communications strategy

How to measure content marketing’s lasting value

Carolyn McMaster | September 23, 2014

Building brand awareness and shaping opinions about your company or brand are key content marketing goals, but finding out if you’re achieving them is tough.

According to a survey by the content marketing platform provider Contently, the vast majority of content marketers aren’t sure their metrics are gauging success. More than half of survey respondents said they couldn’t measure whether their content was changing opinions about their brand or increasing the likelihood that people would buy. Many also couldn’t measure brand awareness or how much attention people are paying to content.

Successful content marketers do measure these longer-term intangible benefits along with leads and other hard metrics. A few things to look at:

Is your subscriber list growing?
Capturing leads is unquestionably valuable, but it’s a relatively shallow measure of engagement. Are people signing up for your newsletter or to receive other new content? Are they the people you want to reach? Once they’re on your list, are they opening emails and clicking, or are they unsubscribing?

Are people engaging with your content?
Visitors, downloads, shares and views tell only part of the story. How long do people spend with the content? Are they viewing videos to the end? Are they on a page long enough to have read it through? Are they asking for demos or a conversation? (Make sure to give them those options.)

What are people saying about you and your content?
The metrics above are easy to track. However, they’re not the only measures of success. Anecdotal feedback matters when tracking intangibles like brand awareness, changing perceptions and inclination to buy. (See this post for how to collect it.)

Content marketing can drive the B2B holy grail of leads and conversions, but they don’t tell the whole story. When someone downloads a report or signs up for your newsletter, you know they’re interested in what you do—but you may not know how much or what they think of you. That why it’s worth looking beyond the obvious and making a real effort to measure involvement and brand value.


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