This is the fourth blog post concerning online influence in our series on “How To Measure Blog Success”.
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Does your content marketing strategy actually move the needle of influence in your industry and beyond to potential customers?
Measuring influence online isn’t easy. Influence is: “a power affecting a person, thing or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort”.
For content marketing and blogging, influence is a byproduct of perception.
Measuring Quantitative Online Influence (Site-Based and Social Media-Based)
There are site-based metrics (measurement criteria that you can track on your website), social-based metrics (measurement criteria that you can track via social channels) and qualitative milestones to consider when tracking your influence.
For site-based metrics, let’s start with a baseline of the following (via Google Analytics).
Measure Average Session Duration (or the average length of a session)
As you start creating more content and becoming a resource for customers, you should see an increase in average sessions from your customers’ and potential customers’. Average session duration is the best metric available to determine if people are engaged in your content.
Measure Pages Per Session (or the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted)
This is another influence metric that alludes to traffic that visits your site and stays engaged with the site’s content. Your brand becomes stickier and more memorable the longer customers engage and stay on your site.
Measure Average Time on Page (or the average amount of time users spent viewing a specified page or screen, or set of pages or screens)
Use this metric to see the time spent on individual pages within your site. When you have a blog, you can see the amount of time spent on individual blog pages.
Measuring Social Media-Based Influence
For social media-based metrics, you can either look at individual social accounts and track metrics or you can explore platforms that provide a big-picture perspective on your social presence.
We recommend these three.
Klout is the largest and most recognizable platform for measuring social influence. Klout’s algorithm uses social signals to calculate a Klout Score (from 1 (low) to 100 (high)). Read more about how a Klout Score is calculated.
Why we like it: You have to start somewhere. And measuring your Klout Score against competitors is a great relative assessment of your influence vs. your competