Turning Your Business Goals into Content Metrics
When you start a podcast, or a youtube channel, or a livestream series, or any other kind of multi-media content campaign, you’ll have goals. You might be looking for business growth, you might be looking for the esteem of your peers, you might be looking for lots of organic search and domain authority.
There’s really no bad reason to make content – but knowing why you’re doing it is critical.
Because if you don’t know WHY you’re doing it, you’ll never know if it’s working or not.
But connecting what is going on in your business with the content you’re creating is a bit of a challenge. It’s hard to tell if your podcast is responsible for an influx of new leads, or someone went bananas with the referrals.
So should you be pumping more money into ads for your podcast episodes, or buying someone thank you flowers?
You’ll never know entirely, or perfectly – but there is a way to get a general (and useful!) sense of whether or not your content platforms are helping you reach your business goals.
You turn your business goals into content metrics.
Some of those goals could be Audience and Engagement Building, Thought Leadership, Lead Generation, and SEO and Organic Reach.
Let’s talk about how to turn these goals into metrics you can track and measure.
Making Money from Multi-Media Content
We’ve got TONS of detail about each of the multi-media platforms, and a handy chart to help you figure out which will work the best for your gaols – check it out!
Audience and Engagement Building.
From a numbers perspective, Audience building and engagement building are different, so let’s talk about each of them.
If your main content goal is to grow your audience so that down the road you’ll have a large pool of people to help you promote, buy your products and spread your message, then you can measure things like the number of subscribers on your email list, the number of followers you have on social media (or for both – the percentage growth that you’re seeing!)
You want to track the subscriber and follower growth because they represent people who have taken an action – they’ve put up their hands a little bit and said “I’m here! Count Me!”
For Engagement Building – mere presence on your email list or Twitter follower list is not enough. You need to track the actual times they talked to you.
You might count the clicks in an email directing people to your videos, the number of likes and responses you get on social media, the comments on blog posts, the time they’re spending on your site – this is one of the easiest ones to actually track, because the evidence is there for you to count, right on the content you’re tracking for.
Now let’s talk about the next easiest, tracking for SEO and Organic Reach.
SEO and Organic Reach
Setting up your search metrics tracking can be a little onerous, but once you have it done – seeing how your different pages, posts, videos, and opt-ins are performing is pretty easy.
Some of the specific numbers you might be looking at are the number of visits on specific pages, the number of backlinks you’re getting from other sites, and the number of shares you’re getting on social media.
What these numbers tell you is how much of your content is being shared and talked about without you. It’s how high you are up on Google’s search results pages, and how likely people are to independently refer your content to their connections. That is powerful traffic and attention for your business. You can’t buy that kind of attention and growth. Literally.
Paid traffic is a whole different category. 😉
Moving on – another very common goal is Lead Generation.
Lead generation metrics are all about, you guessed it, the number of new leads you’re getting on the basis of your content. It might be sales calls booked, inquiry emails received, referrals you’re getting or even the number of new clients! Sometimes you can ask a “where did you hear about us” question on an opt-in or during a booking process, but those can be a bit irritating, so the best way to count them is to simply ask people! “What made you decide to call today?” is a pleasant way to pump them for information.
These numbers will always be a little hazier than the number of social media followers you have – but if tons of your new leads are talking about your awesome youtube videos, you can reasonably assume that they contributed.
Finally on our list is the most nebulous and ethereal of them all – Thought Leadership.
Unless you’re creating content for the pure, gluttonous joy of personal aggrandizement, you want to make sure that your efforts at establishing yourself as a thought leader in your space are being validated by something a little more substantial than adding ‘thought leader’ to your Twitter bio.
To see if you and your companies stature is actually growing – you can track your mentions in news sources, invitations to speak or be a guest on other platforms, the number of conferences you’re invited to, and the times you’re cited by other publications.
The less pleasant, but equally effective measurement of thought leadership is how much people argue with you. You don’t become an industry disruptor by making everyone happy. Has a lobby group named you as a vile enemy of the free market?
Congratulations, you’re probably a thought leader.
So, all of these numbers being on the table for counting, weighing and measuring – what is a good number to aim for?
Easy. It’s exactly as long as a piece of rope.
That’s to say that there isn’t a perfect number for any metrics. What you need to worry about more than an arbitrary headcount is whether or not you’re reaching your business goals on a timeline that works for you, and whether or not that growth, over time, will get you where you need to be.
There’s no point counting any metrics in the first few days, or even worse after starting a new platform – the trend over time matters.
Give yourself at least 3, and ideally 6 months of playing on a new platform, so you have enough data to really understand what’s happening. Then look at your metrics and make your choices about whether to keep on, invest more, pivot your plans, or quit the platform. We’re going to be talking about those choices in an episode coming up very soon, so if you haven’t yet – subscribe for updates on the podcast delivery mechanism of your choice.