As you publish marketing content, you need to ensure that you have systems in place to measure its effectiveness as well as continuously improve your content marketing efforts. The best way to do this is to select and track the best key performance indicators that fit your marketing program. Typically, these fall into one of four categories:
- Curate content (content scorecard)
- SEO and link building
- Conversion performance
- Increasing brand advocacy
For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to focus on the first three but you can read more about building and measuring brand advocacy here.
Automating the Curation of Content
If you have a digital marketing hub and want to automate the curation of content to other marketing sites or to CRM newsletters, the first step in the measurement process is to ensure that you have properly defined a taxonomy within your content ecosystem and that all of the content that needs to be measured is organized accordingly. Once you have that completed, you can begin to define a score for your content. I recommend using some mix of how frequently the content was:
- Engaged with
The scorecard should assign each individual piece of content a score and be grouped together by the categories defined in your taxonomy. Not only will the scorecard give you the top pieces of content, but it can also provide insights into which content types (video, white papers, etc.) are the most popular for a specific topic.
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SEO and Link Building
If the goal of your marketing program is to build domain equity, increase traffic or measure the effectiveness of your link building efforts then the approach to measurement will differ from creating a content tracking scorecard. SEO is all about traffic and keywords so your measurement process should be mapped to your SEO keywords. From there, you’ll want to track percentage of traffic to your domain by:
- Content type
The SEO dashboard should focus on which channels are driving the most traffic by keyword and which are the most cost-effective. This will help you focus your efforts when creating and publishing content.
If you need to measure and increase content’s performance to conversions then you need to create a multi-leveled dashboard that will:
- Channel contribution to conversion
- Maximize conversion performance
- Identify social conversions
Start with identifying all of the places that you are amplifying your branded content. Typically these would include your social, blogs, pay-per-click and any partner’s websites. Next, organize your dashboard so that it provides a top-level review of each channel and how efficient it is a driving conversion. The middle layer of the dashboard will include details of each asset within the channel. For example, this layer would break down the social channel into your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account and YouTube efforts. The final layer of the dashboard should provide insights into the specific metrics of each asset. For example, the number of YouTube videos posted, the number of views, traffic driven to the marketing asset from YouTube and how likely the visitor was to convert.
These are the most common KPIs you can use to measure the effectiveness of your marketing content strategy. While most marketing programs cut across all four of these scenarios, I suggest trying to narrow your focus to the specific KPI that meets your needs rather than trying to implement all of them at once. Think about what questions you need answers to and select the KPI that will help you answer those questions first. You can always add new ones as you go!