During Atomic Reach's first Twitter chat last night (aka #AtomicChat), we discussed a number of interesting questions about content marketing. Among those that attracted the most attention was how to measure the effectiveness of content marketing.
With more companies planning to allocate a bigger part of their marketing budgets on content marketing, it's important for them to have a good handle on whether their investments have delivering the expected benefits.
So, how do companies measure the effectiveness of content marketing?
The most important place to start is establishing your corporate goals. What is it that you want content marketing to achieve? Is it higher sales and more leads, stronger brand awareness, more customer loyalty or a competitive edge?
Whatever the goals (and every company will have have different ones), it is crucial to have them front and centre before launching into content marketing. If you don't know what you want to achieve, it is impossible to know whether your efforts are working or not.
The next step is looking at the metrics on a regular basis to assess how things are going. Is the content being consumed and shared? How much time are people spending on the content? Is it generating leads and potential sales? Is it getting the company more recognition and media/blog coverage? Are case studies and whitepapers being downloaded.
The only way to discover whether these goals are being achieved is constantly looking at the pre-defined metrics. This lets companies know whether they are being successful so they have the insight to to push ahead, or it provides them with valuable information to make strategic and tactical changes in their approach to content marketing.
Being successful and effective at content marketing means being flexible, pro-active and engaged in the entire process - from establish target audiences to creating content to measuring how it is being received.
Content marketing is not simply creating content and then hoping it somehow gets discovered and consumed. It needs to be nurtured and measured so your efforts can generate the expected results.
For more thoughts on measuring the effectiveness of content marketing, check out:
- Michelle Linn on the Content Marketing Institute's blog.