Content can be a difficult product to quantify. Unlike Paid Media or other marketing initiatives where lead generation is the end result, the goals of a content marketing strategy are a bit more nebulous. Are you building a brand? Gathering an audience? Or just chasing those leads? Content can do all of these things for you, but not directly, which can be frustrating for clients who want to see their marketing spend turned into something tangible.
Most content writers are not what you would call “numbers people.” It’s a completely different side of the brain from what they’re used to, and they see any attempt to quantify their work as being counterintuitive. Leave the spreadsheets for accounting. Content is all about speaking directly to the people, man.
However, in these strange days of Silicon Valley supremacy, where innovations are now “hacks” and data dictates strategy, content needs to adapt or die. And Google Analytics, of all things, may be just the tool to save it.
Embracing Big Data
Google changed the internet when they debuted their search engine, and now they’re changing the digital marketing industry by giving everyone the tools to understand how their customers use the internet. And it’s free! Google Overlords be praised.
Google Analytics is not a unique piece of software. There are plenty of other online tools that will help you measure website traffic data. But it’s the ability of Google Analytics to provide you with in-depth information about your website’s visitors – who they are, what they like, what they want to see – that makes it so invaluable. Without analytics tracking, you’re essentially flying blind, with no way of knowing what works on your website and what doesn’t.
With tracking software like Google Analytics, you can measure the results of individual campaigns in real time, which lets you instantly adapt to online trends to keep your website on the cutting edge. And for those no-nonsense clients of yours, it provides you with the hard numbers they crave; no matter if you’re running SEO, PPC, or social media campaigns, you can show their impact in terms of ROI. You probably see where this is going.
Analytics and Content: Two Great Tastes
Yes, you can apply analytics strategies to content marketing, and you should! It might seem weird to combine mathematical data with what is at its core a creative pursuit, but the benefits greatly outweigh any negatives. There are so many things that Google Analytics can do for a content marketing program, and rather simply at that.
Provide Instant Feedback
This is something every content writer can understand. You don’t get better at anything without learning from your mistakes, and that goes doubly for writing. If what you’re putting down on the page isn’t getting the message across, why continue to beat your head against the wall? With Google Analytics, you can track the success of content all the way down to the individual page level, so you’ll know the exact point in the funnel where you lose people and can then go about fixing it.
Give Your Writers Bargaining Power
One of the worst traits of business strategy is its extreme aversion to rocking the boat. Oh, most CEOs will talk a big game about “shifting the paradigm,” but behind closed doors they’re perfectly content with following the beaten path if it means predictable success.
For creatives, being predictable is a fate worse than death. Part of being a good writer is finding new ways to connect with people, and when you can back up your unique content strategies with traffic and conversion data, even the squarest CEO will find it tough to argue otherwise.
Develop New Content Strategies
Now that Google Analytics has provided your writers with the freedom to write what they want, they may be paralyzed with all that excess of choice. Once the reins are off, where do you go from there?
Users aren’t expecting you to reinvent the wheel. Give them what they want and they’ll be happy. Unlike a blind date, it’s very easy to know what they’re looking for – just look at your analytics data. Which campaigns get the most clicks or shares, and when are they published? Which pages drive the most conversions, and what do they look like? Are they blogs, infographics, or videos?
Often, simple questions like these can give your writers the nudge they need to start moving in the right direction.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Who wants to do extra work for nothing? It’s become common wisdom (for some reason) that the more content you put on the internet, the more likely you are to hook a customer. But this isn’t a day at the lake; internet users are savvy, and they can smell desperation a mile away.
Saturating the market will only lead to brand fatigue, and users will tune out instead of tuning in. Don’t rely on a scattershot approach; attract new customers by developing quality content that focuses on the things they care about. In this case, less truly is more.
Who is Google Analytics for?
Truth be told, not everyone needs Google Analytics. If you know which of your webpages receive the most traffic and why, and that makes you happy, more power to you. But if you’re a brand, agency, or entity focused on providing quality content marketing and want to measure it in terms of ROI, you need to get on the bandwagon.
According to Built With, approximately 76 percent of the top one million websites online use Google Analytics. That’s almost 600,000 brands spread across a huge spectrum of verticals: business, education, technology, healthcare, entertainment. It’s a pretty big pool, and if you want to keep your head above water, quit splashing around and use the tools available to you to stay afloat.
Data-Driven Content Marketing Strategy with Go Local Interactive
If your client thinks they can handle producing their own content marketing because “everyone can write,” you need Google Analytics on your side ASAP. Sure, your client’s CEO’s son-in-law has a lovely Harry Potter fan blog, but you need to stick up for the professional writers on your staff. The explosion of the internet proved that anyone can create content, but the rise of data-driven strategy proves that not everyone can create winning content. If your clients won’t see the value in words, they should see the value in numbers.
At Go Local Interactive, our content marketing experts are trained in the latest SEO techniques to create meaningful, effective content using an analytical perspective. We take the time to research who your customers are, what they like, and what they need – then give it to them. Contact us today to see what a professional content strategy can do for your brand.