Content Marketing and Social Media: How Do You Know If It’s Really Working?

You’ve read all those blog posts. Social media has hit the mainstream and content marketing is buzzing. You have a presence. You produce content. Maybe you even have a social media manager and a content director. But how do you know it’s really working?

Reporting on a recent study, Sam Laird at Mashable blogged:

How do marketers and entrepreneurs measure whether social media marketing pays off? Most do so by measuring the accumulation of friends, likes, followers and other online connections. Thirty-nine percent look at shares of brand content, while 35% measure actual leads from social media. Just 18% measure success by overall brand awareness and favorability as gauged by consumer surveys.

Looking at the data reported, it’s apparent that we measure what is easy to measure: likes, fans, followers, views, visitors, while measuring leads, sales and customer perceptions take more effort.

Still it is very doable and not so overwhelming when measurement is part of a program and a strategy. Simple measurement techniques are usually the result of a lack of a strategy and a lack of a clear set of objectives for what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing or content marketing. 

As an example, perhaps you are looking to improve conversion rates in the acquisition funnel (e.g. get more people to sign-up). You can measure your current conversion rates at each stage in the funnel (e.g., register, attend, etc.). Then, as part of a program surrounding one segment of customers you measure the changes in conversion rates after audiences interact with content assets (videos, blog and website content, eBooks, guest posts/articles, infographics, etc.)

Reported data shows that website visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy.

Through a program designed to measure the impact of activities defined by a content marketing and social media marketing strategy and plan it’s possible to get much deeper insight into customer opinions as well as ROI. The optimal measurement, to truly see if it’s all “working”, requires looking at metrics from total reach to support resolution, from the value of a Facebook fan to share of conversation. That may not be possible right away, but there are ways to get beyond measuring likes and mentions.

What are you doing?

16 August 2012 ·

About Me

Chris Bechtel, Principal and Chief Marketing Officer at Make Good Social, a division of Blue Deer LLC a full-service marketing and business development consulting firm for start-ups and growth-stage organizations focused on strategy + services for demand generation, revenue and growth. Chris is a content marketing, demand generation, social media marketing, online PR professional and growth hacker who has spent more than 15 years working with consumer and B2B startup tech companies as well as leading Fortune 500 companies including ACS (a Xerox Co.), City National Bank, Epson, and Target extend the reach of their content online.

Contact Me: about.me/chrisbechtel

Make Good Social
Blue Deer LLC