If you’ve dabbled in content marketing, you’ve probably noticed the flood of data that comes with it. But what do you actually do with all that data?
Regrettably, for many, it remains untouched, relegated to a Google sheet or confined to a monthly report collecting “digital dust.” Such neglect is a missed opportunity. Data, after all, is meant to be a catalyst for improvement.
This is precisely why a strategy for analysing and applying your content marketing data is indispensable.
Key metrics in content marketing
Before we jump into how to analyse and put content marketing data to good use, it’s important to understand which metrics you should look at for your business.
Website traffic metrics
Website traffic metrics help you to gauge the overall reach of your content. While they give you a good idea of your general performance, they offer in-depth insights about whether your marketing efforts lead to those coveted conversions.
Metrics to consider:
- Page views: Shows the number of users viewing pages on your site and helps you identify popular content and areas of interest.
- Unique visitors: Indicates the number of people visiting your site to show the size of your audience and the potential reach of your content.
- Bounce rate: Reflects the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing just one page, which can indicate how engaging (or not) your content is.
If website metrics are all about quantity, then engagement metrics focus on quality. These numbers let you know how – and how much – users interact with your content and shed light on how attractive your outputs are to potential clients.
Metrics to examine:
- Time on page: This website metric shows the average time that users spend looking at the content on your website, which gives you an idea of what they find valuable.
- Social media shares and likes: Your content’s performance on social media allows you to measure how much it resonates with your target audience.
- Comments: Discussions in the comment section can give you valuable insights into your audience’s opinions and preferences, providing a qualitative dimension to your measurement.
Conversion metrics are the measures to look at to determine how effective your marketing efforts are at turning potential clients into paying customers.
You’ll have different goals – for example, sign-ups, purchases or downloads – depending on the marketing funnel stage your clients happen to be in. Plus, success will differ depending on your ultimate business goals.
Metrics to measure:
- Conversion rate: Shows the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action to indicate how successful your content is at turning them into leads or customers.
- Click-through rate: Usually shortened to CTR, click-through measures the percentage of customers who click on a particular link and shows you how relevant your audience finds your content and calls to action.
- Lead generation: Tracks the number of leads your content generates, helping you measure how effective your marketing efforts are at building a loyal customer base.
Search engine optimisation (more commonly called SEO) is an incredibly useful tool for helping your content rank well on search engine results pages – or SERPs – and attracting users to your website.
Understanding your website’s SEO performance can help you build an appropriate, effective SEO strategy to attract even more organic traffic.
What to look at:
- Keyword rankings: Knowing where your website pages rank on SERPs for specific keywords can help you assess how relevant your content is and guide your optimisation efforts.
- Backlinks: Having other websites link to yours indicates the value of your content and shows your expertise, authority and credibility in your field.
- Organic traffic: Closely related to keyword rankings, the number of visitors who make their way to your website after searching a specific phrase on a search engine shows how effective your SEO strategy is at attracting the right searchers.
Understanding your audience is essential for creating an exceptional customer experience that ultimately ends in a purchase. Knowing who you’re talking to will help you tailor your content to ensure it resonates with specific demographics.
Metrics to review:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location and interests come into play here, allowing you to create more targeted, effective content.
- User behaviour: Tracking how users interact with your website will help you to optimise its functionality to improve user experience and increase engagement.
A step-by-step strategy for analysing content marketing data
Knowing which metrics in content marketing to look at is one thing. Another is to understand how to use those metrics to make informed decisions and form effective strategies.
Define clear objectives
Every great strategy starts with setting goals.
Before you dive into analysing the data you have on hand, you’ll want to establish a clear connection between your content marketing outputs and your broader business goals. This will help you to ensure that your marketing efforts are directed in a way that will positively impact your bottom line.
Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals are the answer here. Using this framework makes it easier to track progress and evaluate the success of your initiatives.
Use analytics tools
Fortunately, the in-built analytics tools on many digital marketing platforms make it super easy to gather and understand data in marketing. Here are three that you can focus on:
- Google Analytics: There’s no bigger name in web analytics than Google Analytics. This robust tool enables you to track website traffic, user behaviour and conversion metrics. All in one place. The platform will give you comprehensive insights into your audience and their behaviour.
- Social media insights: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok all offer native analytics tools. The insights these tools provide allow you to delve deeper into audience demographics and better understand how each of your posts and campaigns drive engagement.
- Content management system analytics: Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Hubspot have built-in analytics programmes that provide valuable insights into content performance, user actions and audience demographics.
Understanding your website and social media content performance allows you to create buyer personas. These fictional portraits of your ideal clients will help you create content that speaks to the people most likely to buy your goods or services.
Segment and tailor content
Once you’ve gathered insights using the various analytics tools at your disposal, it’s time to start targeting the various customers you’ve identified using your analytics data.
By segmenting your audience based on the characteristics of each buyer persona, you can analyse how different groups interact with your content. Then, you can use this information to tailor your future strategies based on this behaviour.
Here, you might want to adjust the tone, format or even the topics you cover to better resonate with specific groups within your border audience.
Do some A/B testing
Split testing, usually called A/B testing, allows you to compare two versions of the same content to see which one performs better.
This could be publishing the same landing page and varying the size of the CTA button. Or it could be using different sender names, subject lines or preview text on an email newsletter. It’s usually best to keep the differences to a minimum. This will allow you to more effectively measure the difference in performance of the targeted element.
When you’ve established that one element works better than another, it’s time to adopt that approach and go on to test another dimension.
Continue monitoring and adjusting
Change is the only constant in content marketing. So, it’s essential that you’re consistently reassessing and iterating your strategy to stay on top of trends.
Create a regular cadence for reviewing data based on your specific business cycle. Regular check-ins ensure that you stay informed about your performance and changing audience preferences.
Content marketing analysis in practice
It’s all good and well to read about how to analyse your content marketing data, but putting this theory into practice can be challenging, especially when you’re faced with reams of data that you might not be 100% sure what to do with.
Let’s look at a practical example to get to grips with content marketing analysis.
For a moment, imagine that you own a travel agency.
Looking at your social media analytics platforms, you notice that social media posts featuring user-generated content from guests on their trips attract the most likes, comments and shares. You also realise that posts shared in the early evening get the most engagement.
Based on this, you create a campaign to encourage guests to send holiday snaps that you can share and provide short reviews that you can use as captions.
This strategy sees your likes, comments and shares on social media skyrocket. You increase the following on your social channels and see a proportional increase in website visits and newsletter sign-ups.
Although you get more names on your newsletter subscriber list, you quickly see that your click-through rate begins to decline.
To better understand the problem, you take a look at all of the email subject lines that you’ve used over the preceding months. This helps you to identify the ones that performed well – and those that performed poorly.
You find that shorter subject lines generally do better. And that they’re even more effective when they’re personalised. Based on this, you develop a new email campaign strategy that involves segmenting your audience and sending more targeted emails to each segment.
This, in combination with your new social media strategy encourages more readers to click through to the website and land on pages that are relevant to their travel wants and needs. Which ultimately leads to more sales and a healthier bottom line for your business.
A strategic partnership
Keeping it simple is usually the best approach when it comes to content marketing strategies.
But that can be challenging when you have so much data on hand. Add the ever-changing nature of content marketing to the mix, and things can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly.
Fortunately, that’s where we come in. We can help you understand and apply your content marketing analytics to make data-driven decisions and create content that resonates with your audience and boosts your brand.
Get in touch with our team to explore how we can help optimise your entire digital marketing experience.