The 20 best tools to measure content marketing success
We all know the why of measuring content marketing ROI, but what about the how?
Many marketers have gotten to a certain point in gauging their content marketing success – they’ve set up Google Analytics, though they don’t know its intricacies, and perhaps they’ve even enlisted the help of a content strategist.
They’re the 27 per cent of Australian marketers in the ‘young’ content marketing maturity level – those experiencing the ‘growing pains’ associated with turning their content production efforts into a cohesive strategy with clearly defined objectives and methods for measuring success. There’s something missing for these young marketers, however, and that something is the right set of tools.
Sound like you? Filling your proverbial toolbox with all the right gadgets takes time, so we’ve done the work for you. Here are 20 of the best tools to help you measure your content marketing effectiveness.
Defining your content marketing goals
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you can’t succeed if you’ve never defined what success looks like.
That’s why it’s essential to start with goals – SMART goals in particular.
Maybe you learned about SMART goals in school or picked it up in the workplace. If you aren’t familiar, we’ll give you the rundown. SMART stands for:
Your content marketing objectives should be all five. Specific ensures you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, measurable holds you accountable, attainable ensures it’s possible, realistic protects you from failure and timely gives you a clear window of time to hit the mark.
You can SMART-en up any goals. Say, for example, you want to focus on generating more leads. That’s quite vague and difficult to track.
Instead of fumbling around in the dark, savvy marketers will set out to ‘Add twenty new people to my newsletter mailing list each week’. This goal is specific (twenty new people), attainable (it can definitely be done), reasonable (it’s in line with what you’ve been doing), timely (you’ll check at the end of one month).
You’ll notice we’ve left out measurable. That’s because ticking this off lies in having the right measurement tools. The ability to track progress is a key component in reaching your SMART goals.
While every organisation varies, the majority of Australian businesses have the same content marketing goals:
- Engagement (72 per cent of organisations),
- Lead generation (70 per cent),
- Customer retention/loyalty (64 per cent),
- Brand awareness (62 per cent),
- Sales (58 per cent).
That’s why we’ve organised our list according to these five categories. Here are the tools you need to make sure your objectives are truly SMART – and not just SART!
5 tools for measuring engagement
Want to know what everyone thinks of you? There’s BuzzSumo for that, a research and monitoring tool that can tell you heaps about how a certain piece of content is performing across various social media platforms.
BuzzSumo has clear value as a measurement tool. You can enter your URL – or one of your competitor’s – and see the number of shares, likes and other engagements it generates.
Those who use it most effectively, however, will also utilise the tool to find influencers, conduct keyword research, identify what’s trending and find inspiration for new content.
— BuzzSumo (@BuzzSumo) March 14, 2018
SocialBakers is a one-stop-shop for metrics and statistics for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn.
SocialBakers stands out from the pack in a number of ways. For one, it’s just bigger. One of the world’s largest social analytics suites, over 10,000 marketers use SocialBakers. Due to its size and volume of resources, SocialBaker can offer a massive array of data-driven tools and insights.
It’s also incredibly easy-to-use, with great visual analysis tools. The ability to support all the major social networks doesn’t hurt either.
The holy grail of analytics tools, GA could fit anywhere on this list. So instead of telling you how great GA is, we’ll show a few ways it can be used to measure engagement instead.
- Bounce rate – When you see that someone leaves your site without engaging in other pages, it can be a bit disappointing. That said, it’s confronting information marketers need to face if they’re trying to boost engagement. Use bounce rate data to inform which pages need the most work.
- Session duration – Session duration will show you how long viewers are staying on your site. You can also compare duration across a variety of pages, giving you an idea what to do more (or less) of in the future.
- Average pages viewed – Within that session, you want to know how many pages users are getting to. This valuable metric can give you a clear picture of exactly how much – and how deeply – visitors are engaging with your site.
Keep in mind, this is the very tip of the iceberg – GA tracks several metrics that are critical to measuring engagement, including mobile engagement, page depth, return visitors and more.
— Google Analytics (@googleanalytics) January 3, 2018
Wade through the spammers and trolls and you see that some of the most valuable opinions and insights are often found in the comments section. That’s where Disqus comes in, a third-party commenting tool that helps marketers engage with readers through the comments section.
