As someone who is fairly new to the world of content marketing, I can admit that I learned pretty quickly that crafting content isn’t just writing a witty blog, then calling it a day. “Crafting” content is just how it sounds. It’s an art and it takes time, research, and planning.
In order to tell whether or not your content is successful, you need to put a little science behind it. Perhaps you recall learning about the scientific method. You know, asking a question, doing some research, constructing a hypothesis, testing through experiments, analyzing your data and drawing a conclusion…Well, content analysis isn’t that far off.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to analyze content and why it’s so important.
First off, it is important to remember that content is not just blogs or lengthy paragraphs on a screen. Content can be distributed through other visually appealing (not to mention, sharable) methods such as infographics and slide shares.
So, how do we measure content? Much like the scientific method, we start by asking questions -lots of them.
1. In what ways are people utilizing content?
By measuring this, you can develop a firm understanding of which web pages or specific pieces of content are performing well on-site and what areas need some TLC. In this specific area of measurement, you can analyze which pages people are actually viewing and how much time they are spending on each page.
For off-page content, using an email tool such as MailChimp can help you by measuring how many people are opening emails and what time of day they are opening their emails. This will give you a better idea of a target time to send out emails. Not only that, but email tools can also measure which links within your emails were being clicked on, allowing you to improve ones that were looked over.
2. Are people absorbing content?
This can help to give you an idea of how deep visitors are going into your website. With this, there are a few things to measure.
- The return rate allows you to analyze how many return visitors are coming to your site vs. how many new visitors are coming to your site. You’ll want to be sure to appeal to both, offering return visitors new and fresh content that encourages them to come back, while engaging the new visitors from they start so they return for more.
- Measuring a bounce rate is helpful too. Bounce rates depend on two clicks. The first click is how a visitor arrives on a page, and the second click is how the visitor leaves that page. A bounce occurs when both of these clicks happen on one page of your site. It shows that a visitor didn’t make any further clicks to explore more of your site.
- Pages per visit and average time on site are content analysis metrics that track the visitors who do click around. They measure how many pages a visitor clicks on, as well as the amount of time he or she stays on each page. They are important as they reveal the amount of people that come to your site and want to hang out for a while.
- Tracking unsubscribes is a way to measure the value of your email strategy and find out how many people are choosing to opt-out of receiving your content. Be sure to keep track of your new subscribers as well to measure if the amount of new subscribers is meeting or even surpassing the amount of opt-outs and unsubscribes.
- On social media, you can measure the amount of followers you have. Ideally, as you continue to schedule content, your followers will receive updates, intriguing enough to share of course, allowing for new followers.
3. Is content being shared?
An easy way of measuring whether or not content is valuable is to see if it is being shared across social media platforms. Beyond social media, you can track if emails are being forwarded as well. Content worthy enough of a bump from your audiences deserves recognition! Plus, you can see what type of content people are willing to share and what forms of content are being looked over.
4. In what ways are audiences engaging with content?
Going a step beyond sharing content is actually talking about the content or spending a notable amount of time with it. This can be measured through the number of comments people are leaving on blogs or social media channels.
This can also be measured by the amount of time someone spends on your website. Analyzing page depth reveals the number of web pages visitors are looking at per session. In other words, some people will visit a page, then leave, while others will continue from one page to the next, spending valuable time exploring your site.
5. Did the content produce new leads?
Existing customers are valuable, but gaining new ones on an ongoing basis is priceless! That’s why it is vital to measure whether or not your content is creating new leads. This can be done using marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. These tools measure the how many new leads come to your database after interacting with pieces of your contact.
Asking these content analysis questions will help you form a better idea of what is working and what needs to be altered in your content marketing strategy. As you can see, performing research and experimenting with different techniques will allow your campaign to soar and build your audience.