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As content marketing matures, the difference between the leaders and the followers in digital marketing will come down to those who have taken content marketing measurement seriously. When discussing content marketing, we need to remember that it always needs to be backed up with some type of measurement technique.  Unfortunately however, measurement is only being done by very few people.  The more measurements taken, the more accurate our numbers will be on the success of content marketing.  Right now we have very little data, but as content marketing continues to be one of the largest sought after articles on the web, I bet you’ll begin to see more and more article on this subject that are statistically driven.  The content marketing industry shows that 70% of the marketers say that there is a lack of cohesive, strategic approach to content marketing, and this is coming from Altimeter.  Basically the statistics are showing that content marketing is not producing a positive ROI for most businesses. With this in mind, I wanted to explore the questions that we need to be asking ourselves in order to improve our content marketing performance.

Question one-  review your website to find out how much time is being spent on site. It would be ideal if you want a customer to return more frequently than once or twice, but that doesn’t always happen. You should sit down with your marketing person and analyze the time on your site and what it indicates because the amount of time a visitor spends doing anything at all on your website can be very telling. It indicates the engagement interest and the likelihood to purchase. If the results of your agency website are showing 15 to 30 seconds as the average stay, then you may have an issue with the eye appeal of your site. But it’s not all negative because if you measure the phone calls from your website (which hopefully you have a different phone number for), maybe clients are Googling you to find your phone number and that’s the reason for the short amount of time on your website. A key factor is understanding the metrics of what is going on with your prospects and/or clients on your agency website.

Question two- what is the average number of pages that are being viewed or browsed during their visit? If visitors only read one page, you may have a bigger issue. You may have to ask yourself “is my website relevant to what it’s being found for?” If you find out that your metrics are showing that the average visitor is staying and reviewing seven pages, then they are finding value to what your agency website offers.

Question three- are they returning to your site?  This is very important because you need to understand how and why your visitors are returning to your site.  Is it through your various social media avenues, or maybe through your other marketing techniques? This can act as a guide to see how useful your content is for your agency website.

strategyQuestion four- is your web traffic increasing? This directly affects your bottom line. Increasing traffic is the basic aim for most content marketers. From social media to your agency blog to your sales landing pages, you should be driving more traffic to your agency’s website.  If you are not increasing traffic, you need to figure out why that is happening. Most likely you would want to start with your content to see if it’s attracting the right audience. Remember, content marketing only exists because social media has the avenues to hold the content. That’s why my theory is content is Queen only to the King – social media marketing.

Question five- is your content being shared? This is why speaking to the right audience is critical to success. Sounds easy, but at the end of the day it’s very difficult to accomplish this. If it was as easy as it sounds there would be a heck of a lot more content marketers running around with metrics and the ability to be able to show a positive ROI.

Question six- Listen to your audience and analyze what we are learning from them. The content you are putting out reveals a lot about your agency.

Question seven- where are your visitors coming from? This is a key factor because if you are not measuring it, you will never know where your audience and/or visitors are coming from. Are they coming from the PC that their working at or are they coming from a mobile device? It could be from a blog you wrote or a social media site as well. You need to track and measure all this information.

Question eight- Does it matter what time you publish your content? Common sense would indicate that the best time to publish a piece of new content like a blog would be when people are most engaged , such as before work or after work. However, this is not always the case and I would highly recommend for you to study your traffic and find out the times that the visitors are going to your site. As an industry average will see an increase in traffic between the hours of 10 AM and 1 PM with the average blog post usually getting the most amount of traffic somewhere around 11 AM. This notion and understanding of what time you should be publishing your agency posts is going to be critical to understanding your audience’s availability.

Question nine- Is your content affecting your agency’s conversion rate? A significant amount of people look to online retail in order to find out conversion metrics. The key factor would be drawing a direct link between your agency’s content and sales, but this can be tricky. There are models that will help you establish a link from content to sales to the conversion process. You must do your research and find the best system out there for you!

Question ten- What is the ROI of your agency’s content marketing efforts? The purpose of content marketing is to do what? If you answered ‘create and generate leads,’ you are absolutely correct. Content marketing plays no role in the sales process, it plays the role in your opportunity to be able to stand at the plate so that you have the opportunity to hit the baseball. If you never get to play you’ll never have an opportunity to hit the ball so remember when you’re measuring content marketing, measure the amount of times your agency is getting up to bat… period. A positive ROI is what each and every one of us agency owners is striving for. Remember content marketing should be taken very seriously and looked at in a positive light only if it’s done correctly. If you hire an outside consultant, I recommend you to monitor the metrics on everything. It’s the only way in understanding your agency’s profitability with its content marketing strategy.