How do you know if the content you spend hours and hours creating is truly paying off? Do you only look at quantitative, bottom-line results—more franchise sales? Or do you consider incremental progress, such as an increase in the quality of the leads coming in? Have you considered tracking your results?
When you’re trying to measure the performance or grasp the return on investment of your franchise content marketing efforts, it’s easy to become somewhat frustrated. First, it can feel like there is an ever-increasing number of variables to consider when taking stock of your campaigns or projects. Second, the shelf life of your content may be incredibly long with a protracted influence on prospective franchisees. In short, it can be difficult to accurately measure the outright ROI of your content marketing efforts.
An Alternative Perspective
In an article for Diginomica, it was suggested that you can’t look at content as a unique asset with a specific value, largely because it can be valuable over an extended period of time. It can also be repurposed for a variety of reasons. It’s different than creating a product and seeing how many people buy it. There, you can measure the expense to produce, advertise and distribute it and use the sales to get an idea of the ROI.
With a white paper, for instance, you can use the content as the centerpiece of an email marketing campaign and develop a standalone landing page for the offer. However, it’s likely that you’ll keep the white paper in your resources section on your website – behind a lead form, or course, to capture information – and there it will continue to provide value and generate new business leads. Then again, you can create a series of blog posts inspired by the chapters in the white paper and again extract more value from the content.
Instead of an expense, it may be more worthwhile to view your content as an investment.
Where to Get Started
So, if we consider the components of your franchise content marketing strategies as assets that provide ongoing value for your company, it’s still very possible to look at the performance of each piece of content. Here are some of the critical elements you should consider:
- Page views: The volume of people coming to specific pages of your website or dedicated landing pages can be indicative of the quality of the content on your site. The number of visitors to your site also influences your search engine rankings, so this is worth your attention.
- Bounce rate: When a visitor visits your website and immediately clicks away, you can learn a few things. Either the content isn’t relevant to them – potentially meaning they wouldn’t be a high-quality lead anyway – or they couldn’t find the information they wanted. In either case, it doesn’t reflect well on your marketing strategy, and your ranking in search results will likely fall.
- Time on page: In relation to the number of visitors to your website, the amount of time they spend on the page reflects the quality or depth of information on the site. The better the content, the longer a visitor will spend on the page.
- Number of downloads: This is an easily verifiable statistic that will show you what kind of traction your content is getting. However, it’s only a number in isolation and needs to be considered in the context of your marketing campaign or website experience.
- Inbound links: When other content on the vast Web of online articles links to your content, it provides a boost to your authority in your industry, which again improves your visibility on search engines like Google and Yahoo.
- Social engagement: High-quality content gets shared on social channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Depending on where your audience is most active, social media metrics, such as the number of impressions, shares and likes, can help you discover if your content is engaging and resonating with your target audience.
- Lead quantity and quality: Especially if you use lead capture forms or include sign up forms for eNewsletters, you have a good opportunity to get information about the people engaging with your content. You can then track whether a visitor downloads other content that’s further along the sales funnel. Or, assign unique phone numbers to specific pieces of content to determine the source of inbound phone leads.
In addition to these performance metrics, you can look at the performance of your content through a number of lenses. The ones listed above should provide a pretty clear understanding of what kind of value your content is bringing to your target audience—and whether you need to adjust your franchise content marketing strategy.
Let’s keep the conversation going…