2 Keys to Determining the Value of Your Content Marketing

By November 19, 2015content marketing

In the ever-changing world of content marketing, it can sometimes be difficult to see how your non-traditional advertising efforts are providing value to your company’s overall goals. After all, it’s easy to say that a piece of content marketing is well-written or beautifully designed, but if it doesn’t contribute to your company’s growth, is it really worth the effort?

Thankfully, there are a few key measurements that can be used to determine if your efforts are delivering the value that they should. And while other factors can influence these results, the following measurements should always play a considerable role in considering the success of your content marketing campaign.

Website Traffic

The first step for measuring success in any digital campaign is whether or not new traffic is being driven to your website. While some types of content are more likely to generate Web traffic than others, it is important that all such efforts be consistently measured and analyzed to determine whether or not they are having the desired effect.

Web analytics tools can provide business owners with a wide variety of useful statistics, such as the number of site visitors, the average number of pages viewed per site visit and the average amount of time spent on the site. While such statistics may not be considered to be as important as sales, Dummies makes it clear that the higher the numbers are, the more likely it is “that you have an engaged audience that interacts with the content you create, and you probably influence their purchasing decisions.” And these engaged audience members are more likely to recommend your content to others—thus driving new traffic.

What material can have a significant impact on these statistics? The answer, of course, is quality content marketing. Whether it’s a series of engaging, informative blog posts (which would increase the amount of time a visitor spends on the site) or a third-party link from another site that brings new visitors to your website, content marketing efforts can have a very direct impact on these statistics.

An increase in website traffic typically does even more than the aforementioned examples. As users spend more time on a site, Google and other search engines view this as an indicator that the site is a source of high-quality, authoritative content. This in turn can improve a site’s SEO rankings, helping other new customers find your site—even if they didn’t come to it directly through content marketing materials.

These metrics are not perfect forms of measuring the value of your content marketing efforts, since other factors (such as your website’s design and navigability) can also impact the increase or decrease of such statistics. However, if your content marketing is really doing its job, there should certainly be improvement in these areas.

Sales and Leads

Of course, in the business world, sales and leads are generally considered the ultimate measure of any strategy’s success (or lack thereof). And content marketing is no different.

Thankfully, there are plenty of statistics that show that quality content done right can directly contribute to an increase in sales and leads—especially when it is already increasing the number of page views and the amount of time spent on the site.

It goes without saying that the more time an individual spends on a website, the more likely he or she is to make a purchase. However, in many instances, a piece of content marketing can directly contribute to a sale or lead. For example, marketing guru Neil Patel reports that his company’s blog can drive anywhere between 60 to 80 percent of total sales leads for a given month—a significant return on investment. But this isn’t something marketers can just “set and forget.” Readers typically “[become] a lead after reading at least three blog posts,” which means that more often than not, marketers need to encourage readers to come back for more.

This means promoting blog content through social media and other channels to increase readership, as well as using sidebars that provide an opportunity for potential customers to sign up for email notifications or simply click to learn more about a given product or service. Even offering a free ebook after users submit email contact information can help increase return readership and improve the likelihood that people will continue reading the blog and eventually make a purchase—and website analytics allow business owners to see if someone looked at a piece of on-site content marketing before making a purchase.

Just like other website traffic metrics, content marketing is not the only influencing factor that drives increases or decreases in the number of sales and leads. A poor website design can frustrate consumers before they complete a purchase, no matter how good one’s content marketing strategy is. But when an easy-to-navigate website design is combined with a quality content marketing strategy, businesses are more likely to see the number of online sales and leads increase to never-before-seen heights.