“Metrics” is Not a Dirty Word

by International Lawyers Network

You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about “big data,” “data,” “metrics,” and other buzzwords, which can sound like a lot of fancy talk about things you can’t be bothered with (Spoiler alert: in general, it’s not).

While I’m not going to get into a big discussion about data and all the ways you can use it, I AM going to talk about two practical things you can use today in order to support and improve your content marketing efforts. If you’re thinking “hey, ‘content marketing’ sounds like something for other people to do, and not me!” ask yourself – do you write articles or blog posts? Do you participate in speaking engagements? Do you write memos that you send to your clients and prospects? Do you want more people to know about the kind of law you practice, and how you can help them? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes” then content marketing IS for people like you, too. And for our purposes, when I use the phrase “content marketing” I’m talking about the actions that we undertake to promote the written and oral work you do as a lawyer to a wider audience – it’s likely something you’ve done all your career, but it just may not have been how you referred to it.

Today, I’m referencing a piece by Kristi Hines on “How to Find the Best Pieces of Content in Your Industry.” I highly recommend that you read this too, but before we look at other people’s content, we should start with our own.

Someone mentioned recently that measuring your content and then using what you’ve learned about that content is really “Content Marketing 2.0.” I had thought it was just good common sense, but it made me realize that it’s something we need to be looking at in more depth here at Zen if it really is being considered the next phase in content marketing.

I’ve had the good fortune to speak a couple of times with my friends, Laura Toledo and Adrian Lurssen, who are both content marketing aficionados. We’ve looked into content marketing for a legal marketing audience, and in discussing our presentation, we’ve examined what Adrian and his team at JD Supra call the “Virtuous Circle of Content Marketing” – and a piece of this circle is made up of what they call “support,” and what I like to refer to as the “optimization” piece.

That’s where you take your content, add in your audience, and review your metrics (what you’ve measured) and then see how you’ve been successful or not against your goals, and then further refine what you’re doing for the next piece of content.

That piece right there is almost important enough to be considered a linchpin of content marketing – you’re moving from producing content that you’re essentially throwing up against the wall to see what sticks to setting goals, producing content that supports those goals, for an audience that is defined by those goals, and then measuring the results. You’re then taking those measurements and identifying what works and what doesn’t, and using those metrics to define your next steps – making you ultimately more targeted and more successful.

Can you see how this would set you apart from someone who is just arbitrarily producing content?

Okay, so then let’s look at the two ways you can do this right now.

Tip One: Track Your Social Sharing Metrics

Hines provides a word of caution in using social sharing metrics in her article because these can be arbitrarily inflated by people who are buying likes, shares, etc. But since we’re talking about your own or your firm’s metrics here, and I KNOW you’re not doing something like buying social shares, we can assume at the outset that these are reliable metrics.

You may be thinking that the social visibility of a piece of content is not that important to you, but it is – social media is and continues to be an important thing these days, but again, it does come down to what the goals for your content and audience are.

Hines recommends the tool “BuzzSumo,” which will help to provide you with insights into content and which key influencers are sharing it (also important). You can easily see how this would be extrapolated for finding top content in your industry and practice area, but let’s start with your individual content for now.

We’ll use my blog as an example – since you can search by domain, it’s easy for me to enter zenlegalnetworking.com into the search box and see in the last year what my most shared blog post has been (by total shares). I can see which social networks are sharing that content most strongly (which helps me identify where I should be investing my time), and I’m also learning which topics are the most popular among those I’m sharing with.

Read more: http://www.zenlegalnetworking.com/2017/10/metrics-is-not-a-dirty-word/

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