Measurement must be one of the daily activities of marketers and content strategists. You have to measure the reach of a brand image, the impact of content, and the effectiveness of the lead nurturing and sales funnel strategies. In the current market condition, you simply cannot afford to leave anything to chance. The competition is breathing down your neck, ready to take the lead when you start slacking.
Content marketing is a huge part of a digital marketing strategy. You use content to make your brand known to prospects, to cultivate leads, to build trust and to convert leads into customers. But do you really know how successful you are? Can you give your content marketing strategy a score?
You can–if you use a scorecard. This scorecard is similar to those used for students in assessments, which use criteria such as attendance, percentage of papers turned in on time and the knowledge they demonstrated in tests. In the case of content marketing strategies, the criteria are, of course, different. But the principle is the same.
How Do You Create a Content Marketing Scorecard?
In order to be relevant, the content marketing scorecard must be created to reflect the key goals you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy. Typically, these goals are:
- Creating brand awareness
- Lead generation efforts
- Increasing your sales
- Building customer loyalty
Now to the nitty-gritty: creating a scorecard for your content marketing strategy. This is what it involves:
- Set Your KPIs
Key Performance Indicators are the criteria which define a successful content marketing strategy. For each goal, you will have different KPIs. For instance, a KPI for brand awareness is the number of new monthly likes on your Facebook™ page, while for lead generation the KPI concerns the number of newsletter subscribers.
- Include all the Platforms you are Using to Distribute Your Content
How do you distribute your content? On your company blog? Through guest posts? In YouTube videos? Each and all the platforms and channels must be included in the scorecard, because you have to track performance everywhere. A low performing content distribution platform is creating a hole in your marketing budget. Once you identify this issue, you can fix it. But this will be possible only after you complete the next step.
- Set Your Benchmarks
Your scorecard will be relevant as long as you have actual, quantified data to compare your efforts against. In content marketing, benchmarks are your top performing strategies: content that went viral, and brought you a significant number of social media followers and subscribers, etc.
Once again, you see the importance of collecting, organising and keeping analytical data for your website and social media accounts and that generated by other digital marketing tools you use.
How do you Use the Content Marketing Scorecard?
The effectiveness of your content marketing scorecard depends on how well you determined your KPIs and how accurately you record data for each new piece of content. The scorecard should be kept as a spreadsheet, allowing you to compare current results against the benchmark.
Of course, this means monitoring all your content marketing efforts and using up-to-date information and data in the scorecard. But the efforts are worthwhile. Instead of working in the dark, wondering whether the content you create and distribute is effective in helping you achieve your goals, you will have clear data. You will be able to compare each new campaign against the most successful ones and identify where you need to make changes and improvements.
By monitoring KPIs and updating them whenever relevant, you will have an effective tool for measuring your content marketing efforts. This will help you save time, money and improve the messages you send to your prospects and leads. And it is completely free–all you have to do is create the spreadsheet and populate it with data.