Measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing can be difficult. Sometimes, “views”, “bounce rate”, and “conversions” don’t tell the full story.
Today, a number of new content marketing metrics are emerging. These metrics help you measure the effectiveness of your content marketing in more ways than ever before. They’re used by BuzzFeed and other major online content distributors.
Let’s take a look at a few of the new metrics you might consider using.
Total Time Reading (TTR)
This innovative metric comes from Medium. It tracks the total amount of time everyone spent collectively reading an article.
For example, if you had 20 people visit your page and they each spent 1 minute reading the article, the TTR would be 20 minutes.
Why measure TTR? Because it helps more effectively measure the outreach and engagement of a post.
For example, a high-quality, informative post with 1,000 pageviews could have more engagement (based on TTR) than a post with 10,000 pageviews.
We live in a world where it’s easy to get views using a funny image, a meme, or something sexy. It’s much harder to get people to stick around and actually read a piece of content.
Measuring Scroll Positions
Medium also has another innovative approach to content marketing metrics: they actually measure the scroll positions of their visitors.
Scroll position refers to someone’s location on a page – like where they’ve scrolled, and how long they’ve stayed there.
Why measure this? As Medium explains,
“…we infer when a reader started reading, when they paused, and when they stopped altogether. The methodology allows us to correct for periods of inactivity (such as having a post open in a different tab, walking the dog, or checking your phone).”
You might see someone spent 55 minutes reading your content. But 54 minutes could have been spent while the content was open in another tab or left ignored on the computer screen.
There’s a plugin called Scroll Depth that tells you how far down a page a visitor has scrolled. The free plugin can be added to Google Analytics to give you an idea of how much of your content people are actually reading.
Are people just reading the first paragraph and then clicking “back”? Are they quickly scrolling to the end of the page to see your final score for a review? Or are they meticulously reading through every word of your content?
If you know someone spent 1 minute reading your page, then that doesn’t mean they read everything. Measuring scroll depth lets you correct for this.
How BuzzFeed Measures Viral Potential
BuzzFeed has a metric you can use to measure the “virality” of your content. This measurement is called Social Lift. It tracks how much traffic to that content comes from referral visitors across social networks, and how much traffic comes from within BuzzFeed itself.
If a post has a lot of traffic coming from outside BuzzFeed, like referral traffic, social media, email, etc., then it suggests people want to share that content.
If a post is mainly visited from within BuzzFeed, it suggests people read it but didn’t feel the need to share it with anybody.
By tracking the most viral posts, you can determine what type of content makes something go viral among your audience.
Your Bottom Line
Ultimately, content marketing, like all marketing, is designed to boost your bottom line.
Ideally, your content will drive brand awareness, increase conversions, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
But sometimes, you can successfully do all of those things without ever making any real money. How much money did you make by increasing your brand’s online presence?
Putting a dollar value on content marketing can be difficult. Sometimes, the results of your marketing might not appear for months or years.
However, you should still be seeing some return on your investment. If that return isn’t there, then it’s time to adjust your strategy.
Let Renew Marketing Optimize your Content Marketing Strategy
For content marketing strategies that deliver real value to your business beyond page views, browse through our blog management and content marketing packages at Renew Marketing.