If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know the importance of content marketing for the multifamily industry. Using social media, blogging and other inbound marketing tactics is the new way of attracting hungry apartment hunters early on in the funnel. The challenge, however, is a lot of marketers aren’t sure which content marketing metrics to measure.
Unlike paid ads that can be boiled down to a few hard numbers, content marketing is still fairly new so it’s not as clear-cut. So we’ve compiled a list of some of the top content marketing metrics you should keep your eye on to track how well your efforts are paying off.
1. New & Returning Visitors
Most marketers know they need to track traffic. However, they look at it from the wrong vantage point. Don’t just look at your total number of visitors coming in each day. Look at how many new visits you’re getting as well as return visits.
For an apartment community, the large majority of your traffic will probably be new users. When you have a large number of return visitors, it’s a sign that people are coming back for a particular piece of content, or because they’re looking for something new on your site. Sometimes return visitors are people who are waiting to see if a certain type of unit is available, so they keep coming back to check.
When your number of new visitors is increasing each month, it’s a good sign that your content marketing is working.
Check the source of your traffic to see where the growth is coming from. New visitors from search means your rankings are probably moving up and getting you more visibility. If you have an increase in social traffic, your content is starting to be shared more and people are resonating with it.
2. Social Media Engagement
Too much weight gets put on vanity metrics like follower count when it comes to social media. The numbers that really matter are tied to engagement. Having 50K followers is useless if none of them are interacting with your content.
Start looking at engagement metrics such as:
- Link clicks
Certain types of engagement are more powerful than others. For instance, a reply is a stronger signal than a Like because it requires more effort. Anyone can double tap an Instagram photo in less than a second. But when people are taking the time to write out a reply, the content must have really resonated with them.
3. Bounce Rate
A “bounce” is when someone enters your site, then leaves without taking any other action.
When you have an extremely high bounce rate, it’s usually due to one of these reasons:
- They weren’t interested in the content they landed on.
- Your site took too long to load so they gave up and left.
- They got the information they needed and left.
All three of these are bad scenarios, including the third.
When people are getting what they need and leaving, it means your site wasn’t captivating enough to hold their attention. For instance, when you go to the grocery store to get one item, you rarely ever just walk directly to what you need, checkout and leave. You either browse around first or end up buying a few extra items you didn’t intend to.
The same thing applies to your website. If someone enters your site through the home page, they should be intrigued by something else like a blog, gallery or another element that entices them to stick around a little longer.
Look at the bounce rate of individual pages, not just your overall site. Find your pages with the highest bounce rate and see if there’s anything you can change to get it lower. That could mean improving your site speed, adding internal links or other small details that will keep people on your site longer.
Great content has the ability to earn backlinks. If nobody is linking to any of your blog posts, you’re either not promoting it enough or they don’t think it’s good enough to link to. Both scenarios are easy fixes.
You should get in the habit of promoting your content as much as possible. Whether it’s through social media, email outreach or other tactics, you need to get the word out or you’ll be stuck waiting for traffic for a long time.
When you’re consistently publishing great content and promoting it, you’ll start to notice more backlinks popping up from sites you’ve never contacted. These unsolicited backlinks are the best because it means people are stumbling across your content organically and feel compelled to link to it.
A good way to get some initial backlinks is to spy on your competition. See who’s linking to them and try to see if you can get them to link to you too.
This one is a bit tricky. Content marketing is amazing at building your brand up and getting awareness for your apartments. But it can also help you generate new leads.
Depending on your goals, a lead could be someone who filled out your contact form, downloaded a free guide or took any other action you’re tracking.
6. Cost Per Lead
Leads are nice, but not if you’re spending more than you make from them. Leads from content marketing and other inbound tactics are 61% cheaper than leads from outbound tactics, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s cost effective.
All you have to do is calculate the amount you’re spending on a specific content marketing campaign and divide it by the number of leads you get from it. Then finish it off by calculating how much each lead is worth to figure out whether or not it’s cost effective.
You should always be striving to lower your cost per lead because it leaves more room for profit. You can lower your cost per lead by optimizing your conversion rate, not overspending on content marketing and building quality content assets that will continue to bring in value over time. The beauty of content marketing is it works in perpetuity. A piece of content you create today can continue to bring in new leads for months or years down the line.
7. Leads to Conversion
The last lead-related content marketing metric we need to look at is the percentage of leads that are converting into paying tenants. This metric is important because it shows the quality of the leads you’re getting from content marketing.
Leads are practically useless if they’re not converting. While some of the conversion process falls into the hands of your leasing agents and sales team, you want to ensure you’re sending them quality leads with some potential. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a Glengarry Glen Ross situation.
8. Keyword Rankings
Monitoring where your company is ranking for target keywords lets you know if you’re headed in the right direction as well as how you stack up against the competition.
While content marketing isn’t all about SEO, you should be following the best practices to optimize your site. Set a target keyword for each piece of content you publish, then monitor your rankings using a rank tracking tool.
Be patient. Sometimes it can take weeks or months to see significant rank increases depending on the keywords you’re targeting and your on-page and off-page optimization. But you should be seeing some growth over time. The higher your rankings, the more visibility your site has.
9. Blog Comments
Have you ever seen a blog that seems to get a ton of comments on every post they publish?
Comments signify a community. When you’re consistently getting a large number of comments on your content, it also gives you more social proof and shows that people are truly engaged.
A good place to start is by encouraging current tenants to leave comments on your blog posts. Sparking that dialogue is a fun way to help them feel engaged and appreciated, which could improve resident retention. We won’t lie, comments aren’t easy to get. But that’s what makes them so valuable.
As you can see, there are plenty of content marketing metrics you can track. All are important, and the ones you ultimately decide to measure will depend on your goals.
If you’d rather focus on managing your property and running your day-to-day operations, you can leave the heavy lifting to us. We’re experts in content marketing for the multifamily industry, and keep track of all of these metrics and more. If you're looking to attract new leads by creating some awesome content, get in touch with us - we'd love to chat!