We’ve been talking to you about content marketing and inbound marketing for some time already, and you’ve really been closely interested in this subject. Indeed, a well-crafted web editorial strategy lets you achieve considerable results when it comes to your sales. But it’s also true that content marketing diverges from other more traditional marketing strategies in the sense that it’s more difficult to measure and tracking your ROI in this context can be a bit of a challenge. How can you organize a web editorial strategy to optimize your investments?
Define your goals and your KPIs
The first step in organizing your editorial strategy is determining your goals. What are the criteria of a good ROI for you? Of course, you’ll definitely want to grow your sales and improve organic traffic on your site. But if you’re just starting out in content marketing, these two variables can take a few months to appear. It’s, therefore, better to monitor some other criteria that will go into the detail of your visits and can attest to the quality of your content.
You should, therefore, make a list of these KPIs (key performance indicators) to better understand them with each publication, whether it be articles on your blog, messages on social networks, or newsletters. In particular, you can track the following variables:
- Opening rate and click-through rate on your newsletters
- Number of comments on your articles
- Number of times your content was shared with a friend
- Number of likes on Facebook
- Number of followers on Twitter
- Number of retweets on Twitter
- Number of hashtags on Twitter
- Number of shares on LinkedIn or on other professional social networks
- Number of blog-to-blog shares
- Time spent on your pages
- Average number of pages viewed per visitor
- Number of subscriptions to your newsletter
- Number of views and likes on YouTube, if you offer videos
- Number of e-books downloaded
Don’t forget that content marketing doesn’t only let you generate sales; above all, it lets you accompany the user throughout the conversion funnel that you’ll have designed beforehand. So you can see the relevance of these KPIs when it comes to judging the quality of this funnel and knowing where your prospects are on the path that you’ve mapped out for them. Of course, you can rank these criteria in order of importance for your business and add others that seem relevant to you, depending on the measuring tools at your disposal, for example. This list is obviously not exhaustive.
Setting clear goals will let you track these KPIs over time and manage your content creation and your planning based on your real objectives.
Make an assessment
Another good practice to carry out is to make an assessment of your existing content. For example, analyze the previous results of your newsletters: what content brought you conversions? What content didn’t generate any results on your KPIs? Similarly, study the successes or failures of your blog articles; it’s also possible to rework them to give them a new momentum on your identified keywords.
This assessment will let you learn lessons from the past and give you the bases on which to measure your future ROI. Ask yourself what the main sources of your current conversions are. You’ll, therefore, be able to see their concrete progress following your editorial efforts.
Track your prospects very closely
Use the tools at your disposal – whether that means Google or your website – to track the actions of your users. What are the main behaviors that characterize them after they’ve seen your content? Which users are buying your products or subscribing to your newsletter? Are any of them bookmarking your page? Or maybe they’re checking out other pages on your site. All this data will help you develop your personas and create content that’s increasingly relevant for your targets.
Plan your actions over time
In such a context, it’s particularly appealing to have an editorial plan that gathers together all the themes to be explored over the year – themes that you’ll have identified following keyword research based on your objectives. This plan will determine not only your publication pace but also the writers for each piece of content and the actions to carry out relative to their promotion. It will also let you establish a specific budget to allocate to your editorial strategy, which will prevent the nasty surprises that bad financial management of this type of campaign can cause.
But the most important rule to understand when it comes to organizing your web editorial strategy is that you should plan your efforts over time since content marketing enters into a sales funnel strategy. One newsletter every three months won’t ever be sufficient; nor will an occasional article on your blog. It’s consistency, regularity, and the quality of your content that will bring you the desired results, whether on search engines or in terms of the sales made. All this will ultimately let you measure your returns in a relevant way and gradually refine your strategy. The more regularly you publish, the more capable you’ll be of measuring your ROI.
The editorial strategy is a real virtuous circle, but it’s still necessary to see it through over the long term to see the benefits of it. Many people set off on this adventure and abandon it too quickly, especially if they insist on only tracking the results of their sales for the first few months.