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Content marketing is a great way to build a solid relationship with customers.

Engage with what they want, have the ability to guide them to the solution, then onto a buying decision.

That said, many companies either try to implement this strategy in-house or hire and agency or freelancer to do deliver their content marketing. Sometimes what they are looking for in terms of ROI gets lost in the logistics.

When starting any type of strategy, content marketing, SEO or web development you first need to be aware of what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve.

There’s no doubt creating unique and high value content is a valuable asset to any website or blog, nothing compares to quality content – providing its goal orientated.

 

content marketing

 

Content marketing is more than just creating content that’s read, liked, tweeted about or stumbled upon. Content marketing is more than just trying to drive traffic to your website or blog.

Content marketing must be goal oriented and targeted for a specific product, service or action. That could be making a purchase based upon the useful and helpful information that’s guided them to go further and learn more, or complete a sign up process or email subscription for example.

Whatever the goal of your content marketing strategy may be, it’s pretty pointless creating content to distribute, promote and publish online if you have no clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Content should never be created for all audiences, in doing that you risk reaching no audience.

 

The Essential Core Elements of Content Marketing 

Content marketing needs to be as specific as possible targeting an exact type of audience.

Put simply, the 2 main elements of successful content marketing are;

1. Knowing and understanding your goal or goal’s

2. Your company’s mission statement

 

The first element is a no-brainier,

The second element many people overlook.

A mission statement is an important aspect as this dictates a company’s purpose, values and whole reason for operating. The importance of a mission statement is detailed exceptionally well in Epic Content Marketingwritten by Joe Pullizzi.

When it comes to content marketing and including a mission statement, this can be outlined easily, clearly and specifically for each content marketing campaign using these three principles;

1. What type of person is your content targeted to, likely to help the most, people who are looking for financial help, training or education programme or people with a medical condition perhaps looking for self-help information or homeopath remedies for example.

2What kind of information are you providing in your content

3.  What exact benefit your information will be to your audience

 

The Planning, Process and Perfection of Content Marketing 

Once you’ve decided exactly what the goals of your content marketing strategy are, the two main elements of content marketing are defined and in place, and you’ve developed a focused content marketing strategy.

You’ve created, published and promoted your content. The final aspect to a successful content marketing strategy is monitoring and measuring.

When it comes to anything SEO or conversion rate based, tracking and analysing is necessary to provide the insight needed to establish exactly what’s working and what’s not.

Tracking the effectiveness of certain content and overall success of a content marketing campaign can be done with many available tools online.

One of the most efficient tracking and analytic tools used by many successful and highly experienced content marketers is the good old, Google Analytics!

Google Analytic’s is loaded with accurate, in depth and concise data that can quickly and easily provide the insight needed to learn what type of content is working and what isn’t.

As great and all as Google Analytic’s is on many levels, unless your know where to look and what data will provide the accurate answers you’re looking for. It can be difficult to determine what’s useful data and what’s not.

Below is a quick rundown of the how to use Google Analytic’s to monitor, measure and perfect your content marketing strategy.

 

Measure Time Spent On Page and Traffic

It’s never safe to assume anything when it comes to content marketing or any type of online marketing.

When measuring the traffic and the time that traffic has spent on a specific page, at the very least if that page has received a good deal for traffic, something has grabbed their attention!

Don’t mistake traffic to a page as the pages content being of value. Take a websites home page for instance, just because that will most likely be the page that receives the most amount of traffic, doesn’t necessary mean that page is insightful or valuable in terms of content.

When using traffic volume to establish the success of content marketing run a comparison against a page consisting of similar content.

 

Measure Referral Traffic 

Referral traffic is the amount of traffic that’s visited your website from page your tracking, from another web source such as social media or another website that’s linking to the page your tracking.

Measuring referral traffic is another great function Google Analytics is equipped with, there’s two main ways this can be done.

1. Using the (Acquisition) section and going to “Referral Traffic” Report

2. Using the secondary dimensions option and selecting either “referral path” or “full referrer” for a page-by-page analysis

 

Google Analytics

(Click To Enlarge Image)

 

 

When conducting any type of content marketing, the same amount of time it took to create your compelling content, needs to be given to promoting, sharing and distributing your content.

When content is promoted through social media, bookmarking sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon and re-shared, re-tweeted, pinned and visited by others the results of your content and content promotion will be shown in your referral traffic, detailing exactly which source your traffic has come from.

 

Measure Downloads 

There’s times when a company may decide to offer a free download or unique piece of content relevant to the main content such as; free guide, whitepaper, e-book, infographic or useful factsheet for example.

Generally this is set up in a way the visitor in exchange for the information, provides their email address or some kind of action like re-tweeting, sharing, plus 1’s or liking the page, website or content on social media for instance.

This is not always the case, sometimes companies simply offer great guides and factsheets etc. with no need to fill in any forms, preform any social media engagement or provide any information.

When this is the case and free “downloads” that’s been created for visitors requires no actionable request, accurate goal tracking can be difficult to measure. Google Analytic’s provides a function that can be set up to track the occurrence of every download “event” of the given piece of content or free download.

For Event Tracking to be set up and track every occurrence of a piece of content or download that’s been downloaded Establishing an “Event Goal” is also recommended, this provides a more detailed picture showing not only downloaded content but also conversion rates.

 

Measure Content Marketing Conversions 

Conversions, conversions, conversions!

It’s what it’s about, and if it’s not,

Well what’s the point in SEO or content marketing at all?

Rankings, traffic means nothing and holds no value whatsoever if there are no conversions!

What are conversions?

Conversions is the term given to a completed action that’s taken place on a websites page, content or blog that’s resulted in a goal completion.

That brings us onto the centre piece of conversions, which is goals. Without goals conversions don’t exist.

Conversion rates only exist when goals are established and set, allowing the completed “goals” to be measured, thus providing the conversion rate for the given page or piece of content.

Goals are set up for any action or process you want your website visitors to conduct. Goals can be anything from completing a contact form, making a purchase and watching a video to providing personal information.

It’s important when trying to work out conversion metrics you take into account –

The number of page views compared to the number of completed transactions.

If your conversion rate for the page or content your tracking is lower that the site’s average it’s a good idea to run A/B testing and review the layout, content and structure of the landing page to improve conversion rates.

 

Final Thoughts 

All in all, content marketing is a wasted exercise if your content doesn’t achieve your goals.

Content marketing is a great way to reach your customers on their level by establishing what questions they want answered, what are they specifically looking for? and identify those needs.

Whilst matching them to what you can specifically provide by offering a solution in an information centric way, that’s both helpful and useful to what your specific target audience want, need and desire.

Regardless of how great your content marketing strategy is, no matter how many hours, days or weeks have been poured into planning, preparing, creating and promoting.

It all falls flat if measuring and monitoring are not in place.

I’m not saying Google Analytic’s is the be all and end all of measuring tools when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign.

There’s tonnes of tools available online. Google Analytic’s is however, by far one of the best available.

Following these tops tips will help your content marketing gain colossal conversion rates throughout 2015 and beyond!

 

 

Lizzie Thomson
Creating, developing and imagining is the place I love the most! Great websites take more than just great design. A great website, deserves great digital marketing! Web Design and Internet Marketing both parallels that drive the addiction I have for the fascinating world of the web! Digitally crafting concepts into completion and making websites be the best they can be in both performance and design, is my daily drive and commitment!

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