Your blog is a marketing multi-tool, helping you tackle the toughest challenges your ecommerce business will face. To make that tool effective, you’ll need to understand how it’s working and take action against those results. That isn’t always easy for small brands, so we’ve created a framework to help you do it.
In this article, we’ll look at five common ecommerce challenges and how measuring the right content marketing metrics can help you overcome them. The challenges are:
- Not enough people are visiting my ecommerce website.
- People bounce from my site too quickly.
- People aren’t signing up for my email list.
- People aren’t opening or clicking the links in my emails.
- I’m not generating enough revenue.
We’ve also created a handy blog reporting cheat sheet, which you can find at the bottom of this post.
But first, let’s take a quick look at data in action. This is a real-life story about one crafty ecommerce business using their blog data to find a profitable new audience that loves their products.
An Ecommerce Marketing Anecdote
Everly makes 100% sugar-free drink mixes. To drive traffic to their site, they were using Matcha to promote licensed blog content on Facebook. Much of that content discussed healthy living topics.
It didn’t take long before something peculiar appeared in Everly’s content marketing data.
Among the content mix was an article about the keto diet, a method of eating that encourages fat burning through ketosis. It was one of several healthy lifestyle topics they were testing.
Most of the content was performing well, driving traffic at an efficient rate and cost.
But when they promoted that keto article, things got crazy.
They were getting Facebook clicks at twice the efficiency and half the cost of any other content.
Guided by that result, Everly took a well-calculated gamble on an original article. This one showed readers how to use Everly drink mixes to support a keto diet.
Amazingly, that article performed even better on Facebook than the first one.
Capitalizing on that trend, Matcha helped Everly create a content-powered popup that appeared when readers clicked through those ads. The popup offered readers even more valuable content in exchange for their email address.
Everly generated hundreds of leads off of that segmented popup. Even better, those new leads cost 91% less than leads from previous methods. Now, nearly 25% of all their revenue comes from buyers who first read blog content. Learn more about how they did it.
Follow the Data to Get the Growth (But How?)
Everly’s story has a clear lesson: A blog can have a huge impact on your business, but you need to track how it’s working and take action on the results. You can’t just publish content and hope for the best.
So what are the right things to measure? And how do you know what to do with the information once you have it?
If you’re feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed by all the data that’s available, you are not alone.
Only 32% of B2C marketers say their teams are very proficient at using metrics to measure content marketing performance.– Content Marketing Institute
It doesn’t help that traditional measurement tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager aren’t designed to track content’s full impact on your business.
Don’t worry, we’ve been there.
Matcha has worked with hundreds of brands, thousands of ads, and over 10,000 published articles. And we’ve built a feature in the Matcha platform, Matcha Insights, that fills the gaps in content marketing metrics.
Through that experience, we’ve created a plan that cuts through the data noise. With it, you’ll be able to find the right data and use it to tackle your toughest marketing challenges.
Let’s get started!
How to Use Content Marketing Data to Tackle 5 Common Ecommerce Challenges
There are about one million pieces of data available to ecommerce marketers. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds.
When deciding which information to track, you should ask these three questions:
- Does this data address a business challenge?
- Where can I find this data?
- Is this data actionable (or, how does this information help me improve)?
That’s the framework we’ll use here to help you find, and use, the right content marketing data.
Challenge #1: Not enough people are visiting my ecommerce website
No matter how young or mature your ecommerce brand is, you’ll always need to fill the top of your funnel with new website traffic.
The key is getting that traffic to your website as cost-effectively as possible.
Promoting your blog content through social media ads is a great way to do that.
Why? Because the majority of the people you meet through social media ads aren’t shopping or searching. They’re looking for a distraction. So ads featuring your helpful blog content will attract a much broader audience.
Plus, since they’re clicking on a content topic that’s relevant to your brand, you know they are potential future customers.
Measuring traffic efficiency
There are two metrics that will tell you how efficiently you’re driving traffic:
- CPC (cost per click): How much did it cost, on average, for this content to bring one visitor to your site.
- CTR (click-through rate): Of all the people who saw your ad, what percentage clicked to the content?
These metrics are readily available in the platform you placed the ad.
Here’s how that looks on Facebook Business Manager.
“Cost per result” shows the average CPC for those ad sets.
Challenge #2: People bounce from my site too quickly
It’s great to get people clicking on your ad and entering your marketing funnel. But if those people immediately jump ship without spending any time on the page, there’s a problem.
That low engagement rate could mean your page didn’t fulfill the promise made by your ad. And those people may now consider your brand untrustworthy.
What’s more, a lower dwell time might ding your SEO.
Publishing relevant content on your blog is a great way to keep website visitors around longer. But you have to follow a couple of rules.
First, make sure the promise in your ad copy matches what your content delivers. If you’ve promised 10 tips for better bass fishing but the entire post is an advertorial for your lures, your audience won’t be hooked.
Next, check to make sure your page is loading quickly.
Finally, look at the layout of your content. If you lead with a 400-word paragraph with no breaks or images, the reader is likely to run screaming.
Before you begin to measure engagement, remember that you’re tracking people in several stages of your marketing funnel here. If you only consider success to be the number of people who click to a second page on your site (Google’s definition of bounce rate), you’ll miss lots of opportunities to improve engagement with your whole audience.
