Often when I’m writing a piece of content, I ask myself: “Is this worthy of a Pulitzer?”
But then I come down from the clouds and remember that as a content marketer, the Pulitzer isn’t the best gauge of whether the content I create is successful.
Rather, content marketers have specific metrics that can help us understand whether our content is supporting our intended goals.
If winning the Pulitzer for that beautifully written piece isn’t in the cards for you, don’t fret.
Hitting your targets with the following metrics is also a win.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate (CTR) is a ratio of users who click on a specific link to users who view a page, ad or email. The CTR is based on the number of clicks your ad, social post, blog or email got—respectively—divided by the number of views. With ads, for example, people may view them but not click on them.
But you don’t have to bring out the calculator.
Your search console can help you figure out what your CTR is. Different industries have different benchmarks for the CTR. Understanding what your CTR is compared to the industry benchmark is one way to develop a targeted CTR.
Comments and Social Shares
Want to know whether someone’s read or viewed your content? A telltale sign is a comment. If someone leaves a comment on your post, the likelihood is high that they engaged with the content. Comments can give you an idea of how your content is being received by your intended audience.
Comments can also help you understand what’s going on in the mind of your reader or viewer and that alone is beneficial to developing new story ideas. As content marketers, keeping track of your social shares is necessary since social is one of the most important metrics in understanding your earned recognition. Most social media platforms will give you access to your social media metrics, but you can also use third-party tools like Brand24 or Buffer to access social media performance across all your platforms.
Brand Awareness Metrics
For new brands just starting out, follower count is an important one to consider. It’s considered a vanity metric, but as a brand it can help you garner a sense of credibility among your audience. Focus on the social media platform that houses your target audience and aim to grow your connections there.
Unique page views—the times an individual user has view your page.
Page views—the number of times a page on your site is viewed.
Users—the number of people visiting your page.
There are more metrics you can use to measure your content marketing efforts, but I’ve found these ones work well to help me understand whether I’m going in the right direction. It’s also important to not overwhelm yourself with too many metrics. Hone in on the ones that are important to your brand and work your way up from there.
Is our modern life corroding our attention spans?
From when we wake up to when we sleep, many of us are glued to our screens. Often, the content we engage with delivers short bursts of storytelling that satiates our itch for scrolling.
For better or for worse, it’s why some of the content marketing trends for 2023 involve catering to our limited attention spans.
Here are the top five that I’ll be using and I’m seeing being used across other organizations.
Use Short Videos
With more than a billion users, the social media platform TikTok has changed how we digest content. Tiktok popularized short videos that offer engaging content–a trend that is becoming popular on other platforms, too.
Users today are watching 19 hours of video content on average every week. Short-form video now accounts for 80 percent of all mobile data traffic.
And B2B marketers are noticing. If you’re looking to deliver your story, video is king in 2023. Keep your videos short, to the point and your audience will thank you for it through greater engagement.
Remember, People Over Algorithms
Since the birth of Google, optimizing content using SEO has always been important. But writing content riddled with specific keywords alone isn’t enough for your blog posts or case studies to succeed on any algorithm. Google can recognize when your copy is written for humans versus algorithms. It’s why you must always write content with your audience top of mind. Search engines come second.
URL rankings are great, but so is your content’s click-through rates and engagement metrics.Keep that in mind when creating content for your clients or organization.
Humanize Your Storytelling
Being genuine as a person is a great trait, and it’s no different for brands. In one study, 94 percent of people polled said they would stay loyal to a brand that is transparent. And 75 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for services or products coming from an organization that is honest and genuine.
Skip the hard sales pitches when telling your organization’s story. Focus on the value your products and services bring to customers and illustrate that value through real, human examples in your storytelling.
This trend gained more traction after the pandemic when people began seeking out brands that came across as relatable rather than on some high pedestal.
Monetize Your Content
During my MBA, I wrote a paper on a financial services organization that runs like a newsroom. As a former journalist, I was intrigued. These days, we are seeing many brands creating content like they’re media companies.
Organizations are creating membership fees behind which customers can access pertinent content. This monetization of content is becoming more popular with the rise of influencer culture and large organizations can take advantage of this, too.
Just keep track of your content through specific metrics and KPIs to see where you’re seeing results.
The User Experience Matters
Great content is one thing, but if you’re delivering it to audiences on an interface that’s difficult to navigate, customers will likely move on.
I’ve found A/B testing helps with this, especially when considering placement of images and structuring your content.
Also consider factors like page-load speed and mobile layout & performance.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.