Content marketing has to add value.
We have to offer real value to customers through the content we create. We need to remember to help, inform and entertain.
Creating top quality content requires a depth in knowledge, passion for your industry, and an imagination that sparks creativity. But when 88% of B2B marketers are using content in their marketing strategy (Content Marketing Institute) - it’s even more important to understand what “quality” content really means.
This is where analysis comes into play
Creating content is great. Content is king, after all. But more importantly, quality content is king.
Only 9% of B2B marketers say they’re very effective at content marketing. - CMI
Hold it right there….
Before you can even begin to analyse the effectiveness of your content, you’ve got to bare it to the world. If no-one has the opportunity to see it, experience it, engage with it and learn from it, it’s near impossible to really understand its worth to your audience.
Clicking ‘publish’ is only the tip of the content marketing iceberg. We’ve written a whole blog post on how to amplify your content. But what about once you’ve done this?
It’s simple. Analyse the results.
Let’s start with amplification
So you’ve shared your post on social. Brilliant. What happened?
Analysing your content starts from where you share it. You need to look at your engagement.
Here’s an outline of some key stats from your amplification to look at:
Social media (Organic and Paid)
- How many likes? And who’s liking?
- How many retweets? And who’s retweeting?
- Are people clicking on it?
- Are you getting replies?
- Are people commenting and responding to you?
- Link clicks
- Open rate compared to link clicks
- Referral traffic
- Social engagement
The numbers game
You don’t need a maths degree for this. It just requires you to assess the really key stats in Google Analytics and/or your Content Management System.
Here’s a few of the key things you should be looking at:
- Page views
- Source of those pageviews
- Time spent on page
- Page depth (have they gone through to other pages/blog posts?)
- Conversions (has anyone signed up to your newsletter, or downloaded your content?)
Eyeballs on the page
How many page views has your piece of content got? Sounds pretty self-explanatory right? Wrong. You need to remember all the different factors that will help or hinder how much exposure your content receives.
- How many times have you shared it on social media?
- Have you done any paid advertising for this piece of content?
- Have you done outreach and got the word out there?
- How old is this content, has it had chance to rank organically on Google?
- Does it have any backlinks?
- Is it easily accessible on your website/blog?
Page views are a great indicator of quality content. The more views, the better. But you need to remember all the influencing factors which provide the reasoning for the numbers you see.
For example you can’t compare a blog post you put out on your email newsletter to 200 people one time, to another blog post you’ve put out organically on social 4X a week for 3 weeks to your 4k+ followers. It’s not had equal time to shine.
Where did the eyeballs come from?
Digging deeper into the source of your traffic means you can begin to formulate a picture of what drove the success of your content.
Is it just a lot of traffic coming from friends and family? Or has someone influential shared it and you’re getting a lot of referral traffic?
What you class as a “quality source” is up to you. It depends on many factors including how much traffic you normally get and what you class as strong sources.
Organic social is obviously amazing, it’s proof your followers and your people like what you do. The same goes for email marketing to your existing database. Whether that’s a content alert, or your monthly newsletter. We rate these sources as high quality!
Referral traffic and organic search are the bees knees of sources
Referral traffic means people are linking back to you. They believe your content is so good they want everyone to know about it too. And if you can get your content on google search, and people are clicking and staying on the page, then you’ve got Google’s seal of approval too.
Paid social, on the other hand, is a tricky one.
Strong traffic means people are clicking on your ads and wanting to learn more. But you have to look at other metrics to really know if you’re paying for the wrong eyeballs.
Paid social should be used to get people through the door. Once they’re there, you should be looking at how long they stay there, and if they continue to browse your site/blog.
The clock is ticking
You’ve got people to your page, fantastic, bravo. Getting them to stay is a whole different battle.
Content marketing feeds off dwell time, it lives for people taking minutes out of their day to actively read, watch, digest, engage. But remember, it’s not always a good sign.
Banks for example see time spent on page in another way. If someone is spending 5 minutes on a bank webpage, it means they’re doing something wrong.
They want you on and off the site as quick as possible.
You don’t browse a bank website. You make a decision, check your balance, apply for something, simple. If people are spending large chunk of time it usually means they’re lost and confused. Definitely not what a bank wants.
Another example is a landing page. If your landing page is a simple page with a form, you don’t want people spending 5 minutes on it, that means they’re contemplating filling it out, or worse, they’ve opened the tab and forgotten about it!
On the flip side, a long time on page on a long-form landing page, or a blog post is obviously a good thing. It means people are enjoying your content.
So, just remember to consider your offering when looking at time on page.
How far can you go?
Page depth for blog posts is great. It means not only did they like the blog post, but they also wanted to learn a bit more.
Use calls to action to really utilise your blog posts. These could be to download a relevant piece of content or to sign up to your newsletter for example.
If it’s a landing page with a form and a thank you page, you really need as close to 2 on your page depth as you can. If your page depth is just 1.5, it means only half the people coming to this page are actually converting and filling the form in.
This follows on nicely from page depth. Getting someone to convert is the number one metric for telling if your content is of high quality.
That’s just common sense.
But it’s even more exciting when a blog post increases conversions. Maybe it’s through a newsletter sign up at the bottom of the page, or from clicking a CTA in your post, whatever it is, if it comes from your blog post it’s gotta be good!
Conversions are the icing on the cake. They prove your content marketing’s worth.
But as I’ve said before, unless you push your content out there, you’ll never really know the worth of it. So get writing what you believe is quality content, share it with the world, and prove it through the numbers.