Until recently, content marketing wasn’t seen as a necessity in government; it was viewed as a luxury. If an organization was able to publish the occasional blog post or graphic on social media, that was a win. But more and more, the public sector is understanding the value that content marketing can have on reaching, engaging, and converting citizens to action.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Content marketing is quickly becoming the fastest way to reach and grow your audience. But it’s not enough to just produce and release content to potential customers or clients. There has to be a strategy behind it as well.
Here are some of the best content types and the metrics to measure their success for increasing engagement with your audience:
One of the easiest ways to market your content is through your organization’s own website. While some are more user-friendly than others, all public-sector organizations likely have a central hub for visitors to view information, sign up for more information, or a place to engage with your organization. Websites are also an ideal spot for displaying upcoming events, such as public meetings or events to help drive attendance and participation.
One key metric to monitor with your website is traffic, or website visitors. When reviewing website analytics, you can measure success by monitoring the increase in pageviews or unique pageviews over a period of time. This metric can give you a better sense of how many people visited your website instead of how many total pages were viewed. For more information on metrics that matter for website content, download the Content Marketing Guide.
Blogs can be used to build organic visitors to your website – especially if the topics are timely and useful. Creating a solid blog strategy does take time (because being consistent is crucial), but if done right it is a great way to drive website traffic and increase engagement. Consider using your blog to deliver important news updates, changes in policy or legislation, or provide context around a complicated policy decision.
When it comes to your blog, a good way to make sure your audience is engaged is to allow commenting. This helps create and foster an online community around the blog, which will keep people returning to it. It’s important to read all comments and respond to them when appropriate. If readers see their feedback is being received by real people, engagement will continue to grow.
- Email Newsletters
With the highest return on investment of any digital platform, email is standing the test of time. Not only is email the most effective way to reach a large audience at one time, it can also provide valuable insight into your audience with digital engagement metrics. Use this opportunity to inform your audience of upcoming events, changes to legislation that may affect them, or different services they may not know your organization provides.
A good place to start looking for ways to measure email success is in Granicus’ Benchmark Report, titled “Improving Metrics that Matter.” Contained within are the five metrics to monitor in your email marketing efforts: click rate, engagement rate, open rate, subscriptions per subscriber, and overlay impact. You can measure your metrics against the benchmark while striving to be in the top 20 percent.
For many government agencies, much of the content produced can be very complex – everything from in-depth budget descriptions to translating large pieces of legislation. Infographics can be a great way to transform information into a visually appealing format, and can be great for sharing on social media.
Infographics are great to share, and you can gauge your infographic’s popularity with likes on Facebook or retweets on Twitter. Infographics can also help you reach a goal, such as increased email or social engagement. Just make sure to create your goal up-front, as this will help you determine how successful your efforts are.
While not a new phenomenon, many marketing-focused organizations are predicting that video will be the number one driver of internet traffic in the coming years. Of course, within the video trend that are other subtle happenings – like 85 percent of videos on Facebook being watched without sound. Video continues to transform, and could be an important part of your content strategy going forward.
Videos can be time-consuming or costly to make, so accessibility is especially important. After all, even if you have one of the best videos ever made, does it really matter if no one can find it? Make sure it’s easy to find and easy to view (read: add subtitles). Measure your play rate (the number of times people actually press “play” on your video) to determine its success.
For more information about leveraging content for marketing purposes, download our free Guide to Content Marketing for the Public Sector. You’ll learn how to track these specific types of content, making them more effective and useful to your organization.