Strap yourself in your seat. Content marketing is hard, and it takes forever. You need to be patient when you launch your content marketing efforts. It can be several months before the ball starts rolling and your business starts to see a return on your investment. Because of the delayed gratification of content marketing, many business owners give up on 4th and goal, or are hesitant to even start using the technique as part of their growth plan.
Content marketing is a game of numbers. You must be able to gather and scrutinize data to understand where your campaign is heading. You need to constantly track analytics to know if you are moving the needle, what content topics are peaking interest in readers, what topics drive social media shares, etc.
Assess whether or not you are inspiring your visitors to interact with your website. If people are reading your blogs, that’s a good thing, but it shouldn’t stop there. They should be clicking on your product links, subscribing to your newsletter, or adding reviews. They should also be sharing, tweeting, liking, or commenting on your content.
Examine how influential your audience members are. Do your followers have followers? If so, they could convince others to buy your products or service. Having a significant number of influential and engaged followers will ensure that you have customers for your products.
If your content marketing is working, you will see an increase in the size of your audience. This should equate to an increase in social media followers, website commenters, and newsletter subscribers. Once you assess the quantity of your followers, determine how many of them are actually turning into customers.
Most importantly, measure whether your content is driving sales. Sure, content should build brand awareness, but its primary goal is to lead readers to conversion and increase sales.
Don’t get impatient with content marketing. It can yield outstanding results, but only if you give it time to work. The key is to set up metrics for tracking success and analyze the data consistently to make sure that your efforts are heading in the right direction for the ultimate long-term pay off.