Are You Tracking Content Performance? – Check the tips!!

Are you tracking content performance? Today’s digital marketers are very big on content – creation, curation, delivery, etc. Some marketers have been known to wax poetic – or prosaic – on the subject. Yet many marketers, as well as small and mid-sized businesses managing marketing internally, are missing a critical step in the content marketing process by not tracking content performance in detail.

Few businesses or marketers are producing quality content for the sake of producing it. We strive to create high-quality, relevant content to draw people to our sites or social media pages. Once they arrive, our goal is to convert them to paying customers or to make them loyal, long-term customers.

To be effective, content marketing must be delivered to the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. We learn to create the message and match it to the audience and the platform by listening to customers and prospects or through testing/trial-and-error. As we learn what our customers and prospects want from us, we can better provide the content that delivers on their expectations.

The only way to deliver the right content consistently is through tracking and analysis. Why is this true? We communicate differently with different people and in different contexts. Communication styles are often context-driven. For example, your style of communication with your parents is different from your communication with your spouse, or your boss, or your friends. You probably communicate with your spouse differently when you are at home and when you are at an office party. The same would typically be true of the way you communicate with co-workers in your work environment and if you bump into each other at the local mall.

Online communication is also context modified. An obvious example can be found by comparing email with Twitter posts. In a personal email, you can expect a private exchange of information that will not be read by others. In your email, your communication is not limited to 144 characters. Other online platforms (the various social networks, blogs, etc.) lend themselves to particular types and styles of communication.

If the content on the social media platform is excellent, then the purchasing of the likes and followers from is excellent. The measuring and analyzing of the content is supreme to meet with the desired results. The selection of the right network is there for increasing the followers and likes. 

So how do we learn to communicate most effectively on each platform? We learn by testing/trial-and-error and by measuring and analyzing. There is software to help you with this (some of it is free). Whether you use software or not the process is essentially the same:

  • Do the research to learn where your customers and prospects spend time online.
  • Engage them in conversation and/or ask for their opinions using polls, surveys, etc.
  • Find out what they are discussing and what questions they are asking that are relevant to your business and the solutions you provide.
  • Learn about their communication style on each platform. What is the tone of conversations, are people open or guarded, when do they gather, what topics are important, what questions can you answer?
  • Compare what you discover on each platform. What is unique about the way your audience communicates on each platform? What does this tell you about how you should communicate with your audience on each platform?
  • Start shaping messages and posts for each platform, based upon what you think you know about your audience.
  • Test the messages on the appropriate platforms. Try to engage in conversations, get feedback, and monitor the responses to your content.
  • Enter everything you learn about topics, styles, tone, etc. into spreadsheets.
  • As you gather more data, analyze it and refine your understanding of your audience, your content, and the platforms you are using.
  • Refine your content for each platform. And repeat the process.

Many factors affect the way content is received and assimilated by others. Your goal, of course, is to create content that is clear, appropriate, and compelling. Therefore, you need to understand how your audience responds to the content you are producing and learn what changes to your content would be more effective with your audience. We track the following:

  • Number of primary link followers (people with whom we share the content)
  • Number of secondary link followers (people with whom followers shared the content)

Clearly, other actions and content should be tracked on your website, forum, etc. after the visitor arrives. These, however, are the factors we consider important in understanding the relevance and effectiveness of marketing content. As you monitor, track and analyze these factors over time, you will learn how to adjust your content marketing strategy and actions to improve response rates.

One very informative approach is to post the same content to two platforms and compare responses. If you are beginning to use social media, for example, this might be a first step in comparing audience response on different platforms. This will push you – or enable you – to distinguish important characteristics of each audience group. At Little Black Dog Social Media & More, we publish many of our blog posts on our blog and on We learn a great deal from regular comparisons of responses and audiences.

Are you tracking content performance? You should be tracking it. Your tracking informs your testing and the questions you ask your audience. What you learn will sharpen and improve your content as it is shared on each platform. It will also help your refine and improve every part of your marketing strategy. You will learn something about your audience or the platform from every post. Don’t fall into the trap of producing and sharing content because someone told you it is a good idea. If you plan to produce and share content with the hope of growing your business, you will find it worth the time and effort to track content performance and evaluate contexts.