And why exactly would you want to do that? Nurturing engagement through comments is a great way to build a community around your product or service, particularly in niche markets. Further, who’s commenting can help you understand your audience and improve your targeting.
Finally, missing comments just makes you look like a jerk. When you don’t reply to users, you not only miss out on potential business, but also risk tarnishing your reputation. More than half (52 per cent) of people expect a response to their reviews – which includes comments. Don’t miss out – make that comments section come alive with Disqus.
Like Crazy Egg, another favourite tool of ours, NUVI wows us with its beautiful data visualisations.
Of course, there’s more to life than being pretty and don’t worry – NUVI is equally awe inspiring in its capabilities. This tool combines data from your business’ Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube accounts, putting all the engagement metrics that matter in one place in real-time.
NUVI is an excellent monitoring tool, going beyond simple keywords. You can also improve your targeting with group and topic monitors that show what’s being said, how and by whom.
Check out the top influencers that are talking about upcoming #AustraliaDay
(visuals via: @NUVI) #NUVIKnows pic.twitter.com/rF6sqdrt9d
— David Burgess (@dburge86) January 25, 2018
4 tools for measuring lead generation
Synonymous with email automation, MailChimp is a must-have for people looking to generate leads.
Their purpose is clear: send better email. That’s why MailChimp allows organisations of any size to create high-quality tailored email campaigns using their own designs or pre-set templates.
In addition to automating your communications, MailChimp is also a valuable measurement tool, giving you access to crucial data around how your emails are tracking. Reporting tools let you see who is opening your messages, where they’re clicking, how many people are moving you to the bin and which visitors are returning to your note more than once. MailChimp also integrates with GA, collating data to see whether email campaigns are affecting your web traffic.
How do you generate leads? Do you use email campaigns? Cold calling? Trawling through LinkedIn?
While there’s nothing wrong with any of these methods, why not try something that requires a bit less effort – like, say, reaching out to your website visitors?
An ideal solution for B2B companies, Leadfeeder uses GA data to identify website visitors. When a visitor from one of your target companies visits your site, you’ll receive an email notification. Leadfeeder integrates with your CRM software, allowing you to immediately add users to your sales pipeline. You can also filter leads according to browsing patterns, location, source or other criteria.
Lead scoring is also automatic, meaning you don’t need to waste time deciphering data to determine which leads you need to zero in on most.
Brand24 is a social media marketing solution that can gather all mentions of your company, minutes after you publish a new piece of content.
Mentions – isn’t that engagement? Not entirely. While knowing what people are commenting about your brand is a big part of measuring online engagement, mentions can also be valuable lead sources.
With Brand24, you can react to customer views directly and engage with users on whichever social media platform they prefer. In addition to providing responses to client questions and feedback, you can identify those leads you may have missed otherwise.
BAM! #Brand24 was listed among 20 Best #SocialMediaMonitoring Tools by @buffer & described as a powerful yet affordable tool for those who want to dive deep into social media monitoring. Thanks! https://t.co/6zIKNVullL
— Brand24 (@brand24) March 16, 2018
How do you communicate with leads – through phone, email, SMS, maybe even Facebook Messenger, Slack, Viber? With Bontact, it doesn’t matter. That’s because this powerful tool can handle them all.
In the age of chatbots and instantaneous comms, Bontact will become your new best friend. The multi-channel platform takes all the people who want to get in touch and puts them in one place, allowing you to respond quickly and efficiently.
3 tools for measuring customer loyalty
With so many business intelligence software products on the market, why should you choose KISSmetrics?
Well, we’re so glad you asked. While KISSmetrics offers heaps of metrics that can inform your marketing strategy, what it does best is track people. Every visitor to your website is tied to a person. Then, the software collects piles of information to complete a useful persona – things like how often they’re logging in, which devices they’re using, what they’re clicking on each session, what they aren’t and much more.
This emphasis on returning visitors is huge in terms of measuring customer loyalty.
Selling trainers out of your garage? Well, fear not. You can still look and act like a polished retailer thanks to Shopify. This vital ecommerce tool makes it easy to set up your own attractive, responsive store, import all of your offerings and run things like a pro.
Shopify is particularly good at measuring customer loyalty. Two of Shopify’s standard metrics are ‘repeat customer rate’ and ‘average order value’. Together, this data can help you unearth who your most loyal customers are as well as your most financially valuable.
