How to track the ROI for your content marketing
Assuming that you are now fully in the swing of things, creating monthly market research and using it as part of your content marketing strategy to engage homeowners and landlords in your area, we are pretty sure that you are going to want to know what kind of impact it’s having.
By knowing how content marketing is affecting your estate or lettings agency, you can begin to see what you are doing well and where you can improve to maximise engagement. Of course, you also want a ‘return on investment’ (ROI). After all, you are ultimately doing this to gain new instructions. But how do you measure success? We live in a world where everybody wants everything yesterday, and there is no simple guaranteed 30-day ROI, which can lead to some anxiety and general feeling that it’s not working.
It is important to remember that no business moves forward by being stagnant. If you plant the initial seeds, you will see results. When the property market content starts to resonate with the target audience, the benefits are obvious. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to better judge the impact of your content marketing strategy.
Consistency is key to results
While we all wish we had a magic wand to create instant results after a quick wave, unfortunately we have to make magic happen in different ways. When you start content marketing it is unlikely you will see clear-cut results straight away. But if you keep at it and have a proper strategy (that’s the magic part) in place with informative content for each month, you will start seeing success in the near future.
We think the minimum time spent before judging whether or not your marketing delivery is starting to make a difference to your agency should be six months. That means you need to do content monthly as there is no point in doing one or two bits and bobs and thinking it will be enough. The more time you put in, the greater the results will be.
Use tracking to see a clearer ROI
There are many methods to track users, including assigning a trackable phone number to each piece of content. Whenever someone calls that specific number, you will know exactly where they came from, with the phone number acting as a lead for that specific marketing piece.
Online content is a bit easier to keep track of thanks to highly efficient tools like Google Analytics, which lets you see the type of traffic your website is receiving. When you release marketing content, make a note of it in Google Analytics so you can monitor it to see if there are any spikes in traffic specific to the content.
While this is a good method to use for single campaigns, it can get slightly confusing if you have multiple campaigns running at once, so you need to be a bit more savvy. Ways to combat this include having specific website page addresses (URL) for the content, although it is more than likely people will not type a specific page URL and end up visiting the homepage of the site.
A perfect strategy would be to have a separate URL for your content marketing; a subdomain (blog.yourwebsite.com), or another domain altogether ([location]propertymarket.com). By doing this you remove traffic noise and get a better idea of the actual visits to your website. Be prepared to put the time in though, as having a new domain or subdomain is additional work.
Within Google Analytics you can also check where the traffic is coming from, how long people are spending on the site, what page they are landing on and the pages they move to from there. This can be really helpful for you to gain a better understanding of people’s browsing habits on your site and the type of information they are looking for.
Make the right move
Rightmove Plus is an excellent tool to measure any changes in activity, at least it is for clients looking at your agency through the Rightmove website. The tool allows you to see over a year’s worth of activity, as well as who is looking at your properties and how much they are interacting with them.
If your market research is having the desired effect, you should see increased traffic through Rightmove. After all, it is the most used property portal, and there is a good chance that people who have seen your reports online, or elsewhere, will end up on Rightmove looking at your stock.
Tracking the offline visitors
When people visit an estate or letting agent’s office, it is important to try and find out how they came into contact with your company. This can be a straightforward question after dealing with their initial request, simply asking where they found your services. You can ask them whether it was a personal recommendation, newspaper advertising, online advertising, or a printed newsletter.
Another way would be to have a detailed questionnaire so you can see how people interact with your brand and their journey to finding your business. Maybe they saw your printed newsletter, then came across your shop frontage advertising. After a while they visit your website and then they call to book a valuation. Even though they ended up coming to you by a a phone call, the initial touch point was the newsletter which they may have seen in an email. It’s not always easy to derive this information from customers, as they can sometimes be blasé about where they find the information. But it is always worth asking.
Before and after analysis
Compare each monthly market research article released with the previous one to see if there has been any change in activity. You will also be able to see which channels are more effective; you may see your blog gets lots of new visitors from social media but not from the printed version. This helps you to make efficiency decisions with clear insight.
A monthly increase, even if it is slight to begin with, shows the research is starting to have the desired effect. Within six months to a year, we expect the results to improve even further. And if you are not seeing an increase to begin with, or perhaps you want to increase the rate of improvement, think about how you can improve the distribution of your content to increase readers to see if you can increase exposure.
A little help from my friends
Remember, in order to get the content of the research articles right, they have to be rich in content, and full of statistics and facts that inform people on interesting topics within the local market. To put together such an in-depth document, you need to find the right sources and use the correct methodologies. It’s a long process but definitely worth it in the end.
If you would like any help or have any questions for measuring return on investment on your content marketing, don’t hesitate to get in touch.