged Time – How much time are your audience members spending on each piece of content? Are they skimming and scramming?
- Average Finish – Instead of just counting every warm body that arrives on your content page, why not count the ones who actually care enough to finish it?
- Return Readers – It’s one thing to count return visitors compared to new, but you can dive a lot deeper into what generates returning readers and how to engage them even more effectively.
- Visitor Loyalty – How soon and how often do people return? It leads to a “snowball effect” you’re going to want to experience.
- Longevity - How long does your content stay productive? Can you tweak it or repurpose it to extend this figure?
- eMail Engagement – Do you know if that “open” you celebrated lasted 2 seconds or 20 minutes? Wouldn’t it make a difference?
All great content marketing measurement suggestions I know I’ll be working into my weekly analytics review. How about you?
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