We believe in the power of content marketing. Consumers no longer tolerate hard sell tactics — often employing ad blockers to actively avoid these types of promotion and unfollowing social media accounts who push out daily sales posts. We believe that creating high-quality, informative, and useful content is the key to building up an engaged and, more importantly, happy community.
But, what happens after you hit the publish button? Is it as simple as just pushing out article after article and keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that it just works?
To be blunt, NO.
It’s vital that you take the time to monitor the performance of the content you’re delivering. You need to have an awareness of what’s working. And more importantly, what isn’t.
Good marketing is delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
So, how do you ensure you’re hitting that target?
In a word, analytics.
Every time you publish content the internet creates a log of information about your post. It’s up to you, as a business owner, to use that data to ensure your marketing posts are working. There’s an absolute wealth of metrics, tools, and services available, some more useful than others.
We’re going to explore the 5 most important metrics to help your business succeed:
Reach measures how many people have seen your post since it went live — it’s a good indicator of whether your core audience is actually seeing your content. There are two metrics you can use to measure this — post reach and potential reach.
Post reach is easy to measure, and most social media platforms have their own inbuilt tools.
Take the time to understand your core audience and tailor the content to them. You should also research what time your key group of consumers are active so that you can ensure your content is delivered to their timelines at the right time.
Potential reach measures the number of people who could, realistically, see a post that has been shared by your followers. To successfully market, you should always seek to expand your audience, so understanding how your post is travelling is vital to success.
In a nutshell, engagement measures how people are responding to your posts.
It’s a common mistake to assume that social media success boils down to follower numbers — engagement is far more useful to a brand. Engagement can be broken down into three important metrics:
Applause rate is the number of approval actions (likes and favourites) a post receives relative to your follower number. It’s essentially a seal of approval from your follower base, showing that they value your content. It’s a good indicator of what’s popular and should be used to inform future content.
Average engagement rate expands on this to include comments and shares. As a marketer, engagement is your most valuable tool. Aim to create fresh and useful information that spurs your followers into action and turns them into evangelists for your brand.
Amplification rate is the ratio of shares per post to the number of overall followers. Having followers share your post is vital to growing your audience — so this is an important one. A high amplification rate shows that your followers are happy to be associated with your brand — meaning they value and trust your content.
It’s not often you can measure the effectiveness of your communication, but checking your conversion rates allows for just that. It’s a way to measure exactly what actions visitors to your page are taking. Are they signing up for your newsletter? Downloading an asset? Or are they leaving immediately?
A high conversion rate is a good sign that your content is valuable and your link wasn’t misleading in any way. Consider clickbait as the antithesis of conversion. It may get people to a website, but when they find out the link was misleading they’ll leave without taking any valuable actions.
There are a number of things to measure here, including:
Click-Through Rate (CTR) — how often people click on your call-to-action link.
Bounce Rate — the number of visitors who land on your site and leave immediately.
Average Time on Site — how long they spend browsing your content.
You can access this information by tracking Visitor Frequency Rate or the Acquisition tab in Google Analytics.
4. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness looks into the attention that your brand is receiving on social media — whether people @ you, or not. It tracks @mentions, shares, links, and impressions to break down how many people are talking about your brand. Hootsuite has a dedicated tool to monitor when your brand is mentioned online.
You can also measure your Social Share of Voice (SSoV), which compares indirect and direct mentions of your brand and your competitors. It’s a great way to measure how you’re performing in your sector. If you’re underperforming, it gives you the opportunity to examine what your direct competitors are doing differently, so that you can adapt.
It’s an often underused metric, but keeping track of your brand reputation is imperative. People research brands online before engaging with them. If there’s a host of unanswered customer comments, queries and complaints, it could damage the reputation of your brand.
Be sure to monitor customer testimonials. Thank people for good ones. Share them. Don’t ignore the bad ones. Actions online are visible to everyone, so remember to stay professional, and remedy any problems or complaints.
Everyone makes mistakes — it’s how you deal with them that counts, and if you’re not monitoring them — you might miss something important.
The Key To Success
The beauty of analytics is that there’s a wealth of information available to all businesses online. It’s up to you how you utilise that data. If you need a hand in understanding your data, we’re always happy to help. Get in touch with us and we can help you untangle your metrics and use them to boost your business.