This week our awesome clients and I have been talking about the importance of content marketing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to content marketing is how you measure it’s success.
Sometimes you write a blog post and even though you’ve done your best to promote it via email and social media, it feels like a tumbleweed is blowing through.
With that in mind, I wanted to talk about some of the best ways to measure the impact of your content marketing. How to define it’s success or failure and how to get some actual data.
What is Content Marketing?
For those who are still a bit new to the concept, content marketing is a type of marketing that utilises content creation to build a targeted audience and attract new leads to your personal trainer business.
Types of content include:
When it comes to content, its best to think of it as a high interest savings account.
Great content builds a bigger and more targeted audience. An audience is made up of people who consume your content and eventually become clients.
Imagine your existing reach is a circle. You've likely spoken to everyone in that circle and everyone knows about you. Anyone in that circle who would become a client probably has by now.
Creating content helps you to increased the size of that circle and reach potential new clients. Furthermore, the perimeter of your reach grows bigger and bigger in a compounding effect as time goes on.
So it requires less and less work to grow.
The reason I love content so much is that it goes beyond the typical metrics of cost per click and appeals to human nature. It’s a more… romantic way of carrying out your fitness business marketing.
But we still need some metrics to track and find out whether our content marketing strategy really works. Let’s begin.
Leads are literally the best way to track any content marketing strategy. If you’re getting more leads after creating content consistently for at least a few months, your content marketing strategy is working.
I love numbers but this is still the main metric I recommend clients follow in order to determine the success of their content marketing strategy.
Ideally, you’d track where your leads are coming from and there are loads of complex ways to do this but the easiest way is to simply add a form field to your website that says “How did you find us?” and list all of your current marketing channels (Facebook, Google, Email, etc).
What to Expect
Until you build your audience to a substantial size, your number of leads will likely be low. It will be a bit disheartening, but it’s important to stick at it. As your audience grows, so will the number of leads.
2. Website Traffic
If your content marketing strategy involves writing or posting your videos on the blog page of your website, website traffic is a great way to see how your content is doing.
Naturally, more traffic is indicative of a successful campaign. Here's a screenshot from one of our clients D'Arcy Online Coaching. As you can see he gets a more traffic when he promotes his blogs.
What to Expect
To begin with, not a lot. Even if you write a 1,500 word blog post with loads of reference and amazing information, with a limited audience, you’ll get limited website traffic.
But fear not, because a blog post is not a one time asset. You can promote it time and time again as your audience grows and even continue to use it to build your audience for the life of your business!
If you have a decent marketing funnel in place with an attractive lead magnet, email subscribers can be a great metric to track. As you add more and more content to your website, you’ll get more and more website visitors. With more and more visitors typically comes more and more subscribers.
What to Expect
Subscriber growth is typically like a snowball. A snowball that’s made up of your existing audience and grows exponentially as you add more content assets to your business.
This means subscriber growth will feel like a trickle at the start. One or two new subscribers per week, then one every other day, then two or three per day, etc. Here's the subscriber growth for our brand new lead magnet from our sister company, a PT Business Health Check.
As you can see, subscriber growth is pretty slow to start and then it builds up. Before you know it, you’ll be gaining tens or even hundreds of new subscribers per day. But it takes time so be patient.
4. Search Engine Rankings
Search engine rankings are pretty straight forward. Type your service and location in to Google and if you come up in page one, you can expect more traffic.
Getting to page one, however, is not as easy as that. You’ll need a consistent flow of content and some good on site SEO.
We SEO for all of our clients and use an online app called SEM Rush to track the progress of their websites. You can see here that Tobias new website is just starting to rank for more keywords since he started working with us. More keywords means more traffic, more subscribers and more leads.
What to Expect
With some good SEO you can actually expect some reasonable results pretty quickly. But for more competitive search terms it can take months or even years to rank on page one of Google.
Nevertheless, it’s good to keep an eye on it and include it in your strategy. You can do a lot in terms of SEO for free so it almost always worth the extra 5-10 minutes invested per piece of content.
5. Likes and Shares
Likes and shares aren’t the best metric to track in terms of business success but they do give you some indication as to whether you’re on the right track.
Naturally, more likes and shares means you’re creating content that people respond to. More likes and shares improves your reach and builds your audience.
What to Expect
With that said, you’ll find that your content gets no likes and shares at all and you might feel like all of your effort is going to waste.
But fear not.
You would be surprised how many people consume your content without clicking on the like or share button. Most people like to keep to themselves and when they’re consuming your content, they’re trying to solve their own problems.
This means they more than likely aren’t in a liking and sharing mood.
Building an audience is without a doubt the best way to grow your personal training business and the best way to build an audience is with content.
A lot of trainers tell me they don’t have time to build content or that they don’t see the value in it. If that’s you, consider that some of our Managed Website clients are getting a consistent flow of leads from their website with nothing but content. No ad spend at all.
Imagine that… A consistent flow of leads with no Facebook ads…
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