You measure it.

But here’s the problem—according to the Content Marketing Institute, over half of marketers don’t do this and are unclear on how effective their content marketing efforts really are.

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In a lot of cases, marketers start their content marketing efforts without first getting clarity on what they want to achieve. This makes it very difficult to track, measure, monitor, and analyze all the data gathered because there are no clear benchmarks that indicate real success.

So, to answer your question, I’ll go over a few simple ways you can determine whether the money you put into your content marketing efforts is actually delivering results:

1. Determine Your Real Objectives for Content Marketing

Your goals for content marketing should serve as a guide for all your efforts. It will show you which marketing channels you should focus on, determine posting frequency across different platforms, and identify what you want to achieve in reaching your customers. By understanding your objectives, you get a clear picture of what you should track and measure. Are you looking to increase Facebook followers? Get more engagement on Instagram? More retweets on Twitter? More comments on your blog posts? Whatever it is, identifying your objectives gives you clear goals to work towards.

2. Do a Comprehensive Audit On Your Possible Traffic Sources

You have to set a baseline by which you can analyze your content marketing efforts. This entails taking stock of where you stand across all platforms, checking how much traffic each brings you. This will give you a better understanding of how your efforts are going as well as a benchmark from which to observe growth. I would advise that you monitor social traffic, organic search traffic, direct traffic, email traffic, referral traffic, and if you’re advertising, paid traffic as well.

You can use Google Analytics or Ahrefs to do this.

3. Regularly Check Your Metrics

Once you’ve done the above, you now have better insight into how your audience consumes and interacts with your content. For social media, this is quite easy. A good starting point would be to study the analytics tools that each platform offers, which includes sharing and engagement numbers that help you determine how each person interacts with everything that you publish. On your website, be sure to track your bounce rates, time on page, and conversions. There are more elements that you can track, but these are the basics that should give you a reliable baseline from which you can measure future success.

Tracking and measuring metrics can be quite confusing if you’re new to content marketing. So, give yourself time to get familiar with the different analytics for each platform. Of course, if you have the option to do so, it would be good to explore having a separate company who’s more familiar with the ins and outs of content marketing analytics do the heavy lifting for you. They can take responsibility for checking the data and translating it so you get reports that are simple and easy to understand. From here, you can easily take action depending on the results.

There you have it. Hope my answer helps! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via Leadspanda