Do you know which of your content efforts benefits your business the most? Is it an eBook that brings in legitimate leads? A client testimonial that turns prospects into believers? A specific blog post that brings a ton of legitimate traffic to your website?
If you know the answer, fantastic! The next question is… do you have enough information to replicate this success?
The truth is many marketers are putting more time and energy into continually creating content than assessing their content’s performance. You can’t treat content like an order it and forget it fast food item and expect to achieve positive long-term results.
The value-menu approach is giving content marketing a bad reputation. In fact, in our discovery phase, we ask, “What metric is most critical to your success?” To which prospects ALWAYS say, “Increase traffic, Convert more visitors to leads, Convert more leads to customers.”
Then, we ask, “What element are you least confident in regarding your plan to meet your growth goals?” To which prospects 90% of the time answer, “content marketing.”
These marketers are coming to an inbound marketing agency with specific content goals, but have zero to very low expectations of content actually working for them. We are on a mission to change this stereotype, because with the right system in place it's simply not true.
How Do You Get Content to Perform?
On average, our clients see a very positive return on their content and inbound marketing investment:
We like to think this is because we’re great at inbound marketing, but we’d be pretty full of ourselves to think we’re the only ones that can get these results. In all honesty, inbound marketing is a marathon, which can be trained for by anyone. The level of performance might vary a bit depending on how well you train, the reality of your goals, the techniques you use, and how many hills you have to climb, but a precise training program can get your content to perform at its peak – and bring you the inbound marketing results you crave. Here’s how:
Start from a Strong Foundation
It’s a proven fact that a strong foundation is the key to achieving long-term success, whether you’re raising a child, applying for college, building a house or running a marathon marketing program. Before you let content loose into the world, make sure it is supported by:
- Personas – so it knows who to speak to, and who to stay away from
- Keyword research – so it knows where to go
- Editorial calendar – so it knows what to say
- Tracking – so it knows how to find its way back home
Coach it Through Challenges
Let’s be honest, not everyone is naturally self-motivated. Sometimes we need a coach to push us along. The same is true for content. The best performing content has a watchful eye helping it rise to the top of search engines, find the right distribution channels, and come out leading the pack. Make sure your content has an inbound strategist, high-quality writer and reliable analytics set up to keep it on the right path.
Measure its Progress
All of your content should be set to goals. Without content marketing goals, it’s impossible to track progress and see what’s working and what isn’t. Blog posts should have keyword and visitor goals. Landing pages should have conversion goals. Social content should have referral and sharing goals. These goals will help you define success and decide what content is performing and what needs to go back into training.
Reward the Winner
All of this training is not to measure the improvement in your bounce rate or keywords. It’s about tracking the performance of content across platforms to determine which topics and type of content to invest in going forward. It’s about gathering data along the way and adjusting your inbound marketing strategy to show real results and positive ROI. So, when you find a winner - like a blog post showing up on page one, ranking for 5 of your target keyword phrases, being shared on social media, driving visitors to the site, and converting visitors to leads because of the CTA it includes – you don’t have to start from scratch. Once you have a champion, you can thank it, pat it on the back, and tell it to get back in the ring and do it again.