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November 16, 2017

Sonja Hansen, Client Partner


What good is information, unless you use it? 

We use analytics to track and generate reports on website traffic. Applying that research to measure performance can help you get more eyes to your content, and more opportunities to connect with the right leads in the right stage of the sales funnel, whether they are an interested visitor, a lead, or already a customer.  

In a previous post, we discussed the best tools to use for content created for different stages of the sales funnel. Once content performance is revealed, businesses may want to rethink their approach to content strategy based on the results. 

Analytics helps businesses consider exactly where they might want to adjust a certain strategy, message, or marketing collateral based on a number of variables, like platform, time or day of the week. A certain time frame may typically get more engagement for your audience, which means you should aim to post around then. 

Approaching these adjustments with a deliberate strategy can help direct your next campaign and increase content engagement. Here are some tips to help implement Best Practice Analytics: 

1. Identify Goals

First things first: You’ll need to do some work before you share, send, or post content. What are you hoping to accomplish? An email campaign should aim to convert leads, a social media post should effectively promote content, and a blog post aims to nail down your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Quantify and set your goals. They’ll be unique to each business, but make sure to set them—you can’t measure success without knowing what qualifies as a win. Once you figure out what you wish to accomplish, you can start collecting data is related to your goals.  

2. Collect Target Data 

The key to a good database is collecting varied data – and a lot of it. Turn to past data to inform your strategy, and to current research to fill in variables where you are missing information. Get inspiration from companies similar to you by looking at when and where they post when they get a lot of engagement, and what types of articles turn up first in searches.  

Quantity aside, you want to ensure that you’re collecting data that is meaningful to your goals. That way, you get actionable analytics. Without quality information, you can’t make informed decisions based on the knowledge you’ve gained about your audience, your content and your campaigns.  

For example, for a blog post, look beyond page views. Which topics seem popular? What devices are users reading on? How did they find the post? These factors help determine what to post, where to promote, and when. 

Your data collection tools here are key. Make sure that CTAs are front and center. They’ll encourage traffic to the rest of your site and to conversion opportunities. A tool like Google Analytics enables data collection, tracking, and reporting for your website, emails, social content, and more. 

3. Infer Meaning from Trends 

Without the proper tools, you’ll never know what impact your content has – or whether you have enough content to make an impact in the first place. Marketing and CMS platforms like HubSpot empower you by providing thorough reporting capabilities on your online activity using their tools. They track your points of contact and audience engagement, allowing you to generate detailed reports on specific data. HubSpot allows you to see if your efforts actually lead to a closed deal. With both quantity and quality, it’s time to take action. 

Audiences tend to engage with emails and social posts at certain times of the day. Trends will also turn up for click-through rate and unsubscribe rate. When evaluating your data, consider your audience’s lifestyle and when they are most likely to be engaged online. People in cities tend to engage with social media during their commute using public transportation, while others outside of the city may be driving on their commute, so they have other social media habits. Use the trends you find, and the behaviors that are behind them, as guides the next time you schedule. 

For blog posts and web pages, you’ll want to look at bounce rate, the amount of time a visitor spends on the page, and engagement with CTAs and links. Have you noticed a pattern for certain headline formats? Consider all elements of each post to determine what the trend might point to. Now it’s time to replicate that success.

4. Personalize Your Content...and Try New Things!

Analyzing trends takes trial and error, because one set of data isn’t definitive. There’s more than one way to replicate conversions. As you accumulate data and try different variables, you’ll be able to identify what best practice means for your business based on historical evidence. 

Go the Extra Mile 

Once you’ve nailed down basic best practice in analyzing how people interact with your content, consider taking a deeper dive via consumer insights. Explore the qualitative versus the quantitative, and look beyond how your audience interacts with your site. The process involves asking for feedback directly, taking surveys, interviewing, and talking with people. 

Looking for the best way to get in touch with your leads and customers? We can help you navigate the options. Get in touch to see how we can guide your strategy the next time you produce and schedule content or an outreach campaign!