We all know Content is King, we hear it all the time. (Plus, the capital letters make it so.) And while it’s pretty easy to tell a good story from one that's boring, how do you know if “good” travel content is working? Sure, it’s a great read, but did it inspire anyone to jump in the car and visit?
Just like every other marketing tool in your arsenal, content needs to be measured and managed to ensure it’s working as hard as it can for you. Knowing that is the easy part. Figuring out how, well, that’s the rub. There is no magic solution, but measuring the effectiveness of your content is not all hocus-pocus either. The important thing is that you try. Establish some trackable goals, whether they be general KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) like email signups, guide orders, app downloads and site visits, or more specific measurements like landing page traffic resulting from a specific content push. You may change courses several times along the way to measurement success, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Don’t just take my word for it. Here are some words of wisdom from some of Content Marketing Institute’s top minds …
How To Measure the Success of Content Marketing “I start by reminding people that, realistically, there have never been effective ways of measuring most traditional advertising and marketing except at the end of the fiscal year, when you could tell whether you made a profit or not. Only then you could surmise that something must have worked in your communications strategy. Comparatively, we’re presented with a veritable cornucopia of ways to measure success through content marketing. The most important thing is to identify from the outset what will be the metric sought for each content asset or approach utilized. Every metric — from video views, to emails opened, to tweets retweeted, to wall posts shared and, yes, to products and services sold — can then be woven together into a narrative of how well the initiative is (or is not) working. – Russell Sparkman “Audiences speak with their time, so ensure that you report on follower numbers, unique visitors, and anecdotal kudos for reaching out. Put those up against sales lift after three or four quarters to demonstrate performance – taking into account the dozens and dozens of other elements that drive brand performance during the same time, of course.” – Tom Gierasimczuk “There are four types of content marketing metrics: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales. Most marketers overvalue the first two (blog page views and retweets, for example) and undervalue the last two (email subscriptions from people who first read the blog and, ultimately, sales from among that group). If you focus your metrics on behavior, rather than on data aggregation, you’ll be measuring points of greater business value.” – Jay Baer “Content marketing success takes time. Just because you develop a couple of really great articles or blog posts or videos doesn’t mean you’ll convert a lead to a sales opportunity tomorrow. Give it enough time to make a difference. Content marketing is not a campaign with a start and stop date. But you also need to look at what you measure. Clicks and opens are fine, but they are not the true measure for content marketing success. Content marketers must look past initial response to measure sustained levels of engagement and impact.” – Ardath Albee