As you may or may not know, I spent the first six years of my career in Public Relations before transitioning into content marketing.
And one of the big parallels I noticed between the two worlds is that neither has a measurement system that would necessarily be considered “cut-and-dry.” The metrics aren’t always as definitive as advertising or some other marketing tools.
Yet both content and PR are considered incredibly powerful tools for businesses (probably why 84% of companies have a content strategy).
So, how can the ROI of content marketing be proven? By knowing what to look for.
Whether you currently have a content strategy and are looking to gauge its success, you’re considering developing a content strategy but want to make sure it’s worthwhile, or you have no clue about content marketing but have read this far anyway, let me break it down for you.
Here are the metrics that I track for my clients every month to measure the success of our content marketing efforts.
High-level content marketing benefits
Before I dive into the specific metrics, let’s back up and talk about the high-level benefits you should be looking to achieve with your content strategy.
1. Expanding the surface area of your business
Pretty much everything you see on the internet is “content.” And as a result, it’s essentially at the core of your marketing ecosystem—your website, your blog, your social media, and your email marketing.
So, the more content you produce, the more you’re expanding the surface area of your business. And by that what I mean is that the more content you produce, the more likely somebody is to run into your coworking space.
2. Differentiating your space from the competition
When used correctly, your content will help differentiate your space from your competitors. And in many ways, your unique brand might be the thing that tips a potential member in your direction rather than towards your competitors (if you’re curious, you can check out this article and this article for more on that topic).
3. Building organic relationships with prospective members
Today’s savvy consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to build relationships with the companies they choose to do business with. Coworking spaces are no exception.
Creating value-driven content allows you to forge deeper, organic relationships with your prospective members over time, making them more likely to sign up with your space when they’re ready to make a decision.
4. Boosting retention with existing members
The same way content allows you to build deeper relationships with prospective members, it also helps you build deeper connections with existing members.
Better connections = greater retention = stronger revenue.
Specific content marketing metrics for coworking spaces
Now that you understand the high-level benefits of a content strategy, I’ll dive into the most important content marketing metrics you need to know for your coworking business.
1. Goal conversions
One of the most direct ways to measure the success of your content marketing is to measure your goal conversions (i.e. how many people take action on your CTA).
For coworking spaces, some common conversions would be:
- Get in touch: Having a prospective member get in touch with questions.
- Book a tour: Having a prospective member book a tour of your space.
- Blog or newsletter sign-ups: Having a prospective member sign up for a newsletter or your blog so you can continue to educate them and nurture the relationship until they’re ready to act.
These metrics can all be tracked easily in Google Analytics. It’ll allow you to see not only how many conversions you have, but also the path your visitor took to get there.
If you don’t know how to do this, don’t worry. I’ve got an article coming that will walk you through it. Stay tuned.
2. Blog performance
Crafting blog content is one of the most commons forms of content marketing. You can use the following metrics on specific blog articles to measure their success.
- Organic website traffic: This refers to the volume of people who visit your blog post in a given period of time. It’s displayed as Pageviews (how many people visit your article) and Unique Pageviews (how many of them are net-new).
- Time on page: This refers to how long a visitor spends on your article. The longer, the better: if they spend six minutes on it, that’s a good indicator that they found value in the article and read it in its entirety.
- Exit Rates and Bounce Rates: These metrics tell you how many site visits were the last one in the session and which ones were the only ones in the session, respectively. The best-case scenario is that visitors come into your site on a blog post then continue to explore from there. These metrics will be an indicator of that.
- Conversions: As an extension of the last section, this refers to how many people take action on your CTA on your blog posts (if you don’t have a specific CTA on each and every piece of content, add one. Now.)
You can also examine these metrics on your website as a whole and use them as a gauge of how your content is performing. Keep in mind, it’s best to look at these over a longer course of time to get an accurate read. For instance, if your traffic is going up since you began your content marketing initiatives, it’s generally a good indicator that your content is performing well. And if it spikes on days when you post content, or dips on days when you don’t, that’s a good gauge as well.
On your website as a whole, you can also look at:
- Pages per visit: This term refers to how many pages a visitor checks out before they leave your website. The more pages, the better, because it means people are taking the time to stick around and learn more.
- Number of sessions per visitor: Much like pages per visit, the number of sessions per user is an important metric because it lets you know whether people are coming back repeatedly. A number above 1.0 means people are returning. This is a good thing!
3. SEO performance
The performance of your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts can be measured in a number of ways.
- Articles and service pages ranking on Google: The holy grail of SEO is having your articles and service pages ranking on Google. That means they’re among the top pages people see when they search for what you offer or something they’re interested in (you can check out this case study I wrote about helping a client write an article that ranked at Position Zero on Google as well as all the benefits that article offered).
- Domain Authority: This is essentially Google’s ranking of how trustworthy and credible your site is, as well as a component in determining if and where your pages will rank. You can check your Domain Authority using a tool like this one from Ahrefs.
- Backlinks: This term refers to the number of people who have linked back to your website in their own content. The benefit here is that it helps increase your Domain Authority. You can see how many backlinks your site has using a tool like this one.
- Organic website traffic: I mentioned organic traffic in the previous section but it’s worth mentioning here because it can also be a key indicator of how well your SEO is performing.
4. Email performance
For a coworking space, I would suggest that email marketing, such as a weekly newsletter, is your most valuable content tool (but that’s a topic for another article). It also has clear measurements for success.
- Open rate: Simple and plain, this is the percentage of recipients who open your email. A good open rate is between 15% and 25%.
- Clickthrough rate: This refers to the number of people who click a link in your email, whether to a blog post you’re featuring, your website, or another CTA. A good clickthrough rate is around 2.5%.
- Unsubscribe rate: This is the percentage of recipients who unsubscribed from your email. And unlike the others, a higher number is not a good thing in this case. An average unsubscribe rate is between 0.2% and 0.5%. If you’re spiking above 0.5%, you need to dive into why it’s happening.
With email marketing, you can be reactive with this data, adapting, tweaking, and testing on the fly. It’s a nimble tool.
5. Social media performance
Last but not least you’ve got social media—affectionately known as the new consumer marketplace. In most instances, social media measurement comes down to a few key factors:
- Followers: Your goal with social media should be to build a broad base of organic followers. The more organic followers you have, the better.
- Engagement: This term refers to the percentage of followers that engage with your channel through things like comments, shares, likes, and retweets. Average engagement rates vary by platform—Twitter is around 0.5%, LinkedIn is around 0.54%, Facebook is approximately 0.26%, and Instagram currently sits around 4.7%
Your content strategy will vary and, as a result, so will your measurements for success. But by understanding what to look for, you can get a good idea of the impact your content is having on your business and its bottom line.
I work with coworking operators from across North America to craft content marketing strategies that help achieve their goals. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you, or if you’re interested in bringing on some help to hone in on your space’s identity, get in touch with me today.
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