How are people consuming your content?
This one is pretty basic but nonetheless it’s a good reminder to make sure you are at consistently looking at website analytics through Google Analytics, Ominture, etc. Besides looking at the unique website visits (month over month and year to year), you should also review what content gets the most traffic. Do the same articles, blog posts, fact sheets, generate the most traffic every month? What video’s get the most views? What white papers are downloaded the most?
Are people sharing your content?
Some call social media shares vanity metrics because they have turned into such a popularity contest. However, it’s still worth looking at these metrics to see how people are sharing your content. Is the content you are focusing on pushing out to your constituents the very same content being socially shared the most? Is it other content you did not expect to have a lot of traction?
Be sure and also take a look at the Social Analytics report in Google Analytics.
Are you getting leads from your content?
Leads are one of the most important metrics your nonprofit should be tracking. How many activists, volunteers, donors, etc. are signing up your email lists, taking an action, making a donation, registering to volunteer for an event? Baer says this is where you “start determining whether the content marketing effort is making financial sense.” Another words, if you are investing a lot of time crafting and executing your content and online marketing strategy and not getting many new “leads” you need to re-examine your content and online marketing strategy ASAP.
What is the return on investment (bringing in donations)
All nonprofits should have a good constituent relationship management system (CRM) to track how your activists and donors are responding to your online campaign and email messaging. Look at who is opening your emails? Are they taking an action on petitions? Are they donating money to your online fundraising campaigns? Are people clicking on your enewsletter articles? Who are your super activists and donors? Identifying some of this data will help you determine the level of engagement your constituents are at, and how you can move them up the ladder.
It’s important to track each constituent/prospect over time so you can determine your content value. Here is Baer’s advice. When you recruit a new constituent and they are placed into you CRM, note in the prospect record that they consumed X content – perhaps this was a special report they downloaded, an online petition they signed, etc. Now this part gets tricky for nonprofits. When the prospect makes their first donation, assign a lifetime value of how much you think that prospect will donate, and assign it to the content pieces you know they consumed.
“Do not double up, however. You want to amortize your content value,” says Baer. For example if the constituent consumed three pieces of content before donating money to your organization and is worth $90,000 to your nonprofit, assign $30,000 to each content piece. Many CRM’s have a similar process to view this data. Digging into this data helps you answer (though not perfectly of course) what percentage of people who consume your content turn into donors. It also helps provide some data on how effective your content is in engaging people to ultimately donate money to your nonprofit.