The only way to know that your content marketing is effective is by measuring the results. The difficulty is choosing the right digital tools for the job. To track all aspects of your content marketing strategy, you need to create a toolbox.
Content Performance Metrics to Track
Before picking any tools, decide what metrics are most relevant to measure your content marketing ROI. The goal of your strategy will determine what contributes to results. Metrics can relate to:
- SEO — How your content optimization efforts impact search results.
- Exposure — How many people see your content, how they see it, and whether they are sharing it with others on social media.
- Engagement — How long people spend on pages, bounce rate, scroll depth, likes, and comments.
- Conversions — From visitor to lead and from lead to customer.
You should track metrics on web pages (including landing pages), email campaigns, social media posts, premium content offers, and more. In other words, any CONTENT you put out there.
Tool Box for the Pros
HubSpot serves many purposes, including working as a CRM, improving sales, and automating processes. In terms of content marketing ROI, it covers three areas: SEO (providing analysis optimization for each of your pieces of content), leads (how they reached you, how they reacted to your content, and how they behave on your site), and brand mentions.
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tools, not least because all its features are free. It is excellent whether you have never tracked a single metric before or you are an experienced coder and you want to create your own criteria to monitor very specific metrics. For content marketing purposes, you can track traffic, bounce rate, and many other metrics related to ROI.
Another of the most well-known tools, Kissmetrics is also one of the most expensive at $220 per month, not including training. It is an excellent choice for turning your data into understandable information. Kissmetrics offers a comprehensive service, allowing you to follow users’ behavior, generate leads, track the URLs of your content, and measure conversions.
Hotjar is all about monitoring the behavior of individual visitors to your website. You see how they interact with content by looking where they click, how they scroll, and even how they move the cursor across the page. This will help you make improvements to your content, enhance the usability of pages, and fix errors. With the free version, you receive up to 2,000 page views per day.
Analytics from AddThis enable you to examine how your content is being shared, including who is sharing it and where. You will also receive data about who is following you, how related posts are performing, and conversions. You can even set up AddThis to send you alerts when important changes occur.
You may know Bitly as a URL shortener, but it is also a click reporting tool. Bitly is especially suited to Twitter and other platforms where you want to post concise URLs and track clicks to understand how each URL is impacting your website traffic.
With Hootsuite, you can manage the analytics for your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram accounts in one place. The free version has limited features, but paid plans come with an optional free trial. In either case, you will see your social engagement data in real time and will be able to track brand mentions over different time periods.
Almost all social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools for free. Some are far better than others. Tools offer anything from detailed information about how users interact with your content to just basic statistics on views, likes, and shares. Some of the tools that fall into the category of built-ins include:
- Facebook Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- YouTube Analytics
- Instagram Insights
- Pinterest Analytics
- LinkedIn Analytics
- Google+ Influence
The main purpose of BuzzSumo is to find social media influencers, but it also allows you to measure engagement, track backlinks to pieces of content, and monitor mentions of your brand. The free trial version offers many features, but if you want the full version you need to pay at least $79 per month.
Also Read: How Social Media Can Generate B2B Leads
Visibility and Ranking Drills
The SEO toolkit from Moz allows you to run a site audit, conduct keyword research, optimize pages, and build links. The tool reads your data for you and provides actionable insights on how to fix your website, become more competitive, or simply improve your content.
SEMrush is a favorite tool for SEO experts. It allows you to find out what your competitors are doing and improve your SEO efforts accordingly. For instance, you can track competitors’ backlinks, see what their best performing keywords are, and find out what they are doing with their ad campaigns. In addition, you can check your own performance and make changes to your strategy by tracking traffic, links, and brand mentions. SEMrush also comes with its own keyword research tool.
SpyFu is much like SEMrush, but it is aimed just at SEO specialists rather than anyone engaged in content marketing. It is particularly useful for keyword ranking data and for monitoring backlinks.
Having too many tools in your toolbox is just as bad as having none at all, as you’ll only be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data. Make sure you reach a balance by receiving the information you need to make smart decisions without becoming buried in data.