Facebook doesn’t directly measure content engagement and Google doesn’t do it very well. So here are the metrics we use in Matcha Insights to measure engagement and, where possible, the closest equivalent in Google Analytics.
- Readers: At Matcha, we define a reader as someone who spends at least 15 seconds on a page. This metric is Matcha-only. There’s no Google equivalent.
- Engagement rate: The average percentage of readers that spend at least 15 seconds on a page. We prefer engagement rate to Google’s bounce rate. Google considers any visitor that doesn’t move to a second page a bounce. We believe that someone clicking on your ad, reading your content, and spending time with your brand to be a win!
- Average reader time: This is how long a reader spends on a page. In Google, you can only track time on page if the reader clicks to a second page. If they don’t, that data is lost. At Matcha, we track time on page even if they’ve only read one blog post.
- Average reader scroll depth: How far the average reader scrolls down a page. Google Analytics doesn’t offer this, but Google Tag Manager does.
Tracking these metrics on all content tells you the general health of your blog performance. Looking at top performers in each category will help guide future content choices.
In Matcha Insights, you can sort your top content list by number readers, engagement rate, and more.
Challenge #3: People aren’t signing up for my newsletter
A conversion happens when a reader fills out a form. In content marketing, this is usually some type of email newsletter subscription form like a popup.
You already know how valuable those conversions are. But just in case you haven’t heard, email marketing has an ROI of roughly $38 for every $1 spent.
So, getting lead conversions should be a top priority for most ecommerce marketing teams. The more efficiently you convert, the better your ROI.
And guess what? You can improve that lead generation efficiency the same way you improved traffic: by offering something of value.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you sell the softest, most stain-resistant baby blankets ever made. You publish the article ‘10 Ways to Improve Your Infant’s Sleep Tonight’ to your blog and promote it through a paid Facebook ad.
People click on the link and start reading the ad. When they’ve scrolled through about 25% of the page, they see a popup requesting their email address. In exchange for that information, the popup offers something else of value like ‘A Guide to Making Your Baby’s Crib the Safest, Most Comfortable Place it Can Be.’
Here’s a content-powered popup example from Mambe, a Matcha customer that sells super-comfortable, ultra-durable outdoor blankets.
Measuring lead generation efficiency
There are four metrics that will tell you how efficiently you’re driving leads. Some are generally available through Facebook and Google, some only through Matcha’s platform.
- Content influenced leads: The number of people who fill out a tracked form (like a popup) after reading at least one piece of content. In Matcha, leads are attributed to any article read before submitting a tracked form.
- Cost per lead: This is the average advertising cost you spent to get a lead. Remember that “Cost per Result” column from Facebook? That’s where you’ll find this result when you’ve optimized your ads for leads.
- Lead conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who submitted a lead capture form after seeing it. You can calculate this from Google Analytics by dividing Conversions by Impressions.
Challenge #4: People aren’t opening or clicking the links in my emails
We already know how effective email marketing is. So if that channel isn’t delivering on its potential, it should be fixed.
What could be keeping people from opening your emails and clicking through to your site? Here are two potential reasons:
1. You’re sending the same email (or some variation of it) over and over.
When Jilt, an email marketing company, reviewed several studies to learn why people hit a brand’s unsubscribe button, they found that most were receiving too many repetitive emails.
2. Are you including helpful content along with your promotions?
An Adobe survey found that 40% of respondents want emails from brands to be less promotional and more informative.
Your blog content can help on both fronts. Adding a mix of your blog content to your regular emails will shake up the repetitive promos and add the value your subscribers crave.
Measuring email performance
We’ll use three metrics to measure email efficiency. All three are available through Matcha Insights or through your email platform (like Klaviyo or Mailchimp).
- Email open rate: The percentage of people who opened the email they received.
- Email click-to-open rate: The percentage of email opens that resulted in a click-through
- Content clicks: The total number of clicks to content on your site from email
Here’s how that’s tracked in Matcha Insights.
Challenge #5: I’m not generating enough revenue
Increasing website visitation and email subscription rates are great indicators of a healthy marketing program. But of course, the end goal is revenue.
The benefit of your blog doesn’t stop at driving traffic or increasing leads. It can help influence your customers all the way through the purchase.
Educational content makes people 131% more likely to buy.– Conductor
Everly, whose story we shared at the beginning of this article, influences bottom-of-the-funnel conversions really well by publishing custom content that positions their product as part of a solution for their customers.
Measuring content’s impact on revenue
Unfortunately, there’s no way to easily measure the direct impact of content on revenue from Google or Facebook.
If you use Shopify as your ecommerce platform, you’re in luck. You can track these metrics through Matcha Insights:
- Content-influenced revenue: This is the amount of revenue that came from customers who first read at least one blog article.
- Per-article revenue: The amount of revenue that came from customers who read a specific article first. Note that revenue is attributed to each article read. So if someone reads three posts, then makes a purchase, that revenue is attributed to each article.
When you track the right data and take action on it, your blog becomes a marketing multitool that drives website traffic, grows your email list, and motivates sales conversion.
The challenge is sorting out which information to track and what to do with it. Here’s a cheat sheet that can help.
If you struggle to understand how your blog is impacting your business (or you don’t have a blog at all), it’s time to start a free account with Matcha.
Use the Matcha content platform totally free. Publish from the library starting at just $49/month.
Feature image provided by Gaetano Cessati