Over the past few weeks we have reviewed the various types of digital content you can create for your brand messaging strategy. We have looked at written content types, as well as, visual media content. We have also reviewed how to define your online target audience and develop a social distribution strategy for your content marketing plan. In this final instalment, we will take a closer look at the implementation of your digital content strategy and how to properly track performance for your brand.
Content Marketing Publishing Strategy
Once you have narrowed down what types of content you will be using for your digital strategy, you need to create a publishing plan to support the implementation.
Many marketers understand the primary destination for the majority of their content will likely be their company website. However, there are many other opportunities available to host and distribute your material. Depending on the type of content, you could utilize some or all of the distribution channels listed below.
- Social media
- Article sharing and bookmarking sites
- E-book or audio distribution applications such as Apple Store, Google Play, SoundCloud
- Guest blog posting
Frequency is a key element in building a proper content marketing strategy. Develop a solid content calendar, which clearly outlines goals around when content will be created, what types of material you will be creating and where it will live and be distributed. There are no set rules on how often you should create content, however, consistency is far more important than frequency. Set a goal for your company’s content strategy and stick to it as best as possible. This could be once per week or just once per month depending on the availability of resources. The bottom line is content quality and consistency take precedence over all else.
When creating your content calendar, you can use a simple appointment calendar, such as Google Calendar, or even just create as an Excel file you set up yourself. There are also several good integrated content calendar solutions available for those whose content marketing strategies are more evolved. Regardless of the method you use, you will want to capture the following elements:
- Publishing Date
- Headline of Content
- Link or support data/media to use or highlight
- Potential Author(s), Editor(s) or who is responsible for creating the content
- Placement of Content – where it will live
- Distribution of Content – where it will be shared
Your content calendar should be used to support your brand’s social marketing strategy, which we reviewed in last week’s instalment on Your Content and Social Distribution Strategy.
The beauty of creating high-quality digital content is you can have the same content perform double-duty for your organization. Consider printing a guide or infographic as a piece of marketing collateral you can take to tradeshows and other events. Or utilize a YouTube video as a commercial on a local TV station.
Tracking your Digital Content Performance
URL: Where your Content Lives
You will want to make sure you track a number of different metrics for the URL where your content actually resides. This may be on your website, or as a guest post you created for another website, or something posted directly on a social account.
Where possible, you should look to measure the following metrics around any piece of content:
- Page Traffic
- Referral Sources
- Content Rank (Search Engine Position) for Your Keywords
- Social Signals (Likes, Shares, Comments)
- Web Analytics Conversions
- Newly Generated Backlinks to Your Content
- Blog Post Comments
- Heat Mapping – Crazy Egg
Some of these metrics can be tracked directly within your content management system, web presence analytics software or the social site you posted to.
TIP: Leverage Smart URLs and/or short URLs for better content tracking when pushing your content out to various social channels or other external sources
Content Distribution: Where your Content is Shared
Once your content has gone live you want to start tracking how it is being distributed and shared. This will include reviewing how your own social marketing strategy is performing, but also how your content is being socialized by other users.
There are number of metrics you should pay attention to on social media directly. These includes impressions, post engagement, clicks and audience growth. Nearly all of the major social media sites offer analytics and insights as part of their service.
- Facebook Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- Google Insights
- YouTube Insights
- LinkedIn Analytics
- Pinterest Analytics
There are also some social distribution related metrics you can track related to your website.
- Social Referrals
- Social Keywords
Lastly, make sure you pay attention to other places where your content maybe shared, talked about or featured. Depending on the content management system being used, you may receive a pingback notification to let you know some or all of your content has been quoted, featured on or simply linked to from another website. This may be from someone in your industry quoting your content or writing a response to it. This obviously represents validation of the content you’ve created and can help to build your online authority.