Content marketing’s golden metric

By Kath Walters @kathwalters

If you are in the content marketing game, you are a publisher. You are creating regular, trustworthy and timely content for your customers and potential customers in order to win their trust and build a market for your product or services.

So why, I wonder, are companies confused about which metrics they need to measure to capture data about their return on investment?

Only 20% of content marketers believe they are successfully measuring ROI, according to a recent survey of 251 Australian respondents by the Content Marketing Institute and Association of Data Driven Marketing (ADMA).

In addition, just 24% of marketing professionals judge their own content marketing to be ‘effective’ or just 5% say ‘very effective’, the survey found.

Publishers measure only one metric – how many readers they have (circulation) – and that is the most important metric for content marketers to measure, too.

The survey reveals a fatal flaw in many content marketing programs, says Joe Pulizzi, the founder of CMI. “By far number one metric content marketers measure is website traffic [60%],” he says. “It is a meaningless metric.”

The most important metric – growing subscribers – ranked at the bottom (32%). “It is a little troubling,” Pulizzi says.

Many companies make three fundamental mistakes when it comes to building their list of subscribers. Here they are:

1.     Their content does not match the needs and interests of their customers and prospects. They are (still) trying to use content marketing to sell, and not to engage.

2.     It’s too hard to subscribe – the subscriber box is hidden, subscribers are asked too many questions (email only), or the instructions are not clear.

3.     There is no free offer to tempt subscribers over the line. Email addresses are currency. Our inboxes are overflowing, and we are increasingly choosy about who we invite into them. Every subscription offer should include a free e-book, or another offer of value to your new subscriber.