A lot of content marketing efforts need to go through various iterations in order to see true, long-term success. You implement a plan, see how it succeeds, then adjust appropriately. The same may also occur as different trends in your industry redefine what success means. In the world of e-commerce, this tends to happen quite a bit. As a result, it’s essential that you have key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to quickly get a snapshot of how your content marketing efforts are doing. We’ve reached out to e-commerce experts to see how they chart success of their content marketing, and fold those KPIs into future plans.
What KPIs do you use to track the success of your content marketing?
We monitor three significant factors – website traffic, qualified leads, and sales. Among the four major mediums – search, referrals, direct and social media, our primary focus remains on the “search” medium of traffic as we see its long term benefits. If our content generates qualified leads or potential clients ask us pre-sale questions, then we mark it as a “good content ” in our database. Finally, sales have a direct ratio with profit, so we measure the ultimate progress from here.
The major KPI that we use is the conversion rate from blogs. Of course, content directly does not convert, but we have other offers that do. For example, popups where we collect emails, popups that offer discounts for customers, ads for products featured in the article and much more. We understand that tracking conversions from content is not easy so we are careful about calculating this metric. The second metric is the number of links earned organically. We invest a lot of time in our posts and most of the time, they manage to earn links on their own without link building.
CEO and Founder
I use a couple of KPI’s to determine the success of my content. Some of which include:
– unique page visits which show how many people have visited a piece of content
– Time on page which is self-explanatory
– inbound links which show how many people have linked and used a piece of content for reference
– shares on social media
– relevant comments on the page which show how many people have interacted with your content
– lead generation, which can come in many forms such as downloadable content, sign-up forms, etc.
Chief Marketing Officer
When we do content marketing for our e-commerce clients, we track the following KPIs. Social shares, likes and comments. Overall website traffic. Time spent visiting a specific URL and our bounce rate.
How do you incorporate this data into future operations?
Using our own content strategy as an example, we have blogged on a variety of marketing topics, one of which being Facebook Advertising. At the time, we realized that there were not many articles out there answering the question “how to target businesses on Facebook”, so we dedicated an article to this topic.
Over time, this blog began ranking very well for keywords such as “how to target business owners on facebook”, currently being found on the first page of Google for searches like this.
Digital Marketing Director
The data helps us see which products to remove links to within that same content (constantly updating) and what topics lead to more sales. If one does particularly well, we will build more content around that same topic / product line.
Rogers and Hollands
Blogging is a core part of our marketing efforts, as it’s worked really well for us, so aside from content creation, most of our on-going efforts are spent reviewing past blog posts to track historical performance. Content can lose relevancy over time and need updating, so it’s important not to forget about old posts. A short 5 minute update to a blog post could double your traffic to that post, and Google loves to see that your old posts are being kept up-to-date and relevant.
Founder and CEO
We try to target shoulder niches based on the keyword ranking data. It helps us to expand our reach to newer potential customers and generate more leads.
Digital Marketing Manager
What are some of the latest changes you’ve made based off of KPI data?
One of the most recent changes that we’ve made is using on-hand diamond size images to describe the difference by carat size for our lab-created diamond engagement rings. We have seen our click-through-rate soar by implementing this creative change. This also helps customers better understand where they are going to fit in relation to price range as they begin their journey to find the perfect engagement ring.
Content Marketing Manager
We’ve started to realize that ungated content (particularly reports) can be much more effective than gated content. We find that this sort of content gets shared more and ends up in front of a lot more people. We still capture leads through the content, just at a later point in the interaction than before they actually get the value from the piece.
Global Head of Demand Generation
HubSpot for Startups at HubSpot
Recently, I’ve made changes based on keywords that we see are performing well. If a keyword is leading to a lot of traffic, then I will take steps to incorporate that keyword more and more into the content. In addition, if a target keyword is performing poorly, then I might eliminate it from our target keyword list completely and then stop incorporating it into the content.
Founder and Creative Director
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.