There’s nothing more frustrating than sinking time, energy, budget, and resources into marketing that doesn’t move the needle. That’s why having a strong content strategy is crucial. And while there are many elements of a content strategy (e.g., your goals, content ideas, editorial calendar), the most important thing you need is a way to know if what you’re doing is actually working. This is why choosing the right content marketing metrics can make or break you.
Luckily, we’ve helped plenty of brands set up their marketing strategies, and we’ve tinkered with our own a ton (which has helped us tremendously). What we’ve learned in that time is that choosing the right marketing metrics is a unique process for every brand, but there are a few simple steps you can take to do it the right way.
Why Do Content Marketing Metrics Matter?
In short, metrics are the key to working smarter and more effectively across the board.
So how do you go about getting those numbers, and how do you use them to shape a strong (but flexible) strategy? Let’s dive in.
1) Choose Your Goals
“Doing marketing” isn’t your job. Doing marketing that supports your business goals is your job. So when we talk about choosing content marketing metrics, the question is really, “What are you trying to achieve?”
It’s important to map your metrics to your objectives from the very start. That way you’ll know you’re always aligned. For example, a young, hip ecommerce store might focus on social engagement and sales, whereas a B2B software sales company will track product demos and subscriptions.
(BTW, if you don’t know your goals and have never actually completed a content strategy, here’s our easy )
2) Identify the Metrics That Support Your Goals
There are a million options to choose from. If you track everything, you’ll drown in data. That’s why it’s smarter to narrow down your metrics for each stage of the buyer’s journey to only those that provide the most insight and value. Again, this will depend on your goals, business, unique product/service, etc.
As a rule of thumb, prioritize 2-3 that are directly aligned with your business goals, and use any others as contextual indicators. Just remember that those metrics should be:
To help you narrow it down, we’ve outlined the most common marketing metrics below (broken down by stage). That said, there is overlap. You may categorize these differently according to your specific needs.
Once you narrow it down and get the OK from your team, you can put them to work.
3) Consider Your Formulas
After choosing your metrics, you may also want to take it a step further to extract even deeper meaning. Blending two metrics together will let you answer questions like:
These can be incredibly valuable.
4) Ensure You Have Your Infrastructure Set Up
Depending on the marketing metrics you choose, make sure you have all tracking tools and analytics set up. Double and triple-check that they are working correctly.
5) Measure and Experiment
To improve your results, it’s important to test and experiment, iterate, then test again. So now is the time to craft your hypotheses to test your efforts.
What do you expect to happen, and why? A strategy is never foolproof; at the end of the day, your approach is the result of humans (with the support of robots, for now) taking best guesses as to how certain goals can be reached.
By taking a page from the scientific method and documenting your hypothesis, supporting data, and underlying assumptions, you’ll learn a great deal more once your strategy is executed in the market. You can’t expect to be right about everything, but a hypothesis will at least give you clarity about what went right, what went wrong, and how you can improve over time.
You may also find that, as your strategy changes, there are more relevant metrics to track. This is all part of the game. In fact, we recommend revisiting your metrics every 6 months or so to make sure they’re still working for you.
That said, here are a few things to do to get the most from your metrics going forward.
Remember: Marketing Is Ever-Evolving
No matter what, stay persistent and keep educating yourself. For more tips on creating more successful content marketing…
And if you get stuck, find out or We’d love to help you untangle your strategy.
This content was originally published here.