There seems to be a great difference between what content marketers want to achieve and what they actually measure. A survey of B2B and B2C marketers this spring has revealed that the most common goal (73%) of content marketers is brand awareness. Most of them (69%) use page views and unique visitors to measure the success of a content.
However, these factors are typically used for selling ad space and are not meant for measuring brand awareness. In other words, most brands have been measuring their content the wrong way. Moreover, page views and visits are easy to understand and it was hard to track the other behaviors of website visitors. In today’s post, The Website Marketing Group will share seven points to help you get a better picture of how your content shapes your relationship with your readers.
1. Brand Leverage
“Brand leverage” is the wider term for a brand’s increase in customer or audience perception. How to measure brand leverage differs with each campaign, company, or industry, but some common factors are: increased brand awareness, brand recall, customer purchase intent, and customer affinity for a brand. However, the question is how do you measure something that seems to be so closely tied with your audience’s intentions and feelings? There are ways to quantify how they feel about your brand. Google AdWords uses customer surveys to measure it for their clients. You can utilise reader surveys to identify the increment and purchase intent for their sponsored content, but they also measure “social brand leverage,” which is the increase in brand leverage after being exposed to their content via social media. Given that most marketers want to boost brand awareness, it makes sense for them to start defining what “brand leverage” means for each of their campaigns and how they should measure it.
2. Allocated Time
While brand leverage measures the general way your campaigns are performing, a specific metric like engaged time can help you look at how well individual pieces of content are performing. The fact is, only 27% of marketers track how much time their users spend on their content, and in our survey, just 43% of respondents said they were examining time spent. Still brands are starting to catch on. Engaged reading time is one of the primary metrics that Coca-Cola uses to measure the success of their sponsored content, and engaged time is the primary metric that you can use to measure the success of brand-sponsored content.
Unlike other time-based metrics like “time spent on page” or “time spent on site,” which typically measure the amount of time content pages are open, measuring engaged time is much more involved. Basically, engaged time measures the amount of time users spend actively paying attention to your content. Are they viewing it in an active window, or is it left waiting in a background tab of a user’s browser? Are they scrolling, clicking, or interacting with the content in any way? This metric can tell you which of your stories captivate audiences the most. Knowing this is essential because the more time a user spends engaging with your content, the more likely they are to come back and read more.
3. Average Finish
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Average finish is the number that tells you exactly if your readers skip, giving you the percentage of people who actually finish reading your page. Like engaged time, this is best used to measure how engaging an individual piece of content is. Latest study from Microsoft Research found that the first 10 seconds a user spends on a page are crucial in getting them to stay longer. This means that if your average finish is low, especially among the users you want to engage, perhaps you can audit the 10-second impression that your content makes, and enact changes that encourage people to keep reading.
4. Returning Visitors
Getting your target visitors to check out your content once is not enough. You need to keep them coming back and turn engaged readers into loyal readers. This is where the “returning visitors” metric comes in. How many of your readers come back? More importantly, how do they behave differently from your single-visit readers? Unlike visitors or page views, which often reflect a disproportionate amount of new visitors, looking at the amount of returning readers and their behavior can help you focus on how to acquire and retain them.
5. Visitor Loyalty
Relevant to your returning users is visitor loyalty. Visitor loyalty tells you how often people revisit your site within a week, month, or within any specific period. In Google Analytics, this metric is called “frequency” and is paired with “recency”—how many days it takes for a user to revisit your site. Visitor loyalty leads to a snowball effect, since the more visitors return to your site, the more loyalty you can expect in the long run. According to a study of Vulture.com’s reader loyalty, visitors who came to the site five times in a month were more likely to keep regularly returning to the site.
How long does your content keep reaping rewards? This is the question that longevity attempts to answer. Every status update, blog post, or video has a period of time where they bring in results. If you think the immediate results from your email campaigns are less important, try looking at it from a longer time frame. How long do your landing pages keep bringing in new sign ups? How long do your blog posts bring in new engaged readers? How long do people keep viewing your videos? The more you know about how long your content brings in active engagement, the more informed you’ll be when planning your publishing schedule.
7. Email Engagement
60% of marketers state that email marketing is producing a positive ROI. Someone opening your email for a second is measured on the same level as someone opening your email for 30 seconds. This view is limited because half (51.1%) of those opens last for less than two seconds. This is why it’s important to also track your email engagement data, if you can.
Email analytics tools like Litmus track email engagement based on how many seconds your email was left open. An email is marked as “glanced” if it was open for a maximum of two seconds, “skimmed” if it was open between two to eight seconds, and “read” if left open for longer than that. While this approach has some limitations, with enough analysis and testing it can still provide a deeper understanding of how your audience engages with your email, and what you need to do to improve that engagement.
While the above points are not mandatory, they do provide far more insight than simply looking at page views, visits, or likes. If you truly want to raise awareness and build deeper relationships, start tracking your metrics right away.