5 Things to avoid in content marketing

The promise of content marketing is the very value and ability to provide value to your audience, to help them find great knowledgeable advice and entertain them. In order to do it successfully, all we need to do is to adjust and react to insights provided by analysis data. But to make those adjustments, we have to ensure that we’re actually measuring the right parameters and not creating strategy based on hypothetical numbers.

Looking at site engagement always:

The most common faced issue in measurement is comparing traffic sources to a site by mainly looking at the Google Analytics‘ dashboard high level comparison table of various traffic sources, which shows the bounce rates,number of page views, average session time and page views per session. Your website may have very different types of pages: a homepage, content pages,landing pages for campaigns, e-commerce pages etc. The nature of visitor engagement with each type of page may be very different. A product web page or an e-commerce section has a much more “time on site” compared to a blog post. So, if one traffic source takes traffic to the e-commerce section and other traffic source drives traffic to some blog post, the results of that user engagement will be very different if we simply compare parameters like time,even if they are achieving their desired result.

Solution: Resist the keenness to look only at the default high level view of your web site. Too understand your real performance, you need to actually compare the traffic sources’ engagement parameters for each section or every page type in isolation. This practice makes you to create a benchmark for each section of your site and make the right conclusions to determine which particular traffic sources drive the best engagement result. Also,when comparing various online traffic sources, just remove all pages that have less than 10 web page views. This will help you determine your comparison on only those areas of the website which have actually achieved minimum client engagement, means focusing only on the pages that actually matter.

Comparing CTR(click-through rates) between various platforms

Second fatal mistake that marketers and advertisers commit is to assessing the effectiveness of different paid media platforms by comparing the ratio of impressions to clicks between them (i.e. CTR or click through rates). So,Why does this provide inaccurate insight? Since,this is not a valid apples to apples measurement. Can we really compare the CTR of a paid search campaign on Google and YouTube video advertisement to a paid content marketing campaign on Outbrain? The bare minimum requirement for comparing platforms is to make sure they have function which are similar and that you are going to promote the same kind of content on both sides. So whether you should be able to compare CTR among Yahoo,BING and Google for the same adwords ad? You need to confirm that both Microsoft and Google count “a web page view” in the similar way before you go ahead with comparing that data. One search engine could count a web page view as “a user landed on the web page” and other may measure it a page view as “a user really saw the advertisement.” In that case, the result and proper definition of CTR would be different.

Solution: Go ahead and ask every paid media platform to give a benchmark CTR for your category on their particular platform. Then you’ll be in a better position to judge how you fare versus the competition on particular platform. Compare between different platforms that take traffic to the same area of the website as per engagement or conversion results according to the cost of every platform.

Looking at bounce rates in complete isolation

Bounce rates are most probably the least and wrongly understood KPI. Many advertisers and marketers believe it means “someone came to my website and left immediately.” This is not the complete truth. What it really mean is the percentage of users that visited one web page and then left. Is it good or bad? What if I have a news blog with a loyal user base which reads every post I’m posting? My bounce rates would be through the roof, because this users would come daily to my blog, read the latest post and just leave. But using the parameter of bounce rates, my efforts would be seen wrongly as failures.

Solution: Since Bounce rates are not absolute terms,it should be considered relative to time on website. You can also change the Google Analytics default of bounce definition accordingly and change it to “visited only single page AND stayed on page they landed on less than 20 seconds.” This will actually help you identify between a “good bounce,” which is in real an indication of good high engagement, and bad bounce which is fly-by traffic which comes to your site and leaves immediately.

Measuring only conversions and not user engagement:

Very often, I hear marketers and advertisers flirting with implementing content marketing planning who try to put the same tactics of direct response measurement on their very own content marketing decisions as they use in their own response efforts. By me,this is a mistake. As time pass, your team will emphasize on the bottom of the funnel and on the kind of content which drives conversions. When linked to content marketing, it’s like going on first date and ask to marry you. It’s better to go out a few more times, get to know each other before you decide to get down on one knee, isn’t? More chance you’ll improve the odds of getting a “yes.”

Solution: Different content is required for each conversion’s purposes versus for audiences’ excitement. You’ve to think about what your clients needs (as opposed to your own need), and how can you help them. Then see whether or not it’s working: are they discovering your content motive (visit), do they really enjoy it (bounce rate and time spent on website), do they love it (become follow,fans,favorite) or engage with it (spread it with their friends like)? Work and Optimize for “delight” first, and then, when you have enough working traffic and engagement with your unique content, start online optimizing some of that user engagement to conversions.

Source – IMediaConnection by Gilad de Vries

Originally posted 2014-08-06 01:52:08.

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