Blog and Content Marketing year end reviewEvery year I review our best blog posts, and I have to say it is one of my favourite ways to close down one year and move onto the next.

The year end is a great time to review your content marketing strategy, and in particular to analyse  how well your blog  is meeting your digital marketing goals.

We have identified a small number of key performance indicators (KPIs) that we track for our blog.  These KPIs help us to focus on what is important to our business, and we will use this information in planning our content for next year.

In our case, our blogging objectives are:

  1. to position our consultants as thought leaders in the digital marketing space, and to demonstrate that we are an agency you can trust
  2. to build relationships with prospective clients, as well as keeping in touch with our existing client base
  3. to drive traffic from our website from the search engines and social media in order to generate leads and enquiries.

We published 212 blog posts this year, and I’m delighted to say that traffic to our website, and specifically to our blog has tripled (up 325%) year on year.  Using our blog as the cornerstone of our content marketing strategy has paid dividends, and I have to send a huge thanks to Team Hallam for generating such influential and interesting content.

Most Times Viewed

One sign of great content is that it gets read, that  it is “consumed”, and the number of times a page is viewed is the first measure serving as an indicator how well our content is performing.

Our fresh content published in 2014 occupied 7 of the top most read blog posts, but evergreen content from 2013 and 2012 still is proving popular with our web visitors.

Of the top 10 blog posts, 7 were explicitly “How To” guides.  Our How to Remove Semalt from Analytics has been phenomenally successfully, driving even more page views than our Home page. Our other most popular How To guides were:

  • How to Write  Killer Meta Description
  • How to Run a Competition on Your Facebook Business Page
  • How to Create A Video of Your Facebook Timeline (published 2012, updated 2014)
  • How to Make Your Google+ Page a Local Page
  • How to Setup Campaign URL Tagging for Google Analytics

Two educational posts ranked in the top 10 viewed posts:

And we continue to get high volumes of  page views and comments on our UK Business Director Scam post, originally published in May 2012.Google Sesame Street

The Google search engine is one of the key drivers of visitors to our website, and our most viewed How To blog posts were also the posts that acted most frequently as landing pages, meaning they were the first page a visitor encountered as a result of a search.

What have we learned this year? “How To” content drives the search engine traffic, so look forward to even more great How To… content in 2015!

Most Popular Content in our Email Newsletter

One of our content marketing objectives is to keep in touch with existing and prospective customers, as well as industry influencers.

The click performance from our weekly email newsletter is another of our KPIs.  This year our most popular posts with our newsletter readers are significantly different to the posts identified by other KPIs.

What is surprising is that our readers are mainly clicking on articles providing tips on improving their websites.

What have we learned this year? We need to continue to focus on the specific needs of our readers, and that for our readers their website remains central to their marketing interests.

Most Popular Content on Social Media

Digital-Marketing-Map-1500pxWe have a number of different KPIs for our social content.

First, what gets shared by others on the social networks? Our target market is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and the many other social platforms.

When it comes to social media, our top performing content is our visual and interactive content: our infographics and our marketing tools.

Our top performing content on the social networks again this year is our Digital Marketing Map that has been recently updated.

And our Social Media Marketing Content Calendar (again, revised for 2015) was a close second.  Our experiment with the Pay With a Tweet service has proved successful, and we will continue to promote our content in this manner.

But our blog posts also benefited from hundreds of shares:

  • The Essential SEO Checklist
  • How to Handle Complaints on Social Media
  • Susan Hallam Contributes to the MOZ 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors

If sharing content is our first KPI, our second is how much traffic is driven to our website from the social platforms.

Whilst the social networks primarily drove visitors to our Home page, followed by some of our top performing blog posts, what we found most interesting was the effectiveness of driving visitors to our Careers and Recruitment page.

 What have we learned this year? Continue to develop exceptional content, and don’t forget social media as a recruitment tool.

Content Marketing Metrics

There are many other useful metrics to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns, and my annual overview is biased towards determining what worked the best this year with a view to shaping next year’s strategy

See this excellent and detailed discussion of content marketing metrics in this Econsulancy post and it is well worth including their wonderful content marketing metrics matrix here:

Source: Christ Lake @Econsultancy

Whilst I haven’t gone into the depth outlined by Chris, I have also identified some of our most important metrics, and unsurprisingly the top performing blog posts mentioned in this post also ranked highly when considering:

  • the number of inbound links to the content, in support of our SEO activity
  • the number of leads and sales that can be attributed to the content at some point in the individual customer journey
  • the top influencers who interact with our content on social platforms, providing us with the great ampflication
  • engagement measures, including time on the page

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