Many marketers measure their content marketing campaigns solely by looking at page views, links generated, leads, and sales. However, those numbers alone do not tell the whole story. Measuring engagement is a valuable way of analyzing how effective a content marketing campaign is. This data reveals things such as how connected you are to your audience, how engaging the content is, how relevant the content is, and what topics are generating response.
While there are many engagement variables you can measure, these four are the most important:
1. Time Spent Consuming Content
How much time visitors spend consuming your content is a big indicator of how relevant and interesting your content was. While this may seem like a passive metric, it actually tells you if your content was about something people wanted to read. If you think about it, content that isn’t relevant or interesting gets abandoned fairly quickly. Tracking this metric for every piece of content you create will reveal what the audience is interested in, and this will allow you to segment and improve your targeting.
2. Comments Made By Readers
How do you know your content was a big hit? Answer: When people actually take time to think about your content and leave a comment. People leave comments when a piece of content is too interesting and engaging to ignore. This kind of response is often created by controversial pieces or hot topics that are currently on the minds of your audience. A trend of regular comments will indicate that you are starting to build a following.
3. Subscriptions of Any Kind
Subscriptions of any kind whether via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email means that the readers find your content valuable and want more of it. Content can also be created with the sole purpose of generating subscriptions. It can be separated into two parts where readers can only get the second part when they subscribe. If the first part delivered enough value, enough people will subscribe to get the second part.
4. Number of Shares/Mentions
The biggest compliment you can receive is people sharing your content or talking about you. Whether it is via Twitter, Facebook, or blog posts, they’re saying this piece of content is so good that their network needs to read it. A great way to track your shares and mentions is by using tools such as Social Mention and Ice Rocket.
Some other engagement metrics you may want to track are number of downloads, referred traffic, and number of new users. Overall, engagement metrics allow you to see if your content is relevant, what topics your audience likes to read, and how impactful your content was. It will allow you to understand your audience better and help you make better decisions in future content marketing campaigns.