Measuring Your Content Marketing Results: Why Engagement Matters More Than Reach

Companies of all sizes know that content marketing gets results.  If you haven’t been using content marketing for your organization, now is the time to start. If you already have a content strategy in place, then you should be reaping the benefits. You can make your marketing strategy even more powerful by measuring your results and using the data to fine-tune your content plans.

Measuring the Success of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Say you’ve purchased some great content. How do you know if it’s giving you the results that you want?

The first step is to define what you mean by “results.” Do you want to attract new customers, retain existing ones, publicize special events, or increase awareness of your brand? Different companies will have different goals. Even within a single company, goals will change from time to time, even from season to season. The important thing is to define the goals that are right for you.

Reach versus Engagement

One common way to measure content marketing results is to see how many people are reading or viewing your content. This metric is known as “reach” and is typically measured by looking at website traffic statistics.

The advantage of measuring reach is that counting page views is relatively easy. It also intuitively seems to make sense.

The problem is that knowing the reach of your content doesn’t tell you if you are meeting your content strategy goals. The popularity of your content doesn’t necessarily translate into sales of your product. You could, for example, have many page views but few conversions. The opposite could be true as well. You might have a relatively small number of people looking at your content, but a large percentage of them buying your product or service.

Measuring reach used to be the most popular way to measure content results. Marketers, however, are becoming more aware of the limitations of this method. That’s why more of them are turning to the second common way to measure results, which is to measure engagement.

Measuring engagement means looking at how involved people become with your content. When you measure reach, you don’t know if people are actively or passively viewing your content. Engagement measures how often people take action because of your content.

The trend from relying primarily on reach to relying primarily on engagement is clear. A recent survey found that only 12% of companies said that they used reach as the most common metric for measuring the success of their content. Engagement was the most commonly used metric, cited by 30% of the companies surveyed.  More marketers also measured efficiency and conversion than measured reach.

How Do You Measure Engagement?

The nice thing about measuring engagement is that you can directly test whether you are meeting your goals. Your metrics should be based on what you want your content to accomplish.

A great way to do this is to include a call to action in your content that guides people to do what you want them to do. Then you can measure how many people respond to the CTA. For example, if your goal is to have more prospects reach out to you, then your CTA should link to your contact information. Then you can track how many people click through on the link in your CTA. Or say your goal is to increase the number of subscribers to your mailing list. You can track your results the same way by putting a mailing list sign-up link in the CTA and then seeing how many people respond by signing up via the link.

Analyzing the Data

Once you have compiled meaningful engagement data, you can compare different pieces of your content to each other. You now have an objective way to measure which content is performing the best according to your own goals. Look for patterns in your high-performing content. Are there similarities in subject matter, format, or tone?

When you identify the features of your content that are most likely to help you reach your goals, then you can start fine-tuning your content in the future to make your content marketing even more productive.

Start With Great Content

No matter what your content marketing goals are, you need great content to help you achieve them. WriterAccess makes it easy for you to get the content you need whenever you want it. Get started now and see for yourself how WriterAccess can help your business grow.

 

Marjorie R. completed a Masters program in English/Creative Writing, where she worked on short stories. Workshops were the heart of the program, where groups of about a dozen students did close readings of each other’s work and learned to give and receive useful feedback. Process classes, which focused on particular aspects of writing, and graduate and undergraduate literature courses were also part of the program. Marjorie’s class was also the last to take orals for the M.A., which focused on three authors selected from different genres and time periods. Marjorie’s authors were Isaac Bashevis Singer, Dorothy Sayers, and Shakespeare (just the tragedies).


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