Why is content marketing important as a strategy?
Quality content is one of the top reasons people follow brands online. What people are looking for is guidance and tips they can learn from and apply in their daily lives and business. They seek stories and inspiration.
If we look at companies like Uber, Buffer or Airbnb, they have one thing in common – they attract customers with unique and compelling content. Be it videos, guides, blog articles, e-books, case studies or even offline magazines. Good content is meant to engage and foster the sense of community. It’s to provide people with rich resources and help you develop yourself as a reputable source of information.
Content is a great fuel for startups like Piktochart. We listen to our customers and do our best in providing them with content they want and need on every step of their journey with us. How do we know it works? Below are some insights on the metrics we use to measure success of our content marketing.
Good brands produce quality content to foster a sense of community and active engagement in hopes to captivate new customers and retain the existing ones.”
Providing value to an audience by sharing quality content is one thing; measuring the success of the said content is the necessary other side to the coin. The main questions you want to answer are: How do I know if my content is well-received? Is it providing value to my audience? Is it going viral? Does it really help people?
And the answer to that is pretty simple: you need to set-up quantifiable components or metrics as indicators of your content marketing performance.
How does one come up with the metrics then?
In general terms, there are four (may vary according the nature of your business of course ) components for content marketing metrics:
- Consumption metrics
- Sharing metrics
- Lead generation metrics
- Sales metrics
In this post, I will be providing some insights on Piktochart’s use for Consumption, Sharing, and Lead Generation to give you an idea on how we treat these metrics, hence, providing you with real-life instances of how we come up with and treat our marketing metrics.
Our assumption is the more content is consumed, the more value is provided. Let’s look at one example. Observing feedback from various channels such as social media platforms, our Q&A section and support tickets, we found out that some of our users were curious about benefits of infographics. We then drafted a blog article sharing some good content on the subject and measured how many people read it.
Our objective was to measure how many visitors consumed the content and finished reading the article, rather than landed on the article page itself.
It is possible to know how many hits per week your blog article has via Google Analytics (GA from now on), but this data only tells you how many people clicked on the link to your content. A better way to track the level of content consumption is to determine how many people have scrolled to the end of article.
This is a screenshot from GA of how we measure how many visitors have read our sample blog article. We added event tracking on certain ‘checkpoints’ in the article, and when a user reaches the checkpoint, the necessary data is captured in GA.
By looking at these numbers we can:
- Find out what type of content ‘works’ and generates leads
- Identify a problem in the content and help us answer such questions as: Was the article not interesting? What actions should we do to change this?
You can find the tracking code we used for this ‘scrolling method’ here, written by an analytics advocate from Google.
This metric tells you how successful your blog article is in terms of shareability. It indicates how much value users get from reading the article and tells you how relevant your article is to your audience that makes them share it with their friends, family or colleagues.
A simple metric to measure this success is the share count of the content. There are many good social sharing plugins you can use that provide the options where a user can share the article through social media channels, and the analytics panel to track all blog article sharing performance.
Lead Generation Metrics
Now this section is a little tricky. Lead generation defines how well a piece of content converts unique visitors into potential leads. In other words, how effective a piece of content is in generating interest to buy your product. This is quite tricky because there are lots of factors or assumptions you may want to consider before setting up this metric. Some of the assumptions may be:
- The content produced is about your product. Deviating slightly from creating value to your visitors to how your product can benefit the visitor, and the visitors are thinking ‘this product seems interesting. I wonder if I should go ahead and give it a try’.
- The article has a hook to capture potential lead contact details or call-to-actions. One way to determine whether visitors are just visiting or showing interest is if they provide details like email address for you to reach out to them.
One metric you can use to see the percentage of lead generation is the number of email addresses collected over number of unique visitors of that page.
You can also calculate how many visitors signed up for a free trial if the article promotes special discounts or trials for them to try out your product. This is calculated by the number of call-to-action button clicks over the number of unique visitors.
Do note however, it may not be wise to calculate lead generation on all the content that you create. Only the ones that you specifically create to trigger visitors to your site to perform specific actions i.e., subscribe to your blog/newsletter, buy your product or upgrade their services.
Another thing to keep in mind is the right moment to measure a visitor’s interest. Would all the visitors (some of them may be 1st time visitors) be interested in your product after 1-2 minutes of reading? Or is it interrupting and annoying them?
Some of the pages you may consider measuring lead generation on (depending on the nature of your business) are:
- Articles about upcoming brand related events such as webinars or product feature launches. If a visitor is interested in attending, they can click a call-to-action button or leave their email address
- Articles with media downloads including e-books, specific case studies, or any PDF downloadables about your product. You might include a contact form for them to fill out their email address before downloading the PDF so you can contact them later.
Some Analytics Tools we use at Piktochart
Analytics is the default go-to tracking tool most website owners use. It’s simple, yet you can customize it to your own needs, and dig as deep as you want into your metrics. More importantly, it’s free for everyone. Here at Piktochart, we use it for tracking events, identifying which channels bring most visits to the site and account signup ups, determining our top referrals and high-performing blog posts.
This brilliant software shows you who is using your product and makes it easy to personally communicate with them through email and in-app messages, based on the action user takes. At Piktochart, we track users who’ve performed a certain number of events within a period of time, segment users based on how active they are, and view users who last logged in within a period of time. For instance, if we see that one of our users starts designing an infographic but he doesn’t finish it and saves it, Intercom automatically triggers an email with design tutorials and how-to videos.
KISSmetrics is an analytics software focused on eCommerce, marketing, sales and Saas businesses, that allows our team to have a quick overview of our most important metrics, or dig deep if needed. At Piktochart, we use it for detailed event tracking (as it allows us to categorize visitors by user behavior), funnel analytics, cohort analysis and much more. Personally, although it’s on the expensive side (starts at $200/month), it’s my favorite analytics tool.
Customer development is one of our top priorities at Piktochart. One of our go-to tool is SurveyMonkey, as it helps us collect useful data on our users. SurveyMonkey allows us to ask our users important questions that often lead to brilliant insights we’ve never thought of before. Specifically, we use it for user segmentation, collecting NPS scores, and feedback requests on what features need improving.
Qualaroo is another amazing customer development tool. Created by Sean Ellis, the guy who coined the term ‘growth hacking’, it allows you to pose quick, on-site questions to your visitors so you can learn from them. At Piktochart, we use it on our website as another useful data collection tool. For instance, we ask our visitors 1 or 2 quick questions to gain insights on what are their expectations when they visit certain pages.
At Piktochart we measure and test everything. It helps set us on the right track and keep providing users with more relevant content every time. We are curious about how YOU measure success of your content and are interested to hear about your metrics, so do share your experience!
This post is part of Piktochart’s Marketing Series. Stay updated with new and relevant posts about all your infographing needs and more by subscribing to our blog. Don’t forget to comment, like and share this post with your peers.