Are You Using the Right Tools to Track Content Success?

 In Content Analytics, Content Marketing

You’ve spent many man hours setting the goals, metrics and strategy for your new content initiative.  Now, it is time to make sure you’re capturing the content analytics data you need so that those metrics tell an obvious story.

While Google Analytics or Hootsuite can certainly qualify as your new best friend for much of your web-based or social content (respectively), monitoring the success of some content initiatives may require specialized tracking mechanisms or more metric granularity. In this post, let’s introduce you to some sophisticated, yet fairly easy-to-use, tools that are common and available to all.

Tools of the Tracking Trade

Google URL Builder for Link Tracking
Google has a simple yet robust URL generator for the tagging of custom campaign variables and parameters needed for deeper performance reporting. Navigate to the URL Builder Form on the Google Analytics Help site and complete the fields required to generate a custom URL to be placed in your content, advertising links, social posts, emails and more. The unique URL is linked back to the main URL of your Google Analytics account and is readily available for reporting and goal tracking.

Email Subscription Tracking
For many marketers, their primary content mission is to grow their subscriber list by providing great, free content. Embedding email subscription forms is pretty easy via your email marketing, marketing automation or opt-in platform of choice. And most do a nice job of tracking and reporting on subscriber growth and click rates. But should you be taking this further? Where are your new subscribers coming from? Which content pieces are resulting in the most subscriptions?

As a hub for performance and goal metrics, Google Analytics can (with just a few clicks of configuration) easily track your entire subscriber funnel without the need for you to access your email platform’s dashboard. Some technical connections (and a little research) may be required to ensure your email platform can sync data to Google Analytics. A simple Google search (ex: “Mailchimp and Google Analytics”) should point you to a search result that goes into full technical detail.

Tracking via Marketing Automation/CRM
Visitor and usage statistics provided by marketing automation platforms can be incredibly powerful tools. The combination of identifying actual people (by name, IP address), tracking and scoring their engagement across content channels, and their general website activity from Google Analytics provides you with a much richer view of how your content is moving the needle (or not). Most marketing automation platforms provide the standard set of tracking mechanisms (javascript tagging for your website, lead capture forms, click tracking, lead scoring, email campaign reporting), but some have more sophisticated tools for content localization and personalization.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, each content effort and goal is different and requires different sets of metrics, tools, and tracking. Take the time to set up your tracking mechanisms and procure the necessary data specific to one goal at a time. Soon, you will have a wealth of well-manicured data sets to make actionable decisions, ensuring your content’s success. Additionally, be sure to check out our free ebook, The Definitive Guide to Planning a New Content Initiative, for more guidance into tracking your data against the goals and metrics you have set.

Download our eBook today! 

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