Measuring the success of content-led social media campaigns

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Go beyond shallow metrics
By Andrew Frith, staffer. 31 July, 2018
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Gone are the days of counting impressions, clicks and likes – now, even click-through rate (CTR), and cost per click (CPC) are considered shallow metrics. To accurately measure the success of content-led social media campaigns, you need to go beyond face value.

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While it might seem all well and good to have a cheap click and a high CTR, you need to consider what’s happening to these users once they’ve clicked and left the social platform to engage with your content? Are they the correct audience and therefore sticking around to engage with, your content? Or, are they outside your target audience, barely hanging around long enough to glance at your page? To really understand what's driving the success of your content campaigns on social media you need to arm yourself with the right data and insights. Here's how to set your finance brand up to do just that.

Website engagement for content campaigns

To measure the success of a content campaign on social media you need to consider and track website engagement, which initially will require some work to set up. There are a number of ways to do this, but the simplest and most effective way is to use Google Analytics in conjunction with your chosen social platforms, be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

This includes setting up a variety of Google Analytics goals and events to track, including:

  • Page view duration
  • Page scroll rate
  • Video plays to 50%
  • Clicks on Contact Us or product pages
  • Pages per session 3+
  • Conversion (purchase or form completion)

This alone will help you to establish a good understanding of how users are engaging with your website. But you can take it a step further…

UTM codes

Tagging all your content with UTM codes is an essential step in measuring the success of your social campaigns. A UTM code is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. It will allow Google Analytics to tell you where website visitors came from and the specific campaigns that got them there.

By including targeting details in your campaign name, you will be able to track the success of that targeting and the effectiveness of every single campaign line, attributing a cost value to each website engagement metric. Armed with this data, you will then be able to change tact where necessary to achieve the best possible results.

UTM codes should be added at the end of every ad. There are multiple UTM Code builders available for free on the internet, including this useful template.

A UTM code allows Google Analytics to tell you where website visitors came from and the specific campaigns that got them to your site.

Attribution

Along with tagging, it’s best practice to run multiple campaign lines at once, promoting the same content with variations on targeting. And because all ads have appropriate UTM codes, you will be able to attribute the best Goal Conversion Rate and Cost per Goal Completion to various source, medium and campaign names. You can access this in Acquisition in Google Analytics.

Optimising your content

Once you have goal data and platform spend per campaign line you can attribute a cost per goal completion for each campaign line. This will give you an idea of how well your money is being spent, optimising your content where you identify inefficiencies.

Collating data and insights

Tools such as Funnel IO allow you to collate multiple data sources into dashboards, making it easier to track, review and act on performance insights.

Not enough to simply measure the success of your social campaigns, you need to be responding to these insights and optimising your approach in real-time to achieve the best results.

Still struggling to argue the case for content? Here's how to prove to the c-suite that it's worth the investment.

And to extend the reach of your social content, familiarise yourself with the 17 reasons why people share on social.

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Andrew worked as a video artist in Japan in the late '80s, before moving to San Francisco in the early '90s, where he also worked as a designer for one of the world's first digital agencies. He's lived in London and Peru but has somehow stayed put for five years. Wherever he is, he always has a camera within arm's reach.