Most businesses understand content is important and that having a solid content strategy can help with lead generation and increase brand awareness. Measuring performance and tracking KPIs is a great way to confirm that your content is working. However, social listening and checking in with your team will help add color to these numbers, showing you why something resonates with a certain buyer, and provide real time data that you can use to drive your content strategy. Mining for this data within your team and within your own social media listening capabilities will give you a clear picture of what works and why.
Here are four ways to discover what impact your content is really having on your target audience.
1. Actively Listen to Your Sales Team.
Check in with your sales team or whoever manages business development for your company and ask what prospects have heard about your business and what they noticed about your online presence. Your sales reps should let you know that a recent video testimonial or case study helped them close a deal or answer any objections. If an inbound lead mentioned they saw an article you posted or a video you shared on social media, this is a great indicator that the content resonates. Take this opportunity to amplify that piece more frequently. Any mention of an email newsletter or whitepapers, or social sharing, are all good indicators that your content resonates, and you are amplifying it in the best way for your target audience.
Your sales team is on the front lines and should be able to let you know if you are hitting the mark or not based on their daily conversations and following competitors in the industry. Actively listen to their feedback about what can be improved and be open minded to their ideas on reaching your audience in different ways.
2. Ask for Feedback from Customer Service.
Ideally, your customer service team represents your business in a way that aligns with your brand. Since customer support teams speak directly to customers who are either experiencing an issue or have a question, this is often a fantastic opportunity for a marketing pulse check. When customers reach out with questions or issues, are your customer service reps prepared to help with the right messaging and supporting material? Do your customers have a positive experience?
Customer service teams are often so busy and have constant conversations during the day, that they might not always remember to report feedback to marketing. Be sure to regularly ask your team, as they have direct conversations with customers on the phone, website, or social media channels, if they had a positive, neutral, or negative conversation with a customer and why.
Ask your team specifically what material – whether it be an educational blog post, whitepaper, infographic, video, newsletter – they typically share with customers to help them navigate questions about your product or service. This will help you determine what to keep doing and what might need improvement moving forward.
3. Social Monitoring and Listening.
Social media is not an exact science, however there are a few ways you can take the temperature of your brand’s health and determine the effectiveness of your content with your audience across social media platforms.
Social monitoring is the act of tracking and responding to messages about your business on social media platforms. For instance, a customer tweets a question about a new sale you launched, and you respond. Whether the interaction is positive, neutral, or negative, its important that you are engaging with your audience in a timely manner.
Social listening goes beyond these one-off interactions and gives you a holistic view of how your audience feels about your brand, then provides opportunities to engage with them best. Social listening should provide some valuable insights on how customers and prospects feel about your business. Go beyond just tracking mentions and conversations and simply reacting. Analyze the mentions and conversations to find some overall trends and use those insights as opportunities to make changes or double down on your strategy.
What are the active conversations that are happening on social media about your competitors and industry? Is there a competitor or industry related account that is seeing a lot of positive activity, and what is activating those conversations?
Social listening allows you to see what your customer are saying about your brand, service, or product in real time and offers the opportunity to engage in a meaningful way.
4. Track Overlooked Metrics.
Metrics may not tell the whole story, but certain metrics are often overlooked and can indicate how your content is doing. A good blog post will not just drive a boost in pageviews, pay attention to other key metrics like time spent on the page, and a lower bounce rate indicate that your content is resonating and relevant for your audience. If time spent on your blog is increasing, and/or the bounce rate is decreasing, that is a good sign that people are staying to read your content and it is relevant.
Of course, there are more metrics that can paint a picture about your content performance like newsletter and social media clicks, engagement rates, CTA click through rates and conversions. It is important to start small and check your performance consistently.
Need help with your content strategy? Reach out to our team here.