You’ve probably heard the phrase ’content is king’ more times than you know.
And, don’t get us wrong- it’s true. But, no king can get anywhere without a queen to have his back and support him all the way. When it comes to digital content, content analytics is the queen.
Why? Because one doesn’t work without the other.
That means that producing a lot of new content isn’t going to cut it and help you reach your marketing goals. Instead, you need to go the extra length to analyze the success of your content and build your strategy from thereon.
Content analytics will help you create content wisely and take control over the results it’s making. This article will help you get started with content analytics and understand why it’s as powerful as it is.
Let’s break it down.
What is Content Analytics?
The first thing we need to get out of the way is the definition of content analytics. To know how to use it like a professional, we first need to be fully aware of what it is and what it means to a business.
So, here it is:
Content marketing analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing data about content consumers and their behaviour, engagement, and interaction with digital content such as blogs, social media posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
Simply put, content analytics tells you how the content you’re producing and sharing is working and what types of reactions it manages to evoke in the consumers.
And, it’s a common practice for 94% of the most successful content marketers, according to Content Marketing Institute.
To do so, you need to use different methods of business analytics and tools. Applying them and assessing them repeatedly will give you the insight you need to measure your content results.
Why do You Need to Analyse Your Content?
Maybe you feel like you already know enough about the content you’re sharing. Or, you think that following your instinct will be enough to help you produce powerful content that your audience is going to love.
However, we need to beg the differ.
Analyzing your content will eliminate the guessing and assuming and allow you to make smart decisions based on the facts you have before you.
By doing so, you’ll be helping your business on so many levels.
Here’s why you need to analyse your content:
- to learn about your audience and their preferences
- to know what your competitors are doing
- to keep track of your ranking among competitors
- to stay competitive
- to predict the reactions you wish to evoke
It’s clear that content analytics is beneficial for any business that wants to improve and move forward. This is why you need to learn how to get started with it and what to pay attention to.
What are the Key Steps in Starting with Content Analytics?
Content analytics is a complex process that can’t be finished overnight. Instead, you need to slowly build your way up, paying attention to the key steps we’ll list below.
Setting content goals
What do you want your content to achieve? How do you want your target audience to react?
Choosing the metrics to measure
Which metrics are going to show you if you’re achieving your goal or not? Which metrics should be your top priority?
Analysing the results
What can you learn from the results of your measuring the metrics? What steps are you going to take based on the facts you’ve uncovered?
Below, we’ll further discuss each of the three steps, just like you should once you officially get started with your content analytics.
Setting Content Goals
Before you start measuring the success of your content, you should first set goals you want to achieve. Without clear objectives, you won’t be able to produce meaningful content, let alone keep track of the KPIs (key performance indicators).
So, setting the right goals is the first step you need to take.
There are so many goals you could focus on, and marketers choose:
- raising brand awareness
- generating more leads
- increasing sales
- building credibility and trust
- promoting a new product or service
- educating your audience
Whatever your goal is, start from there. Make sure you’re certain about what you’re aiming for and what you want the end result to be.
Then, after you finish producing and sharing the content you’ve built around that goal, you’ll use content analytics to see whether you’ve achieved it or not.
Content Analytics Basic Metrics
Analyzing your content may seem like a huge challenge for you, especially if you’re just getting started. Luckily, we prepared this guide with total beginners in mind so you’ll be able to take it one step at a time.
The key to effective content analytics is choosing and tracking the right metrics.
For instance, a 2021 marketing report marks that the top three metrics to show the success of a content marketing strategy are sales (62%), web traffic (53%), and social engagement (47%). But, there’s so much more to measure and learn about.
Below, we’ve created a list of the metrics you need to measure in order to answer the burning questions.
No matter how many marketers you ask, the conversion rate is always going to be their top priority and the one indicator of content success everyone relies on. So, what is your conversion rate and why is it so important?
When a person interacts with your content in any way (e.g. clicks an ad, opens an email, views a video) it is called a conversion. So, a conversion rate is a number that shows which percentage of interactions with your content grew to become a conversion.
Let’s say you’ve had 1000 interactions with a social media post and 60 conversions. By dividing the conversions with the interactions, you get your conversion rate, which in this case is 6%.
