Analytic: Who Took The Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

Oatmeal Cookie, Photo Credit Dyanna Hyde

Who me?  Yes, you.  Couldn’t be.  Then who?  We all know the children’s sing-along game.  However, in the larger scheme of things, does it really matter who did it?  For the sake of content marketing, you bet it does!  Not only does it matter who did it, you need to know why they did it, what kind of cookie it was, when they did it, how many times they did it and any other data you can collect regarding jars, cookies and related thievery.  This knowledge will enable you to draw them back to sell them more cookies, subscriptions to the cookie-of-the-month club, tons of cookie-related products and even more cookies.

I think you get the analogy so I’ll toss the cookie reference, so to speak.  Whether or not you have a thriving online business, know your audience and regularly attract, keep and convert customers, analytics can always improve your stats.  When you understand why customers come, why they stay, what they look at, what they buy and all the other permutations of their experience with you, you can then focus on what really works and double down your efforts to improve it.  Your can customize your content and its marketing to increase your success exponentially.

What are Analytics?

They are boring spreadsheets and charts that are incredibly important.  Content is often just put out there to keep up the appearance of activity.  It can build up over time and before you know it, you have pages and pages and can’t decipher what really is bringing in leads or what people are even reading, if anything.  Content analytics works twofold.  The first part is the collection of the data by measuring and tracking the pages of content and the customers activity.  The second is the analysis of that data with regard to trends and behaviors of audience in relation to content.

What exactly do analytics track?

First of all, you need to know how much and the type of content being produced and who is creating it.  Second, you need to know how it is being engaged with by tracking shares, links and repeat visitation.  The third important index is how that content is “performing.”  In other words, what kind of visits are you getting, unique, recurring, direct, referred, etc.  Within all the above categories, you must determine if the audience is being converted – are they signing up, buying, closing, becoming a customer?   Given the data collection and above analysis, the key is then to determine which content specifically is converting, creating revenue and increasing business.  Once you know that, you are in control of your ROI (return on investment).

That all sounds pretty complicated.  Do I have to do this myself?

It can be an overwhelming amount of data and finding its meaning can be a daunting undertaking so no, unless you are an expert and paying yourself extra, you don’t have to and probably shouldn’t do it yourself.  Since it is so key to marketing, there are plenty of companies and programs to collect and interpret data for you.  They will give you the results and even work with you to re-design and automate your content to improve your business based on what they find.

Here are some possibilities:

  • You can work with your web development company directly to collect, analyze and interpret data.

  • You can use a service like Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, KISSmetrics, or CrazyEgg that will collect the data and help you analyze and optimize it.

  • You can also use a Marketing Automation or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or company like Hubspot, Salesforce, Marketo or InfusionSoft to help you find, track and market to customers.  They can manage your content and social media presence by automating the process of posting, tweeting and producing content of all varieties.

Is this cost prohibitive for a small business?

There is product to fit most budgets.  It all depends on what you need and how much you can afford.  If you are producing your website and social media content yourself, you can work with a company that specializes in content marketing analytics like those listed above and choose your level of service, which range from around $10/month to hundreds per month.  If you hired someone else to design and implement your web presence, they may already be engaging with the analytics either themselves or via one of the above services and working with you to come up with a plan.  Make sure to ask them beforehand what they include in the price they offer and make a deal.

Your first bit of data

I’ll help you get your spreadsheet started right now.  If you do happen to be a cookie company, I like oatmeal cookies and am attracted to content related to their health benefits 😉

Photo Credit: Dyanna Hyde