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Measuring and Increasing the ROI of Your Content Resources

Article submitted by iClimber. Let me cut right to the chase. Do you want to know the value of your content marketing efforts? Want this report? Read on and I’ll tell ya! Calculating the real ROI With so much emphasis often put on the traffic generation potential of a good content marketing strategy, I want to focus this post on measuring and increasing the return on the (sometimes sneakily large) investment. Some common goals you’ll hear surrounding a content marketing strategy include generating traffic for generic terms, increasing social shares, and developing the brand’s authority (measured by increases in branded traffic, or some other indicator). In the right circumstances, all of these are nice metrics for the relevant stakeholders in the organization, but they’re all just proxies for measuring the growth of a business. They’re measurements of the means, not the end. The impetus for a lot of what I’ll be talking about in this post comes from Josh Braaten‘s post on the Google Analytics Blog a few months ago titled “How to Prove the Value of Content Marketing with Multi-Channel Funnels“. Josh talks practically about how to measure the business impact of traffic that first experiences your site via a page that isn’t directly selling a product or service to a consumer. Think: the “How to get into fly-fishing” article written by the outdoors retailer that sells fly-fishing poles, or even the “How to measure the effectiveness of content marketing” article written by the guy working for a company that’s doing a two day kick-ass web marketing conference in Boston on May 20th & 21st :). Indeed, these content pages aren’t selling a product or service, but they are selling the brand, the “purchase” made by the consumer is everlasting trust; and it has a really low conversion rate. The necessary analysis for this gets difficult because it is so rare for a user to make the jump from discovery/informational stage to transactional stage in one sitting. Hence the need for multi-channel analysis: we need to take a conversion, look back at all of the interactions that have taken place leading up to that conversion, and assign some amount of credit to those channels that often show up toward the beginning of the conversion path. Social networks and the content that usually ranks for generic keywords are most often found in these early interactions. They are inherently ‘openers’ or ‘exposers’. So, now that we’ve covered the theory, let’s look at measuring that... read more

21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012)

It’s easy to build a blog, but hard to build a successful blog with significant traffic. Over the years, we’ve grown the Moz blog to nearly a million visits each month and helped lots of other blogs, too. I launched a personal blog late last year and was amazed to see how quickly it gained thousands of visits to each post. There’s an art to increasing a blog’s traffic, and given that we seem to have stumbled on some of that knowledge, I felt it compulsory to give back by sharing what we’ve observed. NOTE: This post replaces a popular one I wrote on the same topic in 2007. This post is intended to be useful to all forms of bloggers – independent folks, those seeking to monetize, and marketing professionals working an in-house blog from tiny startups to huge companies. Not all of the tactics will work for everyone, but at least some of these should be applicable and useful. #1 – Target Your Content to an Audience Likely to Share When strategizing about who you’re writing for, consider that audience’s ability to help spread the word. Some readers will naturally be more or less active in evangelizing the work you do, but particular communities, topics, writing styles and content types regularly play better than others on the web. For example, great infographics that strike a chord (like this one), beautiful videos that tell a story (like this one) and remarkable collections of facts that challenge common assumptions (like this one) are all targeted at audiences likely to share (geeks with facial hair, those interested in weight loss and those with political thoughts about macroeconomics respectively). If you can identify groups that have high concentrations of the blue and orange circles in the diagram above, you dramatically improve the chances of reaching larger audiences and growing your traffic numbers. Targeting blog content at less-share-likely groups may not be a terrible decision (particularly if that’s where you passion or your target audience lies), but it will decrease the propensity for your blog’s work to spread like wildfire across the web. #2 – Participate in the Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers Advertisers on Madison Avenue have spent billions researching and determining where consumers with various characteristics gather and what they spend their time doing so they can better target their messages. They do it because reaching a group of 65+ year old women with commercials for extreme sports equipment... read more