Content Marketing Analytics that Matter: Engagement
On March 24, 2014, Copyblogger – one of the leading content marketing blogs – created a small earthquake in the blogosphere when it shut down its popular comments section. Over the next two years, the Internet debated whether comments mattered or not, as more websites shut down their comments section.
In early 2016, Bryan Harris, founder of Video Fruit, decided to check how much a blog comment is really worth. Is there a direct link between the comment section and the success of your product launch?
Harris’ latest course launch at the time included a launch sequence that was consumed by 26,460 people. After cross-referencing names of buying customers, subscribers who went through his launch sequence, and readers who commented on his blog posts, Harris discovered that “commenters are 5x more likely to buy than regular subscribers.”
The course was sold in three price tiers – $600, $1,200 and $2,400 – and brought in a total of $511,466 from 432 students. When analyzing the value of a blog comment, Harris concluded that the value of an email subscriber who doesn’t actively comment on the blog is $19.83. However, the value of a subscriber who does actively comment on the blog is… $97.43.
These numbers make sense. The more that people interact with you, the deeper the connection they feel they share with you becomes. People buy based on positive emotions they have toward a brand or a product. People who actively comment on your blog are more involved than the average reader. They’re more invested in what you have to offer. It makes sense that they’d be more willing to put their money where their time and emotions are already invested.
But it’s important to say that not every company will see a direct link between comments and sales. Copyblogger, for example, kept comments off for two years. During these years, “they added $5 million in revenue,” reports Social Media Examiner. Yet Copyblogger’s editorial team turned comments back on in January 2016 because they missed interacting with their audience right there, in their home base.
Copyblogger wasn’t alone. After a year without a comment section, Michael Hayett turned comments back on in early 2016, too. 2015, the year without the comment section, was the first year Hayett went without seeing an increase in traffic – and his blog has been live since 2004.
While he says closing off comments wasn’t the only cause (he also published less content, for example), he got feedback from many readers that “they just stopped dropping by the blog [when comments were off], because it didn’t feel hospitable,” reports Social Media Examiner.
Pay Attention to These Content Marketing Analytics to Stay on Top of Your Audience’s Engagement
If you’ve read so far, you know that one of the key engagement metrics is the number of comments your content gets. But it’s not just about the numbers.
Getting a lot of comments that say “great post” and nothing more could feel great, but it could also mean that commenters are not that invested, and maybe just trying to score a link back to their site. Instead of encouraging just any type of comment, encourage readers to share their own experiences, bring up issues you haven’t covered, or get exclusive access to you or an expert by asking questions and giving advice.
While you’re at it, remember that your social platforms are part of your content marketing strategy, too. There’s no point in investing time and money there if no one likes or shares your content, or participates in conversation with you.
Be proactive. Experiment with different types of content. Create visuals. Ask questions. Engage with others accounts, and eventually, you’ll see engagement going up on your profiles as well.
Great Resources: How to Improve Audience Engagement
·14 Devious Tactics for Getting More Comments on Your Blog Posts – Smart Blogger
·16 Effective Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog: Starting Today – Blogging Wizard
·8 Ways to Keep Your Email Engagement Alive & Lucrative – ConversionXL
Content Marketing Analytics that Matter: Brand Awareness
Unlike the rest of the content metrics we’re covering here, brand awareness isn’t easy to define.
According to HubSpot, brand awareness could mean getting in front of as many eyeballs as you can or a smaller, more target audience, that converts well. It could mean getting a lot of press mentions, or have as many people as possible know what your company is about when they hear your brand name.
Either way, HubSpot correctly points out that, if you have a team, everyone on your team needs to agree on what brand awareness means to your specific situation, so you can focus your work toward a certain set of goals and metrics. HubSpot emphasized that focus is key if you want to see results, because “trying to achieve every metric possible makes it likely your campaign will do a lot of different things only okay.”
Pay Attention to These Content Marketing Analytics to Stay on Top of Your Brand Awareness
Because of the confusion around the term, out of all the content marketing metrics covered in this article, brand awareness might also be the most challenging one to measure.
HubSpot suggests a few metrics you can consider prioritizing, like an increase in referral traffic (when other websites link to your website) and in direct traffic (when visitors reach your website by directly typing your name into their browser, instead of going through a search engine, a social media channel, or another website).
When other companies start linking to yours, you know that people are paying attention. And when they type your URL and come directly to your site to look for your content, you know that they remember you and value what you have to offer.
Simply Measured adds that an increase in branded searches could mean the same thing. When you browse through the words and phrases that brought visitors to your site, see how many of them include your brand name or some sort of variation of it. Alternatively, check keyword tools to discover how many people search for your brand name, and whether this stat increases over time.
In addition, Simply Measured suggests keeping track of your share of voice – meaning, how many times your brand name gets mentioned in the press, around the web, and on social media.
It suggests keeping track of competitors’ share of voice, to see how much of the industry’s attention is really dedicated to your brand versus theirs.