There aren’t necessarily standards for what defines success in online marketing. What you’ll measure depends on your goals and initiatives, particularly when it comes to content marketing. Furthermore, the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. You need to decipher the context around the numbers in order to really know what’s working and what’s not. Here’s advice from our experts on how law firms can improve their strategy by measuring content marketing ROI.

Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page

Shared objectives are key, but objectives alone without analytics will not get you far. Begin with a common understanding of how your team will know if they’ve met their objectives. Then talk about what numbers can measure those objectives. Make sure the numbers are meaningful and have purpose. 

Compare your content marketing strategy to a sporting event. Everyone on the team knows you want to win the game – but how do you do that? What strategies are you going to use? Furthermore, is everyone clear on how many points each action is worth? You want to ensure that not only do you avoid losing – but that if you win, you know why, and you can replicate your strategy next time. 

Identify and construct shared objectives with clear, unambiguous measures of success. Only after you’ve gone through that process can you determine the right analytics and design helpful reporting or dashboards. 

How to Create Shared Success Metrics

So how do you go about creating these success metrics? We suggest focusing on a concept called objectives and key results (OKRs). OKRs can help you get to the measurements that matter. The process involves three steps:

1. Set Objectives

To begin with, you need an actual shareable objective. Well-defined strategic objectives talk about how content will deliver value and the timeframe it will happen within. You can set objectives by month, quarter, or year (or even multiple years), but you need a realistic understanding of when the objective should be met. Keep in mind that circumstances and assumptions may evolve so it’s ok to be flexible. 

2. Define Success

Remember that you want to unambiguously determine success. To do so, you need key results that measure your objectives. For example, say your firm’s strategic objective is to drive a 25% increase in sales YOY. The marketing department has set a shared objective of providing 10% of all net new sales opportunities within the year. That’s shareable, but you need to dig further. For this particular example, you might set key results such as increasing new leads with content by 20% or decreasing the cost of advertising rates by 15%. 

3. Create Analytics

It’s unlikely that a single tool can tell you if you’ve met your key results. Rather, you should consider designing a measurement pyramid. In this model, the top tier represents your strategic goals and key results. The following supporting tiers describe the analytics you need to track to know if you’re making traction on those goals. More specifically, the middle tier should have KPIs and the lower should be data and metrics that can help you improve your process to reach those KPIs. To properly complete the pyramid for our above example, you probably need to review online analytics, budget statistics, a digital asset management solution, and marketing automation reports. All of these tools together can provide the necessary context behind the numbers. 

Takeaway: 

Measuring content marketing analytics helps your firm understand the effectiveness of your digital programs and campaigns, but it takes understanding your business and knowing how to measure results to transform data into action. If you need some help measuring the right metrics or creating meaningful reporting, our experts can offer guidance. 

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