What you know about how well your digital content is performing is directly related to how well you analyze that performance. The same is true of everything you have online from your website and its pages to specialized content of any kind. If you don’t have key performance indicators (KPIs) there is nothing to drive the collection of relevant measurement of effectiveness or impact.
Many of our clients post content such as video or imagery online but don’t follow its effectiveness with even the most basic and easily available analytics on how or if it was viewed. While the main digital channels like Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter give you immediate numbers, they can be downright misleading. You owe it to your investment in these digital tactics to dig deeper. This same issue holds true on a much larger scale with your entire digital strategy; if you don’t analyze, you don’t know if it’s working.
These 7 KPIs are the ones we think are the most important to apply to your posted articles, videos, info graphics, and other tactical content in your digital marketing initiatives.
1 UNIQUE VISITS tell you how many people looked at your content over a given amount of time. It’s pretty much the standard measure but remember that what piece of your content they are looking at is important because some pieces of your work contributes more to your overall success than others.
2 MOBILE VIEWING is growing in importance by day, so how many unique visits are you getting on mobile, and on which mobile platform is key to optimizing your content as you move forward.
3 WHERE ARE THEY? If you you only do business in Canada, views from the US or Europe can tell you a lot. Are we reaching enough of the Canadian audience? Should we be doing business in another country?
4 BOUNCE RATE AND TIME SPENT on your content is critical. Depending on who measures it and how it’s computed, bounce rate tells you how long people stayed with your content. Normally, it indicates if someone stayed past the initial page they reached and time spent is critical to understanding the viewing of a video or other content. It can also show you if they engaged on that page and even which parts of it.
An example is views on videos posted to your Facebook page. Because the videos start automatically as soon as someone scrolls over the video in their newsfeed you will see them show up as a viewer. Digging deeper however, you can see how long they viewed and in many cases, a significant number of your views are only a few seconds long. While it does show you the reach (how many real opportunities there were for people to view your video) only the deeper analytics will show you how many of them actually watched the video.
Google Analytics does decent reporting on bounce rates but other tools measure differently and in some cases in more useful ways.
5 HOW ARE THEY ENGAGING with your content? Tools like Mouseflow and Crazy Egg show you incredible detail, even down to tracking viewers’ mouse movement on your pages. They generate heat maps that clearly illustrate how viewers are engaging with your content.
6 COMMENTS are the risk and the opportunity in real engagement. Fortunately, you don’t need specialized tools to look at one of the clearest indicators of how your viewers are feeling about what you put online. The best advice you can get is don’t block the conversations, take them as the opportunities to have meaningful interaction with the target audiences that they truly are. Nothing else will so quickly and clearly show you what’s working and what needs your serious attention.
7 WAS IT SHARED? Sharing is a great way to expand the reach of your content and best of all, because those shares are by people who appreciated your content, it usually goes to others in your core audience. Sharing widgets like these are a great way to make sharing simple and at any moment they show you how much sharing is taking place.
Regardless of the goal of your digital marketing efforts, measuring all aspects of your content marketing and social media marketing against these KPIs will help you focus and tune your content. That’s as true for an advocacy or a fundraising campaign as it is for someone selling cars. You must ensure your communications or marketing resources can tell you how well your digital is performing in these metrics.