Shopify’s emphasis on customer loyalty even goes as far as allowing users to generate ‘first-time vs. returning customer sales’ reports, which marketers can use to come up with new marketing tactics, such as a customised email campaign with exclusive offers.
Yotpo is a content marketing app with retention at its core.
Similar to KISSmetrics, Yotpo creates a database of customers and keeps track of everyone who’s ever expressed some kind of interest in your brand. Yotpo understand the importance of harnessing the power of previous buyers – or at least those who are keen.
Yotpo is built to help marketers turn visitors into regulars, making it perfect for experienced retailers who are more focused on retention and loyalty than awareness and traffic.
5 tools for measuring brand awareness
When spelled with a C, clout is all about power and influence and Klout measures just that: how well your brand is known for what it does.
Klout assigns your business a Klout score which measures your business’ overall online influence. Basically, the score reflects your ability to drive measurable actions on social media and is based on a HUGE number of factors, including followers, unique retweets, mentions, total number of retweets, friends, follower mentions, comments per post, likes per post and so much more.
Basically, Klout lets you know how ‘cool’ your brand is on social media. And it helps marketers determine which platforms they’re performing on and where they could use some work.
If you want to delve deeper into your Twitter analytics, you need Followerwonk. This powerful tool from Moz helps your business gather and analyse information, discover potential followers, and group them by category. With Followerwonk you can search and collect information on any profile – giving you a clear picture of who’s following you as well as who’s decided to unfollow.
In addition to helping marketers measure their reach on Twitter, Followerwonk can also be very useful in identifying potential influencers
— Followerwonk (@followerwonk) March 12, 2018
Like many marketing automation platforms, Marketo covers it all. The software helps brands customise landing pages, automate email campaigns, view the usual dashboard of analytics and track social media metrics.
So, what makes it such a great tool for boosting brand awareness? The answer lies in Marketo’s Content AI app, a feature that automatically recommends the most engaging content to users each time.
The app goes through your existing content and identifies the winning pieces – whether that’s videos, case studies or high performing blog posts. Then, it uses machine learning and predictive analytics to make sure the most relevant content is dished up to visitors across various channels.
Want to know more? Here’s a webinar on the innovative service.
Share content, boost brand awareness – it’s all pretty logical. But how can you tell which pieces are most effective in spreading the word? You track links.
Bitly – you know, the link shortener you see on social media posts – provides analytics on individual links, allowing marketers to see the number of clicks on each link, which platforms the clicks came from, how many times the link has been shared and more
17. Google Analytics
You didn’t really think we were done with GA, did you?
GA can help you measure your content marketing ROI in a number of areas, including brand awareness. Metrics like direct traffic, page views, earned media, external links, social engagement, blog shares and search volume will all paint a clear picture of your brand’s reach.
3 tools for measuring sales
The world’s number one CRM platform, Salesforce can help your organisation reach great heights – just like all the other customers who’ve reported a 39 per cent increase in sales productivity on average from using the tool.
Salesforce is built for turning prospects into customers. The software’s lead management, marketing automation, sales data and partner management capabilities are innovative and unrivaled – ensuring you that leads will be followed until they’re ready for conversion.
What’s more, Salesforce provides data that can help you get more sales. Things like customer activity history, social mention tracking and demographic analytics can give you a clear picture of how to target any given lead.
There are very few people out there who wouldn’t want to save 28 hours per month. Well, that’s exactly what Infusionsoft promises to do. How? With superb integration features that eliminate the need to switch between countless tasks and apps to stay on top of your business. With Infusionsoft, all of your customer interactions and business needs exist in one place.
There’s a reason 23,000 small businesses choose Infusionsoft and that reason is it helps you get organised, save heaps of time and increase sales. Infusionsoft is a powerful sales tool that allows you to automate every aspect of the buyer’s journey and connect with leads through email, social media and offline channels.
What do KISSmetrics and PeopleVine have in common? They’re focused around people and, in our opinion, that makes a lot of sense.
Like other CRM products, PeopleVine automates your marketing and sales efforts. What it does differently, however, is give you the tools to communicate with leads in real-time and build dynamic customer profiles though data analytics and customer surveys.
Get in touch through any platform – including SMS and social media – craft email campaigns to in-market segments and set up automatic replies. It can all be done using PeopleVine.
— PeopleVine (@PeopleVine) November 6, 2017