Measuring the performance of your content marketing is key to understanding its ROI and contribution to revenue. However, this isn’t easy when you have analytic data coming from multiple systems. Your content team is too busy to waste time with manual processes. Instead, developing a content performance dashboard that includes all channels makes things easier.
Aggregating content analytics from disparate platforms into one delivers substantial insights faster. You can then make better decisions about your content strategy and planning moving forward, as you’ll understand which channels and types of content produce the most traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Do You Have Challenges Connecting Content Marketing to Conversions?
Most enterprise content teams struggle with connecting the dots. It can be tricky to attribute conversions to content marketing, but it’s not impossible.
This connection matters significantly for several reasons:
- It makes a case for content marketing as a revenue generator, not a cost center.
- As content drives more leads and traffic, budget holders can allot more for your efforts.
- Leads from content marketing are often more engaged and warmer, making it easier for salespeople to close the deal.
The challenge you likely face is with the technical infrastructure and reporting capabilities of these efforts. If you’re not able to track every channel and aggregate the data, you’re likely not demonstrating the complete picture of content ROI. Additionally, the reporting structure you have could be time-intensive and confusing for those outside of marketing to understand.
For visibility and transparency, a content performance dashboard should your end goal. It allows you to streamline the measurement aspect and be confident you’re reporting on your content’s entire contribution to the bottom line.
The Perils of Not Having a Dashboard
You may have disparate mechanisms for tracking content analytics, but forego a centralized content performance dashboard, thinking it’s not necessary. Having metrics accessible doesn’t always translate to complete visibility. Not using a dashboard could cause you to:
- Not check metrics as often as you should: You might only look at a summary report at the end of the month. However, that’s likely not frequent enough to fully understand channel performance. You also won’t be able to make tweaks for improvement in a real-time manner.
- Slack on measuring the change: Dashboards often include graphs, which measure fluctuations of a metric. If you only look at monthly results, you’re not making critical comparisons that indicate trends.
- Spend too much time gathering numbers: Without a dashboard, you may use automated reports and turn them into a dashboard or snapshot for leadership. You’ll be exporting numbers from several areas, which may require hours of attention from your team, and that’s not efficient or productive.
Building Your Content Performance Dashboard
There are two primary steps for building a content performance dashboard: select a platform and define the metrics.
Select a Platform
First, you have to choose content marketing software that can aggregate multiple sources and allows you to custom build one or more dashboards. This is the first and most crucial step. Not every platform is the same. Nor will it integrate with all your data sources. Comparing content marketing solutions is key to making this decision.
Essential questions to ask:
- What are the integration capabilities? You’re looking for a solution to connect your channels, such as Google Analytics, social media profiles, CRMs, marketing automation, email, and more. It needs to integrate with everything you use to distribute content.
- Are dashboards customizable? Some systems will only provide you with templates that don’t allow you to make changes. If that matters to you, then be sure to ask if customization is possible.
- Are dashboard reports easy to share or export? Not every stakeholder will have access to the dashboard. If leadership wants a big picture view of content marketing, being able to quickly share or export reports is crucial.
Define Your Metrics
Next, you’ll need to determine what you want to measure and have visible on your dashboard. Thus, these would be the most critical metrics concerning KPIs (key performance indicators).
Your dashboard isn’t going to show every metric. Nor do you want it to. In defining these, go back to your content strategy and the metrics that matter section.
Here are some ideas:
- Social media engagement: Measures how users are interacting with content in these channels and reveals which profiles are the strongest as well as what type of content. For example, you may find that your followers on Twitter share your infographics the most often. You can then take that insight and update your content calendar to create more infographics.
- Email engagement: Understand how well emails work as a way to distribute content with dashboard overviews of email opens and clicks. You’ll soon find trends in your most successful emails that you can replicate for future campaigns.
- Website metrics: Your website is your most vital channel. You own and operate it, so you want to be able to quickly see things like pageviews, time on page, bounce rate, sessions, and visitors.
- SEO: Tracking SEO efforts involves looking at organic search. In this part of the dashboard, you might include search visibility, keyword rankings, and search trends.
- Referral sources: Find out how people are discovering your content. It could be social media, third-party sites, or organic search. You want to know which channels are working the best for you in terms of driving traffic. More traffic leads to more conversions.
- Conversions: Define what a conversion is—a completed form, a purchase, a request for a quote, etc. These are often goals in Google Analytics, so including that as part of your dashboard offers a view of how content delivers opportunities to your company.
One Platform, One Dashboard, Many Insights
The key to creating a content performance dashboard that provides value is having the right platform and setting up metrics that tell the full story of channel performance. A single source of truth is essential for any content team.
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