The measurement of ROI from content marketing is one of the sector’s biggest challenges. Research proves it. This time last year, we wrote that only 43 per cent of marketers were successfully tracking the performance of their campaigns. And despite the success of those that do, this volume has barely risen.
It is probably better put by this anonymous marketer:
“The truth is that I just don’t know how to measure what we do [in content marketing]. I can pay some vendors and get the numbers I ask for, numbers they think please me, so I keep buying from them. Numbers that the bosses might like. But it is hard to really get numbers that are trustworthy and actionable – and that concerns me.”
In a recent article, Taboola chief executive Adam Singolda said that content marketers need to look beyond the page view total and more at what happens post-click.
True, there is an over-reliance on impressions. It’s the kind of easy figure that allows you to go to your boss and say whether something is working or not. Analysis for lazy people.
In his book The Lean Start-up, Eric Ries speaks about the concept of ‘vanity metrics’. These are figures that look good on paper but are obscuring the truth of whether you are succeeding.
Good examples of this are registered users, downloads and, of course, page impressions. The last, for a company looking to generate sales leads, may not reflect a potential upturn in revenue. It’s just a lot of people clicking on your site. This can be manipulated.
It is better to have 10 regular users who interact with you regularly than 50 unique impressions.
Ways to do this:
- Make your site sticky and analyse how people click through it and why they leave.
- Work out where you want them to go after reading your content.
- Create a profile of your user. Work out who they are and what they are looking at.
- Get feedback from users and understand what they want.
- Innovate based on that feedback and repeat.
Post-click not page view is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.