The performance of content marketing is intensely scrutinized, and with good reason. When your company invests significant time and money into generating and promoting its content, it’s wise to use any and all marketing measurement tools that are available. However, many of these metrics aren’t what they seem to be. In fact, the most important metric of all is one you’ll never see on a website analytics screen or your social media pages. But if you fail in this one area, your business is in serious trouble.
A Changing World
Remember when website hits and pageviews were the most important numbers to a company? Those days are long gone. That’s not to say that pageviews don’t matter – they certainly do – but there are better numbers that tell us more about the impact your content has on your customers.
Social media metrics such as likes and shares take the old standard of pageviews to the next level. These stats indicate that not only did you visit a given site, but you thought so highly of it that you had to tell all of your friends. That sort of recommendation isn’t easily achieved, and it’s a veritable marketing goldmine.
Chasing the Grail
The problem with operating specifically to score highly in specific metrics is that you never know when the marketing world will turn on its axis. The stats that matter today might not be important tomorrow. Look at the frustrations that come with SEO marketing, and you’ll see the problem with going out of your way to please your masters.
Although companies like BuzzFeed and many others have made livelihoods out of shareable content, the next big thing is always just around the corner. As a small business, it’s in your best interest to create a model that doesn’t rely solely on current trends. Instead, your focus should be on something much greater.
Revenue – The One Metric You Should Care About
So much emphasis is placed on generating desirable content marketing numbers, such as a lengthy email subscription list or a high number of likes on your Facebook posts. However, these numbers don’t mean anything if you’re not converting these people into customers.
Think about it. What’s more important – the number of people who walk through a store, or the number of people who actually make a purchase? Content marketing is much the same. Your content isn’t a be-all, end-all. It serves a purpose, and that purpose is to convince your viewers to take the next step towards making a purchase. If your content gets great traction on social media, but doesn’t result in additional purchases, you need to figure out why.
It’s important to pay attention to the big numbers in content marketing. But it’s even more important to keep a vigilant eye on the one number that really matters. Content marketing is supposed to drive revenue, not accumulate stats that don’t translate to the bottom line. When you view content marketing through this lens, you’ll start to see why your marketing may be missing the mark. Once you fill in those blanks, the return on your content marketing investment will start to skyrocket.
Writer Bio: Bryan B is a freelance writer based in Long Island, NY. He’s very, very ready for the summer to be over.