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From anecdotal evidence, most businesses aren’t measuring conversion rates from content marketing or don't have a great process for doing so.

For those of you that do care about measuring conversions, this article is going to outline a more advanced (and more accurate) way of measuring lead generation or conversion rates from content.

This method accounts for the fact that most blog readers don’t convert on their first encounter with a post. They may convert later that day, a few days later, or months later, so you’ll need to be able to account for that.

We’ll also discuss how we think about multi-touch attribution in general, that is, how do you attribute a conversion if a user touches multiple pages or parts of your business before they convert (and a blog post is only one of those touch points). It turns out Google Analytics has built in reports that can answer these questions. Finally, we’ll look at examples of actual conversion numbers from different types of companies and see how they compare using different attribution models.

  • JB

    Jera Brown

    over 1 year ago #

    Curious if and how other forms of engagement play into this model: social sharing, comments, signing up for the newsletter, etc.

    • BH

      Benji Hyam

      over 1 year ago #

      Good question.

      In terms of social sharing and comments, those don't play into the model at all. They can be indicators of content performance. And by performance, I mean, how much people like the article. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the article will generate customers. There are lots of articles that companies produce that are well written, but that will never amount to leads or customers.

      So social shares and comments are vanity metrics if those are what you're measuring success by. If you produce content that gets tons of shares and comments, but doesn't amount to any business, then it doesn't do you any good. You're spending money on something that doesn't yield real results.

      Newsletter signups on the other hand, depending on the type of the business, can fit into the model as one of the conversion goals. Depending on the sales process, newsletters signups could be a good goal to shoot for. If you sell courses or if you sell via an email list, etc. then that would be an important metric to measure.

      That being said, for most B2B businesses, I think measuring signups and/or leads from content is the end-all-be-all metric that you should measure. Newsletter signups can also be a vanity metric to some extent depending on the type of business. If you gain subscribers, but they don't convert, then it also doesn't do you any good.

      Hope that answers the question.

  • OS

    Olivia Seitz

    over 1 year ago #

    This is fabulous advice for any company doing content marketing. Thanks for the great post, Benji!

  • GS

    Gabe Solberg

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Benji,

    This is a great post! Thanks for calling out and providing clarity on the nuances I find that is an important component to understanding the data.

    I am curious have you ever tried using Facebook Analytics, people based tracking, to recreate a similar report? (since the Facebook Pixel captures all visitor data)

    • BH

      Benji Hyam

      over 1 year ago #

      That was all @deveshkhanal :). I agree, his explanations help wrap your head around a complex topic.

      I haven't personally. We do have FB pixels set up for everyone we work with, but I haven't used it to analyze an audience or for reporting. Only for advertising.

  • SR

    Shane Rostad

    over 1 year ago #

    Great stuff as always. As you say in the article, you're not going to catch everything. But this is a great way to 1) hold content marketers accountable to results, and 2) help content marketers show the value they're bringing to the table.

    • BH

      Benji Hyam

      over 1 year ago #

      Yeah, it's definitely not 100% but it gets us a lot closer to understanding what's going on, and be able to report on the direct conversions and the influence our content has on conversions.

  • KD

    Kristen DeCosta

    over 1 year ago #

    Just setting up new tracking for my current content strategy, and this is exactly what I needed! At my previous job, we tracked only the last-click conversions. I always knew the data was skewed, and it wreaked havoc on my data-driven mind. This is exactly what I needed to read today--great advice!

  • JQ

    Jason Quey

    over 1 year ago #

    Content attribution is a challenging topic, solid job on the article.

    It will be interesting to see what Google's free attribution tool will do for content marketers.

  • VL

    Viktor Lotyshko

    over 1 year ago #

    Great blog post!

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