5 Interactions to Gauge the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing Campaign
- Anna Johansson
- February 20, 2017
Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing, but it doesn’t achieve that status by default. Starting a content marketing campaign is a bit like a tree falling in the woods with nobody around to hear it; only when you start gaining active participation does it begin to take on meaning. That participation can then tell you things about the quality and direction of your strategy, serving as a form of feedback.
Interactions, therefore, are both a measure of how currently effective your campaign is and an indication of where your campaign should grow. They’re vitally important for gauging the health and diagnosing the needs of your content, but only if you know what to look for.
These five interactions are some of the most important you’ll find:
Comments are first-line responses that can tell you how interesting your content is, how engaging it is, and what people’s first reactions are. Though not always a perfectly reliable indicator, as a general rule, more comments means your content is more interesting to a greater number of people. A blog post without comments may mean that your content isn’t interesting enough, and a change in topics or depth of exploration may be in order. However, this is also dependent on the amount of traffic currently going to your site; if you don’t have a heavy enough user flow, you obviously won’t get any comments. Look to comments for qualitative evaluations of your work, as well—users may praise you for bringing certain details to light, ask follow-up questions that indicate further interest, or request new or different information you originally neglected to include.
Likes and Reactions
Likes and reactions are subtle gestures that occur exclusively on social media platforms (unless you’re publishing on a client that hosts a similar feature). Though it’s not productive to use “likes” as a direct, quantitative measure of your content’s quality, you can use it as a comparative basis for determining how engaged your audience is with one piece versus another. The recent addition of Facebook reactions adds another layer to this evaluative process; though still not in widespread use, you can use these reactions to gauge how effective you were in conjuring specific user emotions. If you notice certain post types getting more reactions than others, pursue more posts along these lines.
Shares are another social-specific measure of your article’s success, but rather than evaluating how engaging your content is or how interesting it is, they measure your article’s viral potential. People share articles when they discover something unique and practical, or something that makes them feel a powerful emotion. As a rule, you should strive to create content that achieves one of these goals, as earning a high number of shares means greater visibility, greater traffic, and more authority for your site. If your content isn’t getting enough shares, it means you might have “good” content—but it isn’t giving users enough feeling or utility for them to share it with their own followers.
Discussions tend to occur on the social media syndication side of content marketing, and indirectly measure your article’s status as a leadership piece. People tend to discuss “new” topics, and those worth debating, and you should strive to inject yourself into both these realms. Though not every post you write needs to be controversial, or needs to be a “landmark” piece, at least some of your posts should generate a discussion thread among your followers. This, in turn, generates more visibility and notoriety for your brand.
Finally, you should measure your content’s ability to convert readers. No matter how good your onsite content is or how genuinely you care about aiding your audience, at the end of the day, your content is a tool to help your site generate more revenue. If your articles are drawing people in, but those people aren’t converting, there’s a hiccup in your system that needs to be proactively addressed. You can set up Goals in Google Analytics or track your conversions on the back end of your site; however you choose to do it, take note of the tactics and placement of your most successful articles, and change something if your strategy fails to encourage more conversions over time.
There are three tenets these interactions similarly demand: accurate measurement, active monitoring, and actionable evaluation. If you can do these three things for each of the above interactions, you’ll have no problem understanding exactly where your campaign stands, and exactly what you need to do to help your campaign grow. Remember, your followers and readers are the ones responsible for making your efforts a success; don’t make the mistake of ignoring them.
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