Engagement metrics that matter: Do your customers care?
When you’re measuring the success of a marketing campaign, it pays to go beyond surface-level observations of whether people have seen your content. In this “post-loyalty” age, when it’s easy for consumers to switch at will between brands, you need to make a deep impression on your audience. For that reason, engagement is a more valuable trait to measure than mere impressions. Any marketing campaign can blast a message out into the world, but a good one can get people to pay attention. Engagement metrics will tell you if you’re achieving the latter goal.
Following your clients’ tracks
Content marketing is a common pillar of today’s inbound marketing strategies, but it’s not enough to just have these assets lying around. You should optimize the effectiveness of your text, video and audio posts – and to make sure you’re on the right track, it’s time to measure how your clients are interacting with these items. Multichannel Merchant contributor Guy Greenberg recently released a guide to looking under the hood and seeing what’s going on with your content. In short, it’s time to go beyond numbers of clicks and seeing who is sticking around.
Viewers who actually care about what you’re posting will stay to read the whole article or watch the entire video. Unless you’re measuring completion rates of your assets, you can’t be sure whether you’re capturing visitors’ attention or just getting their clicks once. Greenberg posited that measuring page views should be where your monitoring starts, rather than ends.
Once you know how many people landed on a particular asset, it’s time to analyze what percentage of those viewers completed reading or watching the content. Greenberg pointed out that pieces don’t start with their calls to action, so unless you engage your visitors and keep them around, they may not be getting the message.
Reaching out to the mailing list
In addition to inbound content marketing, email newsletters and membership programs are great ways to capture business – but you should be using the right metrics to ensure these efforts are functioning as intended. Marketing Land contributor Jordan Elkind recently pointed out the importance of checking the activation rate of your new members, meaning the percentage who make a purchase with the brand within their first two months as part of the group.
There are valid reasons to try especially hard to sell to new members of a mailing list and ensure they’ll become customers as well as content recipients. For instance, Elkind suggested that the customer funnel will move more smoothly from there on in if you have a purchase out of the way early. People who have just signed up to hear from a company are susceptible to respond to pitches from that brand, so it’s time to make your best appeal.
Start measuring by topic
One surprising approach to marketing engagement measurement involves pulling the magnifying glass back a bit and looking at assets as groups instead of individual items. While you may be poised to treat each of your pieces of content as a standalone item, Entrepreneur contributor Ryan Bonnici recommended breaking your messaging down into general topic areas, then tracking your lead conversion rates for each of these “buckets.” This lets you know which of your core ideas is best at converting new customers.
Until you apply these kinds of hard-and-fast metrics to your topics, you may be mistaken about which areas of your business are drawing and converting the most qualified leads. Absolute clarity about these and other content metrics will help you shape your big-picture strategy, which is a first step toward success on a more granular level. And by following Bonnici’s suggestion and focusing on leads instead of raw clicks, you have a measure of engagement rather than simple volume.
Know your own marketing
When you begin tracking engagement, with metrics that make sense for the kinds of campaigns you run, you’re giving yourself a data-rich set of instructions for the development of the strategies over time. Operating without measuring results, or only thinking in terms of raw numbers instead of engagement, can give a skewed picture of marketing’s reach and relative success, weakening your campaigns over time. When your organization’s branding in a complex market is on the line – as is always the case in modern marketing – metrics matter.
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