You’re Not Measuring the Right Metrics

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Think click-through rates and social media likes are what you should be monitoring? You’re actually measuring your metrics backwards.

Here’s what you should be dissecting in your next analytics report.


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If you’re a marketer, you keep track of your metrics. Whether you’re the one creating the reports, analyzing the numbers or relying on the stats for your next campaign strategy, metrics are a regular part of the marketing process.

I don’t need to tell you that. And I don’t need to tell you that measuring these metrics matters.

What I do need to tell you is that you’re measuring the wrong metrics.

What Your Zero Twitter Following Count Says About You Blog Post via KLWightman.com

Let me ask you this: What numbers do you dissect when the analytics report is ready? Email opens and click-through rates? Twitter retweets, Facebook likes and LinkedIn shares? Views on your blog? Landing page conversion rates?

This is a channel-focused approach to measuring metrics because it analyzes the success of the medium in which the marketing is delivered.

But this is the wrong way to go.

Don’t get me wrong. These measurements do matter. But they’re either symptoms of a bad campaign or signs of a great marketing strategy.

This is What You Should Be Measuring

Take a look at your most successful numbers. Examine the most popular tweets and blog posts. Study the words on your best performing landing pages and emails.

Are there patterns on topics that resonate well with your audience? Are there subjects that can’t keep the interest of your audience, no matter how hard you try?

This is what you should be measuring: The content of your campaigns.

A content-focused approach to marketing means analyzing the message behind the campaign that’s delivered. It means to study how the root of your marketing campaign affects its performance on digital marketing channels.

Digital Marketing Isn’t Just Tweets

When someone outside of marketing asks us what we do for a living, we say we do social media, emails and digital ads. We don’t oversimplify because we have low confidence in what we do but to rather find a common ground between insider and outsider to explain the complexity of marketing.

Sadly, that’s like saying a software developer does code or a psychologist does therapy sessions. This isn’t exactly what they do—it’s how they deliver their message.

Yet this is how we think of marketing. We reduce digital marketing to social media, blog posts, online ads and email campaigns. But this is just the way we deliver it.

Marketing is the core message behind the content. Digital marketing channels are the way we deliver that message.

Shouldn’t we start measuring the success of our marketing first from its core?

How Do You Measure That?

Measuring the success of your marketing from a content perspective means doing these two things: A content audit, then a content analytics report.

Content Audit

Is Your Ego Sabotaging Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Divide all the delivered marketing messages by topic. That means grouping blog posts, social posts, digital ads and emails by subject matter, not channel.

Next, study the metrics. Which topics—not channels—have the highest visit rates, lead rates and conversion rates?

This is how you identify which content attracts the most business and audience attention.

Moving forward, label all content by topic (I recommend color-coding for a visual representation) before delivered it via marketing channel. This will help you measure your metrics in the future by content success (or failure).

Content Analytics Report

If you know how to compile reports on your analytics, you already have the basics down. Now it’s about switching the perspective on how you analyze those numbers.

To measure your metrics from a content-focused approach, study these three factors:

  1. Visits per Topic: How much traffic does each topic generate? This includes webpage visits, blog post reads, email opens and digital ad clicks.
  1. Lead Rate: What topics generate the most leads? This focuses on how many opted to receiving communication from you such as email and blog subscriptions as well as social media follows and landing page forms. It helps to keep track of this number on a regular basis through your CRM.
  1. Customer Rate: What topics converted leads into customers? This can be calculated by dividing the number of customers by the number of leads for that topic within a designated timeframe. You’ll probably need to consult your CRM for this data.

Last Thoughts

The Real Reason Why Content Marketing Strategies Fail

It’s easy in marketing to get caught up in the numbers and channels. But we often lose sight of the reason why we do marketing: Customer engagement.

By taking a content-focused approach to measuring metrics, you put the spotlight back on your audience. When our marketing strategy is stuck, we must first turn to the needs and wants of our potential and current customers as well as how to better nurture these connections.

For isn’t that why we’re in marketing?

It’s time to get analytical. Does your marketing team take a channel-focused or content-focused approach to measuring metrics? How is this working for you? Share your stories and strategies below.

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