What’s Working (and What’s Not) in Your Content Marketing?

It’s great to set up Google Analytics for your site. It’s great to have a Facebook business page so you get Insights data.

Of course, analytics don’t do you much good if you don’t stop and look at them from time to time.

Data nerds reading this are like, “Yes!” Everybody else just did a face plant and are now reaching desperately for another cup of coffee (or maybe something stronger?).

ELEMENTARY (low time investment) = just look at the numbers on a regular basis (maybe once a quarter) and ask yourself what they might mean. What popped and what didn’t? That’s a great start.

INTERMEDIATE (high time investment, low cost) = plug those numbers into a spreadsheet. Compare content categories. Go beyond seeing what happened and theorize why.

ADVANCED (low time investment, high cost) = for most of us, this is not DIY. Like accountants, digital marketing analysts do the heavy lifting and go deep to give you an idea of how you’re doing. Hire one (in-house or contract) if you have a complex digital marketing strategy that you need to justify.

What We Did

We’re a small shop serving other small shops, so we didn’t go beyond an intermediate-level look … this time around, anyway.

We:

  1. Defined a 16-month period
  2. Measured each post’s effectiveness using criteria from two sources:
  • Facebook reach (eyeballs) and engagement (clicks)
  • Google Analytics reports of website sessions the week of each post
  1. Categorized posts
  2. Analyzed the results

What We Found

Our most successful category on Facebook was Niche; that is, content targeted to specific audiences like doctors, for example. Only about 8% of our content was in the Niche category, but gave us almost 21% of our entire reach for the period.

Our most successful posts according to Google Analytics were in the Print (products/services) and Content Marketing categories. Our site had 34% more sessions the weeks Print category articles were posted compared with the overall average.

What It Means

A digital marketing analyst would probably have loads more thoughts, but here’s what we came up with.

Takeaway #1 – People like content geared specifically to them. Direct some content fairly often to a specific audience (maybe a certain profession, or social club, or neighborhood, etc.) and expect lots of likes and shares on social media from people who can relate.

Takeaway #2 – Google likes content with popular keywords. Those posts that had broader appeal probably got us a little higher in the search rankings, which boosted our sessions.

Impress Google’s “bots” with broader content and people see you, impress the real people with what matters to them and they’ll come back and eventually buy from you.

Most importantly (as we shared in one Marketing Monday with our content writer Matt Bloom last month), just do it. Post to your blog. Do it consistently. Just stop every now and again to see what worked best for you.

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