Do you have an effective content strategy?
It’s a challenge marketers, and brand managers wrestle with regularly. Your content is approved. Now it is time to share it with the world. We all know what comes next. Will this resonate with our audience? Are we going to generate sales from this? Does it send the right message to people that don’t know us yet? All important considerations in defining how effective your content strategy is. However, they needn’t be keeping you up at night.
Defining how you will measure if your content strategy is effective, whether for an overall campaign or an individual piece of content, is crucial to honing in on the measures you’ll want to use. For example, if your piece is an awareness generator, try not to get too hung up on conversions. If you are looking to convert, keep an eye on how well you are resonating with your existing audience.
Defining the parameters of an effective content strategy early will help you focus on important metrics. Also, it will help you see where your content needs to adapt to different audience needs. You can read more about modular content strategies for some tips on that.
Right, so you’ve been cut-throat. You know your objective, and you’ve got the perfect piece of content. What next?
Agreeing on control tactics upfront will define the difference between average and incredible content. Being the advocates for high-performance brand content that we are, we thought we would share five of our favourite content strategy measurements tips to help you on your way to building an effective content strategy.
Monitor changes in audience behaviour.
You hit the button, and your content campaign goes live. The next step, turn your attention to the effect it is having on your customer’s behaviour. Are you getting more page views? Is your audience lingering on your site, or are you driving them away?
The importance of these metrics will, of course, depend on your objectives. If you are going after awareness generation or engagement, keeping a close eye on analytics dashboards is key to spotting your content campaign’s impact.
Look at: page views, pages per session, average time on site, user journey, bounce rate, and unique visitors.
Understand engagements and identify conversion points.
If your brand has a loyal following, you can expect them to have an opinion on everything you do. It is essential to be ready for that reaction. There is a huge opportunity to capitalise and drive results from positive responses. Whether through likes, re-shares, publication on other sites, messages, comments – the opportunities to maximise your reach and drive some impressive numbers are plenty.
It is always good to have a plan for when things don’t turn out as expected, too. While rare, it can happen. So make sure there is a plan in place for those that react negatively to content campaigns. Ensure your teams stick to consistent considered responses and don’t feed the troll.
Follow the money.
It’s the fundamental core of marketing, right? Satisfy consumer needs profitably. So making sure that as well as delighting your audience, your campaign is generating a return on the time, effort, and cash you have invested in it is paramount.
The measure of a good campaign here is a strong lead generator, reduced cost per acquisition, high conversion rate, and positive return on investment. There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule about what percentage is good or bad. It is all relative. Understand how you are tracking against previous campaigns and think about performance in the context of your objectives. For example, are you targeting a hard-to-reach audience? Where is your product in its lifecycle? What are your competitors doing right now? Understanding the context will clarify your performance.
Track your search rankings.
Well executed content strategies can provide tremendous benefits to your brand’s performance in search. However, where a single campaign in itself is unlikely to shoot you from obscurity to position one (although stranger things have happened), you should consider how your latest campaign is feeding into your broader content strategy.
If search rankings are in your strategy, keep an eye out for opportunities to build backlinks and make sure your audience engages with the content and any relevant CTAs. If not, then you might find yourself struggling to have the desired impact on your brand’s performance against target keywords.
Engage with your audience.
We know you speak to your audience all the time, but when did you last *speak* to them? Taking the time to have one-on-one conversations with the people that love your brand is an often overlooked way to get incredible qualitative insights. Take the time to ask a range of customers, fans, and followers some questions. Have you seen our latest campaign? What did you think? Did it hit the mark for you? What did you like? Anything you hated?
As well as getting great insight, you’ll develop closer relationships with the people that keep your brand going. It builds trust and will ensure that in the future, you keep hitting that mark and improving performance.
Remember, each campaign will have different objectives. So not all of these have to apply at once. By remaining focused and objective-led, your team will stand a better chance of maximising its content strategy effectiveness and having a clear sense of purpose, set up in a way that will drive success.