As you work to build relationships with your readers, you need to measure whether your content is inspiring them to keep reading and keep navigating throughout your site.
These days, the most sophisticated content marketing programs deliver the right content to the right person at the right time, and they use a set of sophisticated metrics to measure true engagement with content. If you’re ready to step up your content marketing game or if you need strong data to demonstrate the ROI of your program to the C-suite, basic web analytics just won’t cut it.
How typical engagement metrics fall short
Metrics like views and visitors can tell you whether you’re driving traffic to your content, but they’re not qualitative—they don’t tell you whether your content is actually resonating with readers who see it. Traffic is crucial, but when reported alone it doesn’t necessarily lead to business results.
Shares can tell you a particular piece of content was deemed valuable by readers, but your goal is to use content as part of a comprehensive strategy to drive business results for your brand, not to merely drive social shares. Content marketing is a long game, and you know it takes more than one interaction to tell a compelling brand story.
Luckily, nuanced engagement metrics can offer a deeper view of whether your content program is really helping you reach your goals. Benchmark and track the following four engagement metrics to gauge the efficacy of your content marketing program.
This is time a reader spends actively engaging with your content. Marketing technology that’s equipped to capture this data has a timer that pings every five seconds a user has an active browser tab open and has had some activity on the page, such as mouse movement, scrolling or clicking during that time interval. A user that actively reads a page for 20 seconds then leaves the tab open for the rest of the day without activity will only register 20 seconds of active engaged time.
Engaged page views
An engaged page view is a page view in which the reader scrolled through at least 25% of the page and also spent at least 30 seconds of active engaged time on the page. This metric is an important indicator that the user found the content interesting, relevant and engaging.
A page view is a single page load and should not include multiple page views if a user refreshes or otherwise visits the same page multiple times in a session. Page views alone don’t tell a complete story about users’ engagement with your content, which is why this metric needs to be evaluated alongside a deeper metric like engaged page views.
Content consumption rate
Driving repeat visitors and content views on your site is great, but how do you know if users are actually consuming your content? This is where content consumption rate comes in—it’s the percentage of content views with a dwell rate of 40 or more seconds. This time frame is a good barometer for gauging which users are actually reading or watching what you’ve published.
A low or stagnant content consumption rate can be a trigger for auditing existing content assets to optimize them for relevance and usability. This metric can also tip you off to problems with your promotional strategies. If you’re targeting the wrong people or the wrong channels, you can end up driving visitors to content that just isn’t relevant to them. A more sophisticated personalization strategy can help you avoid this sort of mismatch.
Using engagement metrics to measure return on personalization
Now let’s take a look at how you could use these KPIs to measure the effectiveness of content personalization. Below we have an example of a client that compared engaged page views and engaged time with content that was personalized to the reader to content that was not personalized.
Our client saw a 15% lift in engaged page views as well as a 16.4% lift in engaged time with content. Over the course of 12 months, they received over 3,442 hours of additional active engaged time with their content.
By using personalized content to make the brand’s user experience more relevant and engaging, users were actively engaging longer and more deeply with more individual pages on the website.
For more insights on the importance of measuring engagement metrics in modern content marketing, get a demo of OneSpot Insights to see how you can use content intelligence and engagement data to measure content marketing ROI.
Damian is SVP Customer Success & Business Development at OneSpot.