The Importance of Monitoring Content Distribution Effectiveness

Once you’ve implemented a content distribution strategy it is very critical to constantly evaluate and monitor the effects on your content metrics.

Quantify Your Content Distribution Strategy

The only way to figure out the effectiveness of your content distribution strategy is to keep track of metrics. But not all metrics are important for every type of business. When choosing metrics, it’s important to stick to the ones that have a direct correlation with your ROI because without numbers, it will be difficult to quantify the impact of your decisions.

You can measure the impact of your content distribution strategy using these metrics:

Social Shares

Sharing tells you whether you are creating the right content. If your content is useful, relevant, or entertaining, it can be shared to the point of going viral. If you know the kind of content that gets widely shared, you can adjust themes in future to attract more attention.

There are tools for monitoring shares for different types of content. Some of them such as BuzzSumo can monitor backlinks and follow content activity on outside platforms to determine how many people are receiving it. Knowledge of Social Media skills is essential for evaluating and understanding these metrics.

Share of Voice

Your earned media contributes to your share of voice in the marketplace. If people are communicating good things about you without being asked to do so, they can become your brand ambassadors.

However, negative comments also affect your share of voice. Track and respond to complaints quickly, because that is the only way to convert those with negative opinions into brand ambassadors.

Conversions

Every message you send should have a call to action, such as click here, download, fill out registration form, buy, and others. When visitors respond to these actions, this is called a “conversion.” Your main aim is to get visitors to buy your product or service. Your distribution strategy should therefore have effective tools for monitoring customer action deep into the conversion funnel.

Retention

Before customers buy your product, they need to interact with your brand several times in order to know it, be comfortable with pricing, and eventually trust it enough to respond to a call-to-action. At this point, customers will willingly exchange their contact information for your product and you can use this information to build retention and loyalty.

Impact on Sales Pipeline

Content marketing impact on salesYou should track how your content, either singly or collectively, is impacting sales. If you are not seeing any significant impact on the sales funnel, then your content distribution is not effective. You can determine impact by checking revenue, or opportunities arising out of your content. Software like Marketo and Salesforce can be used to assess sales pipeline impact.

Watch These Metrics

Use the following metrics to measure results at every stage of the sale funnel:

  • Awareness: Metrics such as unique visitors and page views will give you an indication of the amount of interest generated by your content.
  • Consideration: Once visitors get to your site, you need to measure how well they remain engaged by your content. Use metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on your website, number of shares and conversion rates from your call-to-action.
  • Repeat visitors/conversions: Metrics such as click-through-rates and number of repeat visitors will give you an indication of how loyal your visitors are.
  • Purchase: Converting visitors to purchase is the ultimate goal. Do not forget to target customers at this stage with content that will turn them into repeat buyers.

Vanity metrics. To use or not to use? It’s important to avoid falling into the trap of “vanity” metrics such as page views, likes, and follows. While these metrics will make you feel good, they can be misleading because you can’t be certain whether they are yielding real results. It’s also difficult to know how vanity metrics are helping to maximize your distribution efforts. Nevertheless, if your objectives can be met by tracking vanity metrics, this should not pose a problem.

How does a content distribution strategy differ for different businesses?

Naturally, B2B and B2C have different target audiences and your processes around content creation and distribution will change based on the type of business you are running.

B2B content distribution strategy aims to reach key influencers and organizations while B2C targets individual consumers who are looking for products or services online. Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute shows that content strategies for B2B and B2C differ in the following ways:

1. Tactics

B2B companies target their audience with content meant to create thought leadership and therefore invest their time in white papers, case studies, webinars and research reports. B2C customers are more interested in satisfying immediate needs and therefore require content that is concise, mobile, and easy to read.

Effectiveness ratings for content distribution

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

2. The Use of Social Media

Though both B2B and B2C use social media, they target their audiences through different platforms. LinkedIn is more useful for B2B marketing, while most B2C marketers use Facebook as their main social media marketing platform. The choice of platform is driven by the “where” of target audiences. For business leaders and professionals, LinkedIn serves as a direct channel to them. Facebook is dominated by individuals who are interested in socializing.

