When you start deep diving on the topics of content marketing, thought leadership, and the shareable marketplace, one topic you tend to run into is the idea that all of these new ways of marketing your business and building your brand may not lead directly to more sales. So the important question becomes, how do you track your content management strategy, and determine whether or not you're doing it right?
The first thing you must do is determine what you're going to measure. Do you want to see social media engagements? On which platform? Do you want comments on your blog, or subscriptions on your newsletter? Downloads of a white paper or ebook that you have on your site?
Choose the specific metric that you're going to try and shift, and then determine how you're going to shift it.
Study what you're already doing
To know if you're successfully making changes, you have to know what you're doing right now. Take a look at recent social media posts, or blog posts, or email signups. What numbers are you hitting right now? Which posts have already done what you want? Why do they stand out from other posts? Did you ask a different type of question, use a different form of media, or share the post at a different time of day from your usual normal?
Once you know what you're already doing right, you'll have a better idea of where you can make improvements.
Look for places to standardize your content
The best social media campaigns look like they're driven by inspiration and whim, but behind the scenes, are carefully crafted for success. Develop an editorial calendar, schedule your posts, and carefully study which keywords are going to drive engagement on your site. Don't just use keywords that people are already searching; be proactive. Determine what keywords you want to have drive traffic to your website, and create content that drives customers from searches to your pages.
Use the tools available to you
There are a variety of tools that the savvy Internet marketer can use to determine which keywords are already ranking, the likely success of marketing campaigns, and where your pages are ranking on the major search engines. While you can use a variety of tools for their different, specialized jobs, there are also platforms available, such as Intalyse, which allow you to see all of these different features in one place.
Evergreen content is just as important as news
There are two kinds of crucial content; timely, news based content, and evergreen, consistent content. When you craft your evergreen content–such as your service descriptions, About Us page, and contact us links, remember that these are also opportunities to rank on social media and search results. Small changes, such as writing your about us page from the third person (she and he) instead of first (I) can help your name rank in search engine pages, increasing your findability.
Bring it all together
As humans, we love measurements. We love metrics and increases because they let us feel a sense of control over something that can seem uncontrollable. It's important to remember, therefore, that all of these strategies to improve your content marketing and drive your brand are important, but ultimately, none of it will save your business if you're selling a product that isn't worth what your customers are paying for It, or if their experience once they buy is substandard. Before you drop a ton of money into your marketing budget line, make sure that your product is the absolute best that it can be.
What do you think is the best measure of content strategy success? Tell us in the comments!