3 Corrections for your commitment Errors of Measure

Editor's Note: Since this engagement is often at the top of the list of content marketing goals, we are releasing an updated version. this article originally published in 2016.

The term "content commitment" is used a lot. I understand that. Why would we create content if we do not want people to engage with it?

But what does engagement really mean? "Clicks", "social shares" and "time spent on the page" are expressions that I often hear when companies talk about how they measure engagement, but with what precision indicators like those they reveal that users interact with your content?

Stay with me and you will discover the true meaning of commitment and how to measure this commitment to see if your content is being broadcast.

1. Scope against engagement

The "reach" of your content is determined by the number of people who see it, if only for a moment. It is a metric of vanity. It means little.

It's also easy to manipulate. Think about BuzzFeed's clickbait headlines:

Or that of the San Francisco Globe:

Or this one from Bad Boy News:

You have the essential.

Clickbait is a way for publishers to increase the number of clicks by applying a seductive but often misleading title to a piece of content.

This tactic could attract more visitors to a site, but what will happen next? Bored by the false idea they were led on the site, they risk leaving quickly. And you are (shocking) with a high bounce rate.

Does this brief interaction with the content make it a success?

Of course this is not the case.

In fact, short session times and high bounce rates can have a negative impact on your overall digital presence. These statistics tell Google that your content is poor and mediocre, which usually leads to poor SEO performance.

Short session times and high bounce rates can negatively impact your overall digital presence. @ andrewraso1 Click to Tweet

Reach can also be manipulated artificially with the help of paid content promotion ads. They're delivering your content to a targeted audience quickly and cheaply, which is great, but you can not necessarily qualify your content for success because you paid to get traffic to that content.

You have to do something with this traffic.

Instead: Conversions

Most of us do not create content in the hope that people will visit, read and leave, regardless of their degree of commitment. We want people to act during their visit.

But it can be difficult to create content that sticks, especially when consumers spend more than a quarter of the day engaging in digital content. That's 8.8 hours a day on average.

Create a call to action that you want users to complete after reading your content and monitor its effectiveness instead of the scope of your content.

Follow the commitment with a call to action once visitors consume your content, advises @andrewraso1. Click to tweet

Here are some CTAs that visitors can not help but click:

Get your free report today.

Get a demo. Start free.

Then use content attribution to measure the contribution of this content in a customer's journey.

Here's the problem: there is not always a cross between your newsletter subscribers and your dream clients. Of course, you want to create an audience around your brand, but the most important is how to encourage visitors to become prospects and then customers.

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2. Time spent on the page and the engagement

The time spent on the page seems to be a measure of commitment far greater than that of attaining. If a person spends a minute or more on a page, you can safely assume that she was reading and absorbing – engaging your content. You can not? Not exactly.

The time on the page is a highly asymmetrical measure for two reasons:

In website analysis, the time on the page is calculated based on visitors who have not rebounded. If someone came, saw and went in the allotted time, the visit is not taken into account on the page. The time stats on the page only reveal those who interacted with the site longer than the bounce time.
The time on the page is the time between the visit to the first page and the next page. This would be fine if all visitors were browsing a site in a linear fashion in one session – by clicking on the links to other pages and leaving when they had finished. But they do not do it.
Time-on-page statistics only reveal those who interacted with the site longer than bounce time. @ andrewraso1 Click to Tweet

People open several tabs. They are moving away from the devices. They are distracted by a screen. This multitasking can artificially inflate their time on a page.

There are many web browsing variables that Google (or any analytics tool) do not take into account. This makes time on the page a dubious metric at best.

Track instead: depth of scroll

Scroll Depth measures the scrolling depth of a page by a visitor. This is not foolproof, but if most of your visitors arrive at the end of your messages, you should be sure to assume that you are doing something right.

Hotjar heat maps can tell you how much a page's visitors scroll, where they click, what they watch or not, and much more. Just add the tracking code to your site. Another way to measure scroll depth is to use the WordPress Scroll Depth plug-in, which clings to your scans.

Thermal maps show the parts of your page that get the most views and interactions in red. You can instantly see what your visitors are clicking, scrolling, ignoring, and so on.

Instantly see where visitors click, scroll, and ignore adding thermal maps to the coding of your website, says @ andrewraso1. Click to tweet

For a better overview of how your visitors interact with your page, combine your thermal map data with your engagement metrics. With the data, you can configure A / B tests to see how different CTAs work, or which images and titles interest more people.

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3. Actions against Escrow

Scope and time on the page are not the most reliable indicators for measuring content engagement, but what about actions? It is certain that people share a content that they have read and that has resonated in one way or another with them.

This is not entirely true.

Chartbeat's Tony Haile revealed in the article in his Time magazine titled What you think you know about the Web, that's wrong, that there is little correlation between the articles read by the people and the people they share.

There is little correlation between read articles and shared articles, says @arctictony. Click to tweet

As he shared it, the story with the longest engagement time was less than 100 "I like" and 50 tweets. And history visitors who count the most number of tweets only read it the fifth of the longest commitment time.

"In the end, measuring social sharing is very useful for understanding social sharing, but if you use it to understand what content attracts more attention from someone, you're going to beyond (these) data, "Tony wrote.

Since writing that in 2014, things have not really changed.

A study shows that 59% of shared links on social networks are not clicked, which implies that the majority of article sharing does not come from people who read it.

At the time, Science Post had published an article in the text "lorem ipsum" (standard dummy mock text) with a popular title: "Study: 70% of Facebook users read only the title of" 39 scientific articles before commenting. "

About 123,000 people shared the post – ironically proving point. Do you want people to share your content? Of course. Shares help content reach more people. But should you rely on sharing statistics to measure the success of your content? Probably not.

Instead of that: comments and backlinks

Visitors do not comment on your content unless they are truly engaged (or they are spammers, but I hope you have taken steps to prevent this). Internet users will also return your article only if they see the value.

Do not use actions to measure engagement. Use comments and backlinks, says @ andrewraso1. Click to tweet

Here's what you can do:

Use BuzzSumo or SharedCount to determine how often to share a content item. Observe existing correlations between read, shared, and associated content. Then, use the free Ahrefs backlink checker to see how often people have linked a piece of content.

HAND-HELD CONTENT: Actions do not cut it: Choose better measures for demand and the first group

At the height

In all forms of marketing – online or offline, paid or organic, local or international – you must take steps to understand what works and what does not work. Otherwise, withdraw your budget dollars, turn them on and discard them from the nearest bridge.

You need to measure engagement appropriately because you have to understand how people actually react to your content. This is not the number of times they click on "I like" on a Facebook message. This is not how many people are driven to a page. The commitment concerns the participation of people in the content that you create and promote with them. If you believe that, you will measure to know what works and what does not work. Use this knowledge to make sure every piece of content you create is a little better than the previous one.

What measures do you use to monitor commitment? What are you doing with the results? Please take a few moments to share your thoughts in the comments (and yes, we are following this commitment).

Would you like to collaborate with the Content Marketing Institute and learn how to improve your brand engagement game? Subscribe to the free weekday newsletter (and let us measure openings and clicks).

Note: All the tools included in our blog posts are suggested by the authors, not by the CMI editorial team. No post can provide all the relevant tools in the space. Do not hesitate to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or those you used).

Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

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