What makes a successful content marketing campaign? This can be a difficult question to answer. Content marketing isn’t a finite process with a specific end date in mind – it’s more like a way of life in the business setting. You’ll constantly be offering new content and trying new things, all as part of a never-ending quest to get more leads, more sales and more money. Evaluating the success of your marketing strategy is kind of like evaluating the success of your business overall; it’s a continual process, where new goals are constantly being established, met and reevaluated. The main objective is to always do better today than you did yesterday, with the hope of doing even better tomorrow.
But just because the goalposts are constantly moving doesn’t mean there aren’t some surefire ways to determine if your content marketing strategy is successful. Here are four ways you can evaluate if the strategy is working:
The numbers keep trending up
You never want your website and marketing strategy to take a step back; it should always be moving forward. Things like traffic and leads can lull back and forth a bit – some months will be worse than others – but overall, the numbers need to keep going up. Always try to evaluate your numbers by expanding the scope of your evaluation; for example, don’t look at month-over-month numbers. Instead, try quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year. Has there been a significant jump in traffic since this time last year? That’s an excellent sign. Are your leads improving every quarter? Another great indicator. If your numbers keep rising, you’re doing something right.
The quality of your leads
An important part of content marketing is attracting qualified leads. This is why your content needs to be tailored to your buyer personas – those buyer personas represent the kind of leads you want to get. As you continue to produce content, you should become familiar with the kinds of topics that will attract those qualified leads, which should help your quality leads increase over time. If you find that the quality of your leads hasn’t steadily improved, then you need to reevaluate things. Are you focusing on the right buyer personas? Do you understand your buyer personas well enough? Are you producing content that they want to see?
Sales and revenue are increasing
Of course, let’s not forget the end goal of content marketing and all marketing in general – increasing sales and making money. You’re not running a nonprofit, after all. If you’re not making more money, then your marketing strategy isn’t working. It’s important to have patience in this respect, because content marketing requires a large base of content and it takes time to improve your relevance in the eyes of Google. But if you’ve been utilizing content marketing for a year and don’t find your revenue increasing appreciably, then it’s time to take a good hard look at your marketing efforts.
Social media following
Social media is an integral part of a good content marketing strategy, and your followings on these platforms also take time to grow. If you are dedicated to social media, regularly posting new content there and interacting with your followers, then you’ll begin to see a snowball effect: The larger your following grows, the faster it will continue to grow. You should be getting new social media “likes” and “follows” at a much faster pace than you did a few months ago, and you might even be getting leads from your social media efforts. If neither of these things is occurring, you aren’t being aggressive enough on social media. Don’t treat it as an afterthought – it’s a vital cog in your content marketing machine.