Effectiveness ratings for social media

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

3. Challenges Faced by Both Types of Businesses

The challenges faced by B2B and B2C marketers are similar, with differences being in the degree experienced by both types of businesses.

For instance, both B2B and B2C marketers have challenges with the consistent production of engaging content, but B2B struggles more in this area.

Top challenges for content marketers

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

4. Goals and Metrics used

Important metric for content marketers

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

B2B marketers are more focused on generating quality leads. In a survey 31% of micro-size B2B marketers said they were more focused on sales and 23% said their main focus is sales lead quality.

Another report released by Fox Agency in 2016 reveals that B2B marketers continue to face challenges in:

  • Proper use of context in marketing
  • Marketing to an audience that is primarily dominant on mobile
  • Optimizing email marketing
  • Capturing audience attention
  • Reaching audiences with compelling marketing messages

After publishing and distributing content, how do you keep it safe from content thieves?

Due to Google Panda updates, if content that is stolen from your website ranks higher than your website, your site might be construed as the infringer. It’s therefore extremely important to consistently monitor your website to ensure your content has not been stolen.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) offers protection for published online content under copyright law, whether or not the copyright symbol is visible on a website. But even with the existence of such protection laws, the sheer number of websites online makes it difficult to tell when your content has been stolen.

Prevent Content Theft Before it Happens By Using the Following Tips From IpWatchdog®

  • Ensure your website is registered under DMCA and that their badge features prominently on your website.
  • Add a copyright notice on your website, or a warning sign that reminds people it’s illegal to copy content, even if the copying is unintentional.
  • Keep proof of your content creation process (such as rough drafts of your ongoing work), in case you’ll need to prove that you are the originator of stolen content.
  • Make use of duplicate content detection tools such as:
  • Google search: Copy and paste some of your original content on the Google search bar. All the websites that contain the content will show in the search results. You can also set Google alerts so that if any content that matches yours is published, you will get a notification.
  • Use plagiarism-monitoring tools: Tools such as Copyscape and Plagium are very useful if you want to check whether parts of your content have been used somewhere else without proper attribution.
Online plagiarism checker

Image by Helpertrul courtesy of Wikimedia commons

  • Copy monitoring services: Services such as CopyGator will contact you if they find content that is duplicated from your website.
  • Take necessary steps against plagiarists. As soon as you find out who has copied your content, contact the infringers and inform them that they are using your content illegally and that they should pull it down. If they refuse to heed your request, contact the company that hosts their website and explain the situation. The hosting company can assist by delisting the website. You can also file a complaint with Google and if all else fails, you can sue the plagiarist under copyright law.

It’s important to note that if you own several websites, even sharing the same content on more than one of them can be interpreted as copyright infringement.

Bottom Line: Key Points to Take Away

You can only elevate your brand above all its competitors by using a content distribution strategy that will effectively deliver your content directly to your target audience. As you create and tweak your strategy, remember the following important points:

  • Do not start off with too many metrics as this will only cause you to get overwhelmed. Start by tracking what seems most relevant to your business. Tweak and refine your approach until you eventually find which metrics work best for your business.
  • Create goodwill with influencers by guest-blogging on their websites or being active on their social media pages.
  • Link all your channels by making URLs and social profile buttons clickable. If customers have to move from the current page to access your other media, they might not come back to complete a call-to-action.
  • Optimize your websites and blogs for mobile. If your websites cannot be found on mobile, you are missing out on a very large percentage of potential customers.

Like what you read above? Be sure to read the companion article, Does Your Content Distribution Strategy Need a “Do Over”.

Share your insights on how you promote your content or if you have any feedback regarding this article in the comments below.

Mohammad Farooq

Mohammad Farooq works as an Analyst. When not working, he goes backpacking around India. He regularly blogs about Travel, Movies, Political Issues and a lot of other things on his blog “ReveringThoughts”.

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Author: Mohammad Farooq