Content marketing is based on two fundamental bases - your content and its distribution channels. The time has already passed when e-commerce projects relied only on two channels of traffic generation - SEO and PPC. Social media may well provide high-quality and conversion traffic.
The ability to measure the contribution of social media to the success of content marketing campaigns helps to assess the effectiveness of business promotion in the web environment as a whole. How to measure the social success of your content marketing? What metrics to use? How to evaluate the conversion? Let's talk about this in this article.
UTM link tags for Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrics
You need to make sure that you have accurate information when starting to assess the impact of social networks on the marketing of your project. The correctness of the data is the key to the validity of the measurements. Obtaining accurate information begins with the tagging of all links to your website that you post on social media.
All professionals involved in promoting your project should tag the links. Compliance with this rule allows you to avoid inaccuracies and failures in the process of collecting information. Linking can be done manually with entering data in the table, as well as using automatic tools.
You get the ability to track the key metrics of each link from social platforms, systematically tagging links for a long period of time.
For example, using Google Analytics or Yandex.Metrica, you can track the following parameters:
- utm_source - tracking the source of the transition. This may be a search engine, e-mail, social network, partner site, etc.
- utm_campaign - label designation specific advertising campaign (for a particular product, promotions, discounts).
- utm_medium - a label for your marketing tool, which either must contain default characteristics (namely: cpc - for pay per click, banner - for display advertising, email - for mailings), or - and this is just our case - user characteristics. This label is the channel ID.
- utm_content - label used for A / B testing, as well as for advertising channels with targeting. The essence of the label - if you want to bring users to the same page, you can see which of your traffic-generating text is more clickable.
- utm_term - a label for tracking requests that the user went to the site.
These tags are “understood” not only by Google Analytics, but also by Yandex-Metrics. And these tags allow you to determine the effectiveness of links hosted in various online communities.
Let us give an example of the practical application of this approach. Imagine you are promoting your product with content marketing. There are two articles on your site that are landing pages for social networks. It is on these articles you want to get links.
Here are hypothetical links to these articles:
Let's say you use your Facebook profile and Twitter account to promote these articles and get traffic. Using the parameters above, you can create four unique URLs. They allow you to track using Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrics the effectiveness of each link separately, as well as using different combinations of parameters.
Unique URLs will look like this:
- // www. your-product.info/blog/post1?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=blog_post_1&utm_campaign=my_product
- // www. your-product.info/blog/post1?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=blog_post_1&utm_campaign=my_product
- // www. your-product.info/blog/post2?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=blog_post_2&utm_campaign=my_product
- // www. your-product.info/blog/post2?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=blog_post_2&utm_campaign=my_product
Tracking key indicators on the site
Start measuring the effectiveness of promoting a project in social networks with the help of indicators of your site as soon as you launch the tagging system. What indicators need to be monitored - we wrote # here. Customized reports available in Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica are the most convenient tool for solving this task. These services allow you to select a set of data used for analysis, as well as various combinations of parameters to suit your needs.
You can monitor the following indicators: the number of visitors, the number of achieved conversions, transactions, income from a particular client. However, some key data will not be available to you. They are associated with the level of visitor satisfaction, which is especially important in cases where content marketing is used as the main means of sales promotion.
You can access metrics that indirectly reflect the level of satisfaction of site visitors using standard Google Analytics reports, as well as information that is not directly related to your resource. You will have to independently collect and analyze information. However, it is the combined data that allows you to accurately measure the social effectiveness of content marketing.
Since all key metrics cannot be summarized into a single report in Google Analytics, you can export them to an Excel spreadsheet. But the most important thing is to come after - this is the control of metrics that are not connected to the site directly, but connected to the social platforms themselves.
Dimensions outside your site
Having organized the measurement of indicators of your site, start monitoring the metrics that are not directly related to it. Based on the previously made selection of network platforms, you need to track the effectiveness of posts on Facebook and Twitter to evaluate the performance of social channels.
Frankly, we have not detected any services that provide normal statistics on social platforms. Yes, there are social monitoring tools, such as Wobot or Social Snap. But all these services do not cause great delight in us. We recommend monitoring many things manually.
First of all, make a table of all your posts and tweets containing a link to the promoted resource. Replenish this table constantly. Consider in this table the number of likes and revisions of your materials. This will help you find each note, collect the required data and link it to the information obtained in Google Analytics reports. By completing this action, you will get almost a complete picture of the content that you share on social networks. Our point of view: the number of “likes” and retweets is a rather qualitative indicator (see below the section “Involvement of the audience”). As a rule, the more “likes” and retweets - the more rassharivaniy, and - as a result - transitions to your landing page. And as a rule - more targeted actions on the most promoted page. It is clear that “likes” and retweets must be “honestly earned”, without cheating with robots, etc. Obvious things? In fact, as our practice shows, the number of likes on social networks is incredible. And who winds them? Most of it is business. Commercial structures are themselves to blame for the fact that the number of twisted "likes" and tweets exceeds all imaginable and inconceivable sizes. This happens for one reason: when working with external executors (SMM and Diital agencies), the number of likes and retweets is most often used to assess the success of work.
Now, from quantity - which is also, of course, an important indicator - to quality. The effectiveness of posts and tweets can be assessed using various indicators. In order not to waste energy on the seizure of the universe, focus on the two most important criteria for the effectiveness of messages in social networks - the exposure and the involvement of readers in interacting with you. These metrics should be tracked for each tweet or post separately.
Exposure: the number of views on Facebook
Exposure is an indicator of the social network Facebook (Exposure), which allows you to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the effectiveness of your posts on this social network. Use Facebook's Page Statistics service to find out how many people have viewed your posts. You will also receive demographic information about your readers and information about how they found the note.
Unfortunately, you can not accurately assess this indicator on Twitter, because Twitter does not provide data on the number of views of each message. To determine approximately this indicator, add the number of your followers to the number of followers of all users who retweeted your message. Remember that this method of determining the exposure of tweets can not be considered accurate, in reality the number of viewed tweets will be much lower.
Audience engagement is the second important characteristic of your social media posts. You can measure it quantitatively by counting the number of communications, approvals and distributions of your publication. Consider these figures in more detail.
In Facebook, the number of communications can be determined by the number of comments to your note. Use the "Discuss this" section of the Page Statistics service for this.
In Twitter, communications are measured by the number of responses received on a tweet. You will have to read this indicator manually for each message.
Endorsements are likes on Facebook and “on favorites” on Twitter. This indicator approximately shows the number of users who liked your post or tweet. Do not think it is accurate, as some of your friends and followers like the notes just out of courtesy.
Use the Page Statistics service (the “Discuss this” section) to quickly get the number of likes for each Facebook post. And the number of Twitter users who added your tweet to favorites will again have to be counted manually.
The number of users who shared your post on Facebook or retweeted Twitter determines the number of spreads / shareings.
You might be surprised, but on Facebook you can get the relevant data using the “Page Statistics”. Twitter developers should follow the example of colleagues from Facebook, but until they have done so, retweets will have to be counted manually.
Enter all the collected data into an Excel spreadsheet to be able to quickly get information about a particular note and analyze it using various criteria.
The collection and systematization of information in the manual mode is a time consuming process. However, the information obtained makes it possible to quantify the social effectiveness of content marketing. Take advantage of professional automated social network monitoring services that allow you to get all or some of the quantitative data without your intervention.
Ensure that you get the most accurate quantitative information using automatic tools or manual data counting. They will help you correctly assess the social success of content marketing.