Now you’ve become a lean mean content creating & distributing machine, it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back and watch as you reap the benefit of your spoils. But what’s that? You’re not seeing an immediate return? Well firstly don’t worry...this journey is a long one so as long as you have patience to test and improve, you will go far. That being said, there’s no point entering this game unless you know what you’re trying to achieve, so here are our five tips to help you measure ‘success’ or ‘failure’:
Time.Time.Time all you need is time! Beating yourself up by not seeing an immediate return on all your hard work is setting yourself to fall at the first hurdle. We suggest first up giving yourself 12 months with a quarterly review. Don’t forget, to begin with anyway only you care about the content you’re creating so it takes time for people to realise how awesome you are.
2. Forget the vanity figures
Unless you’re someone who simply cares about reaching as many people as possible, throw ‘vanity’ metrics out the window. Ultimately even if you have 1million views of 100,000 followers, if those people are doing what you want them to do after they check out your content, it’s all a little meaningless. Instead, think about stuff that will actually make a difference. For instance, as a B2B company, we look at a variety of things: lead generation (both through people filling out contact forms on our site and subscribing to our newsletter), the quality of traffic that is driven to our site from our social channels as well as the dwell time on our content. Whatever it is, in the early stages of your content life, the fundamentally most important thing to ensure you are posting consistently with a quality of work that you are really happy with.
3. Understanding the data you’ve collected
You should be compiling data to see what (if any) is working and what isn’t. Whether that’s keywords your content is ranking for on search engines, who is subscribing to your channels, or where people are best engaging with your content, the point is you should use this data to your advantage.
And I know we keep saying it, but don’t be disheartened if you find yourself having to reevaluate your approach - for us we always saw Twitter as our main port of communication, but we’ve found overwhelmingly that Linkedin works SO better for our content. We also know that the blog posts we’ve been creating recently have been much broader than the specialist subject matter we will start talking about. Therefore it’s of no surprise that the audience we’ve been gathering have been much broader.
Adjust and adapt as it will all become second nature in the end.
4. Repurpose, optimise and redistribute
In reality you shouldn't really be making content that has a shelf life, like with everything the validity of content should come back in cycles. So don’t be shy to measure how your content is placed in a different context. When we did a fresh push on our Star Wars Changed My Life series on Star Wars themed day “May The Fourth Be With You” we saw a nice spike in views and subscriptions on our social channels. In comparison, when we initially launched the project it was lost within the abundance of Star Wars related media that was being churned out during the launch of the 7th Star Wars film.
Lesson learnt- timing has a huge factor to play when distributing your content, so we now make sure that there are events, themed days and rising topics we can latch onto in order to increase the cycle frequency of our content.
5. Improving the creative (or lack thereof)
Critically THE most important thing to think about when measuring the success of your content is to see if your audience actually takes away the information that you’re aiming to showcase with your content. If this isn’t the case it most probably means you need go back to the drawing board and fine tune your creative approach of your content. A fresh creative flair is key to ensure you have an engaged and enthused audience otherwise your content will be overly forgettable and won’t fulfil the value that you’re aiming to provide.
It’s been a pretty interesting journey writing this series of blog posts, we’ve come a long way on our content marketing journey 6 months ago and I’m sure you will too. Feel free to drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions or just to bat around a few ideas.