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Online Marketing : Action Over Reaction

6 keys to evaluating your content marketing efforts

January 2013 By Rob Yoegel
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Every marketing program needs to be measured to uncover whether it's resonating with the right audience. From direct mail and direct response television (DRTV), to online display advertising and social media, it's become commonplace to say, "If you can't measure it, you shouldn't do it." The same holds true in content marketing.

It's not just about keeping score—putting together spreadsheets or dashboards with charts that show more website traffic or a lower bounce rate won't cut it. You need to take what you learn and integrate the results into a long-term game plan that helps drive engagement, business and virality.

3 Metrics That Matter
Author, speaker and content strategist Jay Baer does an incredible job describing four key metrics that every content marketer should measure. Baer focuses on analyzing content consumption, sharing, leads and sales.

What Baer suggests can be broken down further to metrics that drive "actions," rather than "reactions." Why is this important? Because the time you spend evaluating the performance of your content marketing efforts should provide the insights you need to identify and fix whatever is under-performing, as well as help make your successes even better.

Our team has taken Baer's suggestions and drives actions with the help of Google Analytics Conversion Goals. Here's an overview of three metrics we pay close attention to:

1. Goal completions by content type. (i.e., e-books, webinars, case studies, etc.). The content we create takes time and energy to produce. Looking at how well content pieces perform by type and title allows us to adjust where we focus our attention based on what visitors actually want to consume, rather than what we think they want.

2. Visits and goal completions by traffic source. Although we don't require registration for visitors to access everything we create, each asset that is "gated" gets its own landing page. We use some basic URL tracking parameters to source traffic from tens of thousands of visitors, which helps us understand where to spend more time and money to promote our content.



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