Content marketing is the process of planning, developing, and delivering content assets from a brand to a user in an effort to grow a company’s customer base. It is a subset of marketing that occurs in both digital and non-digital media.
It is a hot item in the marketing world, but it has yet to be officially adopted by most brands, at least digitally. According to a report on the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, only 30 percent of businesses surveyed have a documented content marketing strategy in place.
It is understandable why content marketing is hot, as it helps brands:
- Increase awareness of themselves, their products, or their services
- Educate users on their products and services
- Convert users by building trust of their brand, product, or services
Additionally, content marketing gives users something to share and talk about post-conversion, creating brand loyalists.
According to a report by Pardot, the most popular goal for content creation is engagement from users; however, other goals include:
Each goal entails measuring different metrics. For example, engagement of target audience could be measured by unique page views, sessions, time on a page, or even comments on the piece of content if applicable. Some examples of content marketing include:
- Online Tools
- White papers
Measuring the results of these content types will vary as they can have different goals. For example, the goal of an infographic may be to go viral and generate more views, but the goal of a blog would be to generate more entrances and comments.
Most marketers measure their content by the following criteria:
Other criteria for measuring content include the number of entrances to the website, or number of conversions or leads from a piece or collection of content.
One of the top challenges marketers face is effectively measuring and proving the ROI of their marketing efforts. We can do this by correlating marketing hours invested with the results achieved. This includes listing the efforts put into creating and marketing that piece of content alongside the measurable results. This allows us to more accurately determine the value of a piece of content on our website.
Planning and Measuring Your Content Marketing
If your company has a goal of introducing content marketing, be sure to plan first. Equip your team with the tools needed, including:
- Content calendar
- Social posts aligned with other content channels
- Messaging document / guidelines
- Voice and tone guidelines
- Brand guidelines (including logo, imagery, and color)
With these tools in hand, build a strategy around which types of content your team can create and the market that will help achieve your business goals. Once the content types are identified, determine which metrics to measure and be sure that you are being specific to each type of content. For example:
- Blogs: Measure entrances, page views, and time on page
- Videos: Measure views, engagement length, and number of comments
- Games: Measure the number of page views, games played, or time in the game
- Infographics: Measure page views, social shares, and number of comments
The ultimate goal for most content marketing campaigns is to drive engagement, which is often measured by page views, but not that this or another common metric may not work for your company. Be prepared to change your approach to quantifying results, and allow yourself enough time to adapt before reporting.
Tell us which metrics you use!