Actionable metrics are the only ones that matter to your business. Endless spreadsheets and glamour metrics will turn off stakeholders before they give your reporting a chance.
At MeetBrief, we’ve created a number of custom metrics that inform our Demand, Interest and Engagement scores to help us keep things crisp.
But when we need to dive into the weeds for a client, there are a few easy wins:
Instead of Pageviews: Engaged time
Pageviews. Do not report on them. Ever. It’s a terrible metric that should die. Instead, use something like engaged time (we use a plug-in for Google Analytics called Riveted) to give a better idea of how much time visitors are spending with your site and its content.
Instead of Open Rate: Click-Through Rate
Gauging the number of people who have opened your email is okay, but 99% of the time brands are hoping to drive some type of action or click on a specific piece of that email. Use the number of click-throughs as a better indicator of how successful your email campaigns are. Most would rather have 500 opens with 250 click-throughs than 1000 opens with only 220 click-throughs.
Instead of Social Followers: Engaged Users
As each social network gets more complicated with how their algorithm decides to serve your organic audience, fan and follower numbers become less important. Pages with 50,000 fans may only reach 500 engaged fans through a given post. Engaged users is a vastly superior metric to gauge long-term growth.
Since 80 to 90% of visitors exposed to your content will only scan your headline, creating a killer headline is easily the most important factor in determining the success of your content.
Creating the ideal headline for your content is one part art, one part science, and no one rule of thumb applies to all brands. Testing and measurement are key to understanding what resonates with your specific audience.
7 ideas to try:
Start with a proven formula: Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise
Listicles: The top 10 reasons they aren’t just for BuzzFeed
Mention your target audience: Three tips CMOs need to know
Tease a list item: PB&J and the six other best sandwiches ever created
Play off negatives: Avoiding increases in bounce rate
Mention the length up front: Understand UTM tags in 5 minutes or less or Long read: …
Reference your experts: Three tools our CSO uses to keep his laptop secure
If you think blogging is just for for angsty teens, think again.
It’s a great way for you to bring exposure to your organization’s brand, while also helping to build your own credibility and reputation in your field. And if done through LinkedIn, blogging can be a relatively easy way to get your expertise and opinions out to a community of half a billion users. Research has shown that brand messages reach 561 percent further when shared by employees versus the same messages shared through official brand social channels. And they’re shared 24 times more frequently when they come from employees versus the brand.
Bottom line? Blogging has an effect on just that — the bottom line. On average, companies with blogs produce 67 percent more leads per month. It stands to reason that individuals who blog about professional subject matter should see an uptick in leads or improved outreach.
Okay, so now you’re convinced and ready to blog. Get going… Wait! You don’t know what to write about?
We’ve got some advice to help you break through the writer’s block:
Write about what you know. What does your team come to you for answers about? What do others look to you as an expert?
Write about something you want to know more of so that you’re learning AND educating at the same time.
Use conversations with your clients or colleagues as inspiration. If you’re regularly discussing an issue, chances are you’re not the only one. Someone else could probably benefit from the additional insights and discussion.
Look to your organization for content that you can put your own spin on when you summarize or react to it. Odds are your only semi-original message will get more traction than the one distributed by your organization. Employee advocacy for the win.
Because all content does not have the same goal, it’s important to individually assign a primary objective to each piece of content to measure its specific success. In general, content objectives fall into one of three buckets:
Interest: Designed to drive long term relationships (email subscribers, net new fans, followers, returning website visitors)
Engagement: Designed to get your readers to share, comment on and fully digest the content
Demand: Designed to drive user action, including form fills, petition sign-ups, link clicks, responses to calls to action, total clicks to the store, visits to delivery partners, e-commerce purchases
2. Have a direct tie to your brand
Creating a clear tie to your brand within posts/articles establishes credibility no matter the type of content.
Name drop: Inject the brand and product names when relevant.
No place like home: Employ geographical references when you can.
Paint the picture: Choose visuals in accordance with your brand’s style.
Be mindful of tone: Stay true to your brand’s voice.
