Do you know how many people genuinely enjoy your content? Sure, you might have a handful of comments and a few people emailing you to say they enjoyed your content. (Even if that’s followed with a guest post pitch.) But are you measuring that content engagement?
Engagement is a key goal for many marketers. It shows the reader is genuinely enjoying the content you’re sharing, and they’re giving their time to act on it—be that with a social share or a subscription to your email list.
The downside? Research has found that getting target customers to engage with a brand is the top challenge for B2B marketers.
You can make that easier by measuring content engagement with these five engagement metrics:
1. Social Shares
A social share means that someone has read your content and gone out of their way to share it with their own network, be that on Twitter, LinkedIn, or a niche forum.
Shelby Rogers of Solodev explains: “Having high levels of engagement shows that your content resonates with people. That means your messaging broke through the noise of infinite scrolling and posts, caught a user’s attention enough for them to like, and made an impact enough for them to comment on your content.”
Related Reading: Lake One’s Guide to LinkedIn Marketing
Or, you can look for social shares on specific platforms by adding your URL into the search bar:
(Research has found that written articles, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media. You might already be experiencing social shares if those three formats make the bulk of your content strategy.)
2. New Backlinks
The number of backlinks you’re collecting for your website is another important marketing metric to consider to measure content engagement, as Joe Robison of Green Flag Digital explains: “Backlinks drive both referral traffic and show Google your new content is trustworthy, contributing to your overall rankings.”
People only link to other URLs if the site is trustworthy. After all, the goal of SEO is to prove to Google that you’re trustworthy enough to rank well in their search results.
Associating your site with another, high-value one proves that, but if other people are linking to you, they must think you’re authoritative enough to be associated with.
3. Organic Ranking Positions
You can’t get a good search presence if you don’t have a solid army of backlinks pointing to your content.
Once you start building those backlinks, you’ll need to move your attention to another metric to measure content engagement: Your organic ranking positions, which tell you the keywords each piece of content is ranking for (and in what position.)
It goes without saying that you want as many position #1 rankings as possible. But so long as you see the upward trend of more and more organic keywords you’re showing for, it can prove that your content is engaging enough for Google to rank it well. Click here for more on the Dos and Don’ts of B2B SEO.
This is also ideal if you’re using the topic and cluster model, as Stephen Jeske of MarketMuse explains: “Of course, a cluster of pages can’t rank, but you can look at the individual page rankings in the context of the cluster. That can reveal a lot about what is or is not working within that group.”
4. Brand Market Share
Stan Tan of Selby’s, “The end goal [of content marketing] is building a brand so you don’t have to rely on spending money on TV ads, Facebook ads or other forms of advertisements.”
Brand market share is a tactic you can use to measure this. It tells you the percentage of customers in your industry that purchase your products.
You can determine your brand market share with this formula:
|(Your total sales / The industry’s total sales) * 100|
For example: If you make $100,000 per year in an industry that has collectively made $1 million in sales, your brand market share would be 10%.
Again, this metric is best-measured when you compare it over time. Pick a time frame to regularly check-in on how your content affects your brand market share—such as every quarter or once a year. How much market share did you grow by?
5. Qualified Leads
There are two types of leads that marketing departments want to report on:
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): A person that fits the buyer persona and has similar qualities to their typical customer.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): An MQL that’s been passed to sales reps, who’ve confirmed that they’re a potential customer.
Related Reading: Best B2B Lead Gen Tools
You should keep an eye on these metrics—not by setting a figure amount to reach each month, but by monitoring how they change over time. This change can be another indication of content performance and engagement.
For example: Do you get more SQLs after publishing a long-form piece of content? Does the topic of your content influence how many SQLs you get that week? Which type of content has the best MQL to SQL conversion rate?
Summarizing, Casie Ost of Beacons Point adds: “You can bring new eyes to your website, but the only way to get ROI from your efforts is to turn them into paying customers. Therefore, if you focus on tracking metrics of your qualified leads, whether it be a MQL or SQL, those are the key metrics client’s will really want to see.”
Content marketing is one of the most difficult marketing channels to track. And whilst everyone visiting your content might not hit the “purchase” button on their first visit, you can use these metrics to determine whether they’ll end up there.
But the benefits of engaging content go beyond that initial purchase. A report by Gallup found that B2B companies retain fully engaged customers more than others by 27%. (And we’ve all seen the statistics on how much cheaper it is to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.)
Use these metrics to track and measure content engagement. Always use them as a benchmark when trying new tactics, and figure the perfect formula for a piece of content that encourages the reader to take action.