Staying Out of the Weeds with Content Tracking

Ever caught yourself asking the question, “Did we already post that picture on Facebook or was it Pinterest?” What about the 50 pics you posted on Instagram? Did that blog post get any engagement or was it the one that flopped?

You can easily get into the content and marketing weeds, even the muck and mire, if you are not tracking.

And this leads to my next question: How much of your content goes untracked and just sits idle on the sidelines with its great potential to increase exposure of your brand?

Save Money — Stay Out of the Weeds

These questions and more are eliminated when you know and have accurate information that allows for more targeted and responsive marketing. Tracking all of your content, marketing and sales will prove to be worth it, especially if you add testing to the mix. This philosophy goes back to direct response marketing and the statement, “Why guess when you can test?”

As you’ve heard me say before, the web is the largest direct marketing platform the world has ever seen, yet many businesses and organizations just sit idly and let opportunities pass them by.

Before the web, direct marketers needed to spend thousands of dollars and wait weeks to months for responses to their ads. Today in the fast paced environments of digital and web, your content can be seen or heard by people in a matter of minutes to hours.

With accurate tracking, we could save tens of thousands of dollars a year in advertising and marketing.

In my latest book, “30 Years Into Six,” I tell the story of how I tracked 90 percent of our sales back to online and offline sources — and this was for all sales channels. Albeit this was in the mid 1990s, just as the commercial web was in its infancy, but it proved that with accurate tracking we could save tens of thousands of dollars a year in advertising and marketing. This first tracking project led to lots of very valuable information and insights that we would have otherwise never had.

Even if you don’t test, tracking your content and marketing will make a difference in how you act and react when it comes to creating and producing content.

Let me recap and say this: I’m defining content as any written, aural or visual communication including but not limited to the following: audio, videos, blog posts, podcasts, phone interviews, articles, advertorials, newsletters, photos and snippet text, white papers, graphics, case studies and e-books.

Tracking Your Content

Creating content on a daily and weekly basis will yield, at a minimum, 52 to 360 pieces of new content per year. With a one to three-person content team these numbers can easily get to several hundred to thousands of pieces of content in short order.

Software is the best way to track all of your content and marketing online.

Thus, software is the best way to track all of your content and marketing online. If you are an old school traditionalist or on a budget, it can be done with traditional spreadsheets and documents or with software. The traditional model allows for quick setup, logging, changes and modifications. It can be done manually on paper or entered into a shared digital document. Regardless of which way you go, always make sure you have at least a one digital backup copy of your data, and printed versions for quick reference.

Recently I recommended to one client that they archive each published article and interview in a physical binder for easy reference at any time. This along with the master tracking log will open their eyes within a few months based on the content they are and will be producing and posting.

Five Reasons to Track Your Content

1. Archiving and easy retrieval

2. Statistics

3. Keyword Usage

4. Dates

5. To See Your Successes (which pieces of content are producing results)

If you don't track your content, you'll never know what's working.

As you can see here, all of these reasons are valid for tracking, but the most important is number five as it shows you the success you are having along the way. If you are having success with content marketing, then you can ramp up your efforts. You can gather tons of content, edit it and distribute all day long, but if you don’t track your content, you’ll never know what’s working.

As we wrap up this 3-part series about testing, measuring and tacking your content, I’ll leave you with this: Content marketing is here to stay and it’s flourishing on the web. So make sure to create a blueprint or plan, and get your systems in place to test, measure and track your way to success.


About the Author

Dave Krygier Dave Krygier is a veteran content producer who on any given day can be found producing, directing, wordsmithing and crafting stories for businesses, ministries and nonprofit organizations. His content creation journey began in the 1980s as a musician, producer and marketer in the recording and live production industries. He is also a published author and the creator of the Content Gathering System available at ContentGathering.Solutions

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