3. Always avoid the “wall of text”
Designate “sections” of content to allow for structured reading experiences that lead to clearer understanding and engagement.
Be clear: Use clear subheads and imagery to designate natural “sections.”
Be consistent: For example, listicle items should always be separated by numbers or divided by section.
Be visual: Use images to break up long stretches of text and to complement the surrounding content.
Be bold: Help facilitate reading comprehension with bold segments and bulleted lists.
4. Have a clear distribution plan
If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. It is important to leverage your social channels to get the word out.
Organic social promotion: Every article should be linked from your social channels; choose titles, descriptions and imagery that describe the content well.
Content discovery: Measure the quality of article from your organic/unpaid distribution, and then use the best in targeted paid campaigns.
Post more than once per article: For example, choose two or three listicle items within content and base the post on those items, rather than the listicle itself.
Inclusion on the homepage: Make sure that your latest articles get prime coverage on the most visited page of your site.
Inclusion in email: Email visitors are good visitors (they are opting in to hear from you!), so be sure that top content performers are included in your newsletter.
5. Continually measure success using data
It’s crucial to measure how each article performs (whether good or bad) to inform future content.
Tracking and tagging: Confirm all tracking and tagging is in place before launch; ensure that forms capture submit counts and that calls to action capture visitor clicks.
Campaign tagging: Correctly measure campaigns and social traffic; use UTM tags to measure source and medium performance across your posted articles.
Apples to apples: Create a plan to review similar content for performance; find what works in one article and then apply it to another.
We’ve long known that tweets which include images perform better, or receive greater engagement, than text-only tweets. In fact, research has shown that tweets with images are 150% more likely to get retweeted than tweets without images! So it’s pretty fair to say that if you’re not including images in most of your tweets, you’re leaving opportunities for engagement on the table.
But what if you could take that a step further and use images to actually help drive people to your website content? Well, you can. When a twitter user clicks on one of your tweeted photos, there are basically two options: the photo can either expand to become a larger image, or it can serve as a hyperlink that sends the user to desired content.
Here’s how to make that happen:
First things first: Log into your Twitter account, and go to the Home page.
Click on your Twitter profile photo/Profile & Settings in the top right corner to trigger the dropdown menu. Then select Twitter Ads.
At the top of the page (near the left), select the Creatives dropdown menu and then choose Cards.
Near the top right is a button with the words Create Card. Click that to trigger yet another dropdown menu and select Website Card.
When the ‘Create website card’ popup appears, under Media, choose Select image to insert the picture that you want to include in your tweet.
Use an image of 800 x 418 pixels for an aspect ratio of 1.9:1, or use an image of 800 x 800 pixels for an aspect ratio of 1:1 (max 3mb). Write a headline specific to your content or that page that is less than 70 characters, though we recommend 50 or fewer characters so that the title isn’t truncated.
Add the website URL for the content to which you want to send people.
Give the card a unique name. This is just for you to keep track of it; users won’t see it.
Click Preview (to do exactly that), and when you’re happy with the look, click Create.
Now that you’re back in the Cards library, hover over the image/card you want to share and select Tweet.
Type your message (256 characters or less), unselect the box that says Promoted Only, and then click Tweet.
Your tweet with the hyperlinked image is now shared!
For those who skipped reading to watch a screencast, here it is!
In case you don’t already know, UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) are parameters that you can add to your campaign URLs; they provide additional insights on your campaign’s performance. Setting them up can be a bit of work, but it’s worth it.
Here’s why you should always add UTM tags
Find your best sources of traffic combined with the highest-performing content for those sources.
Tagging links with campaign parameters allows you to segment and analyze your traffic based on social channel, visitor type, or individual campaigns.
By default, all social network traffic is treated the same. Tagging links lets you differentiate social traffic from paid social traffic.
This segmentation allows you to optimize media spend and placement based on the quality of visit, rather than the quantity of clicks.
With tags, visitors can be segmented into “buckets” to differentiate between types, to ultimately find your best source of traffic.