Most people start a blog for three reasons: to entertain others/share their experiences, record their thoughts, or make money with their content. This article will focus on content creators within the last category. For example for hobbyist bloggers it’s less useful to know that their most engaged readers came from Los Angeles or someone famous shared their blog on Twitter.
On the other hand, if a company invests time and money into creating educational materials for their audience and they want a return on their investment, they will want to capitalize on someone retweeting their content or optimizing their ads to reach the most interested users. The most common advice on the internet for these people is along the lines of: "Write something people are interested in, and they'll buy your product”. In a perfect world, this process is straightforward, but usually, it's way more complex than that.
In 2021 what happens once the content is published is a mystery to the stakeholders. They hope for the best but do not get upset if none of their readers buy their product. Marketers and content creators tackle most of what we call marketing based on their gut feeling and what worked in the past, maybe with some added internet advice. There aren't many tools that help them test their assumptions, optimize content or figure out where to place a link pointing to a page where the company makes money.
Most of the current tools are focused on capturing the general use case which is landing pages instead of blogs. Marketing professionals are looking for and benefit from tools focused on content. Even though in the past year these started to appear, it's still a new field waiting to be explored.
Content Marketing Analytics answers some of the biggest questions asked by stakeholders:
- Where precisely in the article people decide to buy your product?
- At which point within the article did people choose to close the page?
- What can we rephrase within the article to keep our visitors engaged when otherwise they’d close the page?
- If we made edits, did they affect engagement and conversion?
- Is it worth advertising on Google or Facebook?
- Which one of our content writers drives the most revenue for the company?
- What type of articles generate the most engagement?
- Which articles bring us the most returning visitors?
As you can see, these questions bring you closer to understanding your readers based on facts instead of guesswork. Knowing the answers to these questions also means that you can create an action plan by identifying where to focus, spend money and let content play a key role in generating revenue. An additional benefit of having metrics to back up your marketing strategy is that you can be confident in your plan and share it with stakeholders. You have some options when trying to answer the questions above:
Google Analytics - the complex but free option
I talked to many people over the past few years, and the general trend I saw was that people don't prefer Google Analytics, but they love that they include a script, and it works out of the box. As long as you only want to see pageviews, returning visitors, visitors from a specific country, and other vanity metrics around your whole site, it's the perfect overview tool.
Nothing else can come close to summarizing what's going on with your website in general. When it comes to optimizing and figuring out what works and what doesn't, Google Analytics is behind almost every other startup in the industry.
Chartbeat - for journalists only
Chartbeat is a great tool to see the impact you made with your content. It's been in business for a long time, and almost every journalist at big magazines uses it.
Personally, I find it fascinating when journalists tweet about the chartbeat score of their article (which moves in real-time). Chartbeat also takes care of A/B testing the positioning of content on the main page of news sites, but the tool is unusable for anyone other than large media organizations.
Hotjar - not designed content
Hotjar is a great tool to look at visitors in real-time and to figure out why they aren't clicking some of your buttons. You can see how they scroll, how they move around on your page, and how they avoid giving you their email address. For content, and especially tracking metadata, it's unfortunately unusable with their current features.
DIY - Do it yourself
After seeing the poor options on the market, many creators with some coding knowledge turn to their code editors or nudge a programmer to have more advanced reader tracking. Implementing this costs a lot for the business down the road, but it also enables them to extract more significant insights from their audience.
Many articles such as this one focus on how you can set up various metrics for your business. This means you spend weeks configuring your analytics, you have to update it as your content strategy changes, you spend weeks again fine-tuning it, and at some point, you will end up with a great set of tools that deliver the insights you think you need. You still make decisions with your gut feeling, but at least you see some numbers relevant to your cause.
Quillytics - a breath of fresh air
We designed Quillytics to be the pioneer in the content marketing analytics space. We focus on delivering insights to the questions above and more. By purely focusing on written long-form content (i.e., blog posts), we don't have to split our attention. We tell you how much money your content generates and how much more it generates if you edit a part of it. We also focus heavily on audience insights, so we can easily tell that out of your 5k visitors from Facebook, how many were highly engaged with your article, and how many decided to click your sign-up button. We also tell you how much of your article visitors usually read and at which point they decided to leave. Everything is version controlled (automatically, based on the edits you made) so you can easily see the results your changes achieved.
After researching every tool on the market, we believe Quillytics is the only content-native marketing analytics tool available.
If you'd like to try Quillytics, sign up here. We also plan to publish what we learn from our data to write better content and drive more revenue with your existing content, so stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter below.