What Metrics to Measure for Thought Leadership

Posted : October 17, 2018

Word Count: 1033 

( 3 Min )

Marketing, in general, is about goals. A social media marketer may say they want to boost their Twitter engagement by 25%. An email marketer may say that want to increase their open rate by 5%. But when it comes to marketing via thought leadership, the goals may sound a little more open-ended.
Is there such a thing as too large a reach or too many guest posts? No, but there are some key thought leadership metrics everyone should be checking for. Thought leadership marketing is one of the most time-consuming forms of all thought marketing, so you want to know your time is well-spent.

The Key Thought Leader Metrics To Focus On

Make sure you have these thought leader metrics in the back of your mind while planning out new strategies:

Number of referring domains

Chances are you are already aware of how important backlinks are to SEO ranking for your content. This is part of the reason why it’s so important for thought leaders to try and share and promote their content to get those backlinks.  But the number of referring domains isn’t exactly the same thing as backlinks, though they look similar on paper. Basically, the referring domains count is the number of sites that are linking to your content, versus how many links there are to your content. This is essential because if you have a lot of backlinks, but they’re all from the same site, it’s not going to mean a lot for your content’s ranking.

Branded queries

One major goal people have for their initiatives are to increase brand awareness, and Google’s Webmaster Tools provide a free form of thought leader metrics to look at for this. For example, keeping track of branded queries shows how many people are searching for your company or services by name, versus being directed to it via keywords. If you see a steady uptick in branded queries, you’re doing an effective job of getting your company noticed.

Earned media

This might sound like a strange term at first, but think of earned media as coverage or awareness that essentially comes to you versus you having to try and reach out for. For example, say that you’ve pitched some guest posts to a journalist for a while, and down the line, they reach out to you to serve as a source for an upcoming piece. Technically, you had to do a lot of work to establish credibility in the first place, but moments like these are a sign that people who matter are seeing you as a leader and authority in your niche.

When it comes to thought leader metrics, it’s great to have something to chart your progress, but what happens if you’re not happy with what you see? Sometimes, some thought leadership channels work for certain audiences better than others. This is why it’s important to know all the different roads to thought leadership in case the metrics say you need to shift gears. Our full guide on How To Become A Thought Leader covers all of these different options and other insight that will help you reach your thought leadership goals.

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