How does one measure if their content marketing efforts are paying off?
According to this infographic from Brandpoint, there are three major areas one can use to measure content marketing success. These are: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
A. For awareness, there are three indicators which can tell marketers that their content marketing strategies are working.
These indicators are: higher ranking in search engine results pages, steady increase in website's "first-time visitors", and an uptick in social metrics including likes, followers, +1s, upvotes and the likes.
In short, content marketers should be on the lookout for these outcomes of awareness: web traffic, social followers and improved search engine rankings.
Awareness is important, Brandpoint argues, because 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine query.
It is important to rank in search engines because three quarters of all searches do not move past the first page of results. As content marketing strategies drive success, websites of a business or organization are more likely to land on the first page of results.
What about social media which is the topic of the third indicator for awareness? Like websites, social media is an excellent content distributor. As an example, the infographic says that over 15 million online consumers say they research using social media before making a purchase and that 68 percent of consumers go to social networking sites to read product reviews.
This is in line with other statistics from this infographic:
The infographic also lists some content tactics to generate awareness. These are: blog posts, news articles, press releases and social media content.
B. All of these funnel to consideration which is defined by Brandpoint as "inspiring potential customers to engage: read, download, comment, share, etc."
The indicators which tell consideration is happening are: increased total page views, longer visit duration, lower bounce rate, and social metrics such as video views, content shares, positive comments / interactions.
Consideration is important, the infographic notes, because search engines rank content based on relevance.
How do search engines measure relevance? By looking at the time spent on site per user, the amount and age of pertinent original content, and the social chatter about the site. The infographic says that sites with 300 or more indexed pages have 236 percent more traffic while sites with 400 to 1,000 indexed pages received 600 percent more leads.
It also notes that 61 percent of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content and that 65 percent of social media users learn about products and services of a company or organization.
The outcome that consideration strives to get include: informed decision making, favorable comparisons, lower bounce rates, social recommendations and brand trust.
How does one drive consideration? Think of "category-level" webpage content, "long tail" blog posts and news articles, newsletters, FAQs, and white papers.
C. Ultimately, what content marketers want from awareness and consideration is conversion.
"Why does content marketing drive conversions?" the infographic asks. It's because search engines support searches for specific products and services. And a lot of people who become customers come from search.
According to this, more than 39 percent of all customers come from search. Furthermore, as for social media, the infographic says that it amplifies traditional word of mouth and grows organically with time unlike pay-per-click. As an example, the infographic says that 77 percent of B2C companies or companies that deal directly with customers have acquired a customer through Facebook while 41 percent of B2B companies or companies that deal with other companies have acquired a customer through the world's largest social networking site.
To measure conversion success, look for these: increased conversion rate measured by sales or leads, content sources contribute to the conversion funnel, social metrics indicate referrals from social networks, and subscriber and non-subscriber behavior indicate more people are buying from your organization because of your efforts.
After conversion, content marketing continues to work for you as people will most likely share their experiences on social media and the rest of the Internet.
As long as you post quality content, the "funnel" should be refilled, the Brandpoint infographic notes.