Analyzing the Marketing Value of Onsite Resources
As a business, your primary marketing priority is, of course, your products. Those sales keep you afloat and fulfill key user needs. As you establish a core customer base, however, how do you keep them coming back? Businesses need to offer something new or supplementary to build customer loyalty, sustain site traffic and further develop your reputation as a high-value brand. And this is where your onsite resources come into the picture.
Your onsite resources are a valuable tool for keeping the line of communication open with clients and maintaining your reputation during lulls in the formal business process. If you’re going to make the most of these tools, however, you can’t just create them and hope for the best. No, you need to set goals and measure the performance of those supplementary materials if they’re going to benefit your entire operation.
These three KPIs pair with different design styles and can help you assess how well your add-ons are performing.
Time on Page
Time on page is a common KPI, described by the marketers at Vertical Measures as a key way of measuring user engagement. Historically, sites have used this measure to determine if their blog content was interesting, if people were reading sales offers, or even to measure the value of news-style content. Similar principles apply when using time on page to measure the effectiveness of supplemental resources.
At IncFile, a company whose primary business is helping small businesses incorporate, supplemental material both attracts new customers and assists current ones — and time on page is a vital measure in both cases. For example, their page on forming an LLC in Florida provides a step-by-step breakdown explaining the process, followed by an array of links to added resources. IncFile, then, has the ability to measure both time on page for the initial post and clickthrough and bounce rates for the resources that follow — and that information can be used to measure conversion rates.
Counting on Downloads
For many companies, supplementary resources are designed to go beyond the page and into the real world — users are encouraged to download them. Downloadable resources are a powerful format for customers because it’s very easy to measure how many users select the file. And unlike some measures — including time on page, which may count false-positives because a user left the page open on their computer, for example — downloads are targets of intention. In both cases, though, the user activity is a measure of overall engagement.
Scholastic, the publisher of such well-known books as "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and "The Magic School Bus," is recognized for their educational resources, but at first glance, their Teacher’s Tool Kit page appears to consist largely of blog posts.
Look further, though, and you’ll find countless downloadable lesson plans. These individual files allow Scholastic to measure the efficacy of individual lessons, teaching styles, and topics, as well as what age group’s lessons are downloaded most frequently. That’s a lot of data packed into each interaction.
Measure by Media Type
Though the majority of content marketing focuses on written materials, modern outreach demands a multimedia approach. Videos, infographics, and other visually enticing content hold user attention longer and can convey a greater amount of information with fewer words. They can be harder to measure, however.
When it comes to developing KPIs for non-standard content types, you may need to combine several different data points. For example, you might try launching video via both website and social media platforms and comparing engagement rates. Social media analytics can provide greater real-time feedback and direct user commentary than onsite variants of the same material. With video, you should also measure the length of video watched and determine when viewers tend to bounce out so that you can maximize content within the limited view time.
Don’t undercut your supplementary resources by ignoring the resultant data — you invested time and money into creating those tools for your customers. Now, take the time to apply the same key metric you would use to measure activity on the rest of your site to assess this content and then use it to enhance your monetized offerings. There’s a lot you can learn from those add-ons if you take the time to read more deeply.