Your conversion rate helps you:
- learn which content performs better
- make smart ad decisions
- find your most effective content channels
- compare and contrast your campaigns
To measure your conversion rate, you can use any number of tools including Google Analytics, BuzzSumo, HotJar, Optimizely, and many more.
Next on your list of basic metrics to track is the engagement rate of your content. It measures the total amount of engagement or digital activity that a specific piece of content manages to evoke.
For instance, for a social media post, it would be likes, comments, shares, reposts, messages sent- all together.
However, this is such a broad term, and you can bring it down to specific individual engagement metrics that are important for your business.
- Page Views
- Time on Page
- Unique Visitors
- Bounce Rate
- Total Social Shares
Seen as a single entity, most of these metrics wouldn’t help you find out enough about your content.
But, putting them all together in the same context would give you so much useful data and information. That’s why you should always combine the metrics and try to see the bigger picture.
Just because someone spent time on your website, doesn’t mean they’ll become a customer.
It doesn’t even mean they found what they were looking for. They could’ve stumbled upon it by accident and left it as soon as they took a closer look.
So, you need to take a closer look into the user behaviour metrics.
These will tell you how your visitors are spending time on your website, what they find the most interesting, and how they’re interacting with it.
Most commonly, those include:
- total number of users
- new/returning users
- pages per session
- bounce rate
- average time on page
- traffic source
Using these metrics, you’ll be able to uncover the channels and content your visitors like the most. You’ll understand better what makes them stay and read on, and what makes them leave your website.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the oldest rules in the content marketing book. If you want your content to be popular and discovered by your target audience, it needs to rank high in Google. And, to rank high, it needs to be SEO friendly.
This is why you also need to analyze and measure the SEO outcome of your content.
You need to look into:
- organic traffic
- keywords and their ranking
- dwell time
Analyzing how your content stands SEO-wise will give you clear instructions on what to improve and what to focus on, to do better.
Finally, you have to monitor the financial aspect of your content efforts and see whether or not you’re making progress. It’s not necessarily just about increasing sales through content marketing. There are other important revenue metrics to keep an eye on.
So, in order to know for sure if you’re successfully implementing your content marketing strategy, we strongly recommend you measure:
- return of investment (ROI)
- leads nurtured
- leads acquired
- cost per acquisition
- cost per click
All of these metrics combined will give you a clear financial picture and show you exactly what you’re spending and whether it’s worth it.
Analysing the Results
The final step in this process is analyzing the results you’ve got from all the content analyses you did and learning from them.
If you gathered all the right data, as we’ve discussed above, you should be able to answer all the burning questions you didn’t have the answer to before.
Here’s what you’ll be able to learn from your content analysis efforts.
Your target audience may be particularly interested in one type of content and completely indifferent to the other.
You’ll know what content to produce more and what to give up on completely or work on improving.
For instance, you may learn that blogs get you the most conversions and produce the highest ROI. This might inspire you to invest even more in blogging, and hire professional writers such as those at TrustMyPaper, to further boost your blog writing quality.
This might inspire you to invest even more in blogging, and hire professional writers, to further boost your blog writing quality.
Next, you’ll learn about the amount of content that is necessary or enough to satisfy the needs of your consumers. This will prevent you from going into hyper-production and minimizing the effectiveness of your content.
Channels Of Distribution
Is your target audience more active on your website or on social media? If it’s the latter, what social media platforms do they prefer? You’ll know how to answer these and similar questions, to choose the best channels for distributing your content.
In your content marketing efforts, you’ll try out different strategies and create various campaigns. Those that work out the best need to be remembered and repeated when it’s time.
With content analytics, you’ll learn what type of campaign leaves the biggest effect on your audience and why.
The better your content, the better your ranking. If you keep track of the SEO metrics and learn from them, you’ll know how to improve your SEO rankings.
That means that content analytics can help you rank higher with each new report that you write and draw information from.
Consistency is Key
Finally, you need to remember- content analytics is an ongoing process that never stops. You have to keep track of your content over time and cumulate the useful data you’ll use. Then, you can turn back and see how far you’ve come and how did you manage to do it.
So, once you get started, stay consistent and make it a regular practice for your business.
Content analytics is a demanding task that requires a detailed plan and dedication. But, once you start applying it to your content, you’ll see the improved results and the powerful insight you’ll be able to use.
Hopefully, this elaborate guide for content analytics beginners will help you get started. Use it to start planning your content analytics strategy today.