How to Measure Content Marketing in Context With Social Media

Content marketing has traditionally been a difficult thing to measure. As a content marketer, this has its ups and downs.

On the upside, as long as you’re producing some kind of traffic, you can lean heavily on word-of-mouth and referral traffic as your by-product.

On the downside, it’s hard to defend your decisions if you don’t have good metrics to back you up.

As a content marketer for a social analytics company, I work with other data-driven marketers, executives, and teams. Trust me when I say that I can appreciate this dilemma. Every person I work is a black belt in Excel-Fu. But that doesn’t mean I give up on measuring and proving success.

Content marketing is becoming more and more central to digital marketing strategies, especially for B2B companies. This recent infographic from the CMO Council shows a fundamental connection between a solid and informative B2B content strategy and vendor selection.

1266201_10151676047186234_1857351028_oKnowing how important your content can be to potential customers, how do you identify the wins and losses of your programs? And how do you showcase growth and success to your boss? Google Analytics is a great tool, but content marketing is so closely tied to social sharing and virality across the web that it can be hard to get the full picture within the constraints of Google Analytics.

When measuring the success of your content, and creating the strategy for new ones, here are some key metrics for measuring the way your content bridges the gap between your social audience and your sales objectives.

Social Shares

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While your content may be used for paid campaigns, SEO purposes, and partnerships, there’s a massive potential to drive traffic through social channels. Your social audience can also be one of the truest barometers for the quality of your content. What are they sharing? What are they interested in? This is good insight for validating your work, but can also be crucial as you plan and create more. Driving traffic and leads becomes a much more difficult task when your content isn’t being shared.

Visits

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Those social shares are only as good as the traffic they’re driving. Sure, your last link was retweeted 13 times and favorited 20, but did it drive any visits to the post? If specific content was shared by influencers that helped drive traffic to your site, you can determine what about that post attracted those visits.

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Match those social shares to the content and days where traffic peaked. This can help focus your analysis on actual deliverables you control. What worked? What didn’t? What can you focus on to keep those social shares coming and visits growing.

Conversions

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Chances are your boss cares more about the bottom line. What leads did your content drive? You had a lot of activity on Twitter, but did it it actually convert into measurable goals that we can pair with ROI? By looking at the entire process from initial tweet, down to definable conversion goals on your website, you’re able to quantify your social, content, and lead generation metrics in a real way that can be showcased across your company.

How can I get these reports?

To see how Simply Measured’s integration with Google Analytics can help you simplify this funnel and create a strong connection between your social programs, content creation, and lead generation goals, take a look at our full suite of socially focused, presentation ready Google Analytics reports, and sign up for a FREE 14 Day Trial to see the real impact of your programs.

Learn More About Content Measurement with Simply Measured

Kevin Shively

Kevin Shively

I run the Inbound team at Simply Measured. Basically, I tell stories. My job is to share our content, messages & products with the internet. You're welcome internet.

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  • MBethK

    Great article, but you have an extra apostrophe in your first sentence.

    • Kevin Shively

      Thanks! Updated now.

  • kkendall

    Liked the article, any similar insights for B2C ?

    • Kevin Shively

      Working on a follow up with that in mind. Should be up next week some time. Any particulars you’d like to see focused on?

      • kkendall

        Great news, looking forward to the follow up. Maybe insights around “trusted content”. Thoughts on types of content including user-generated, brand-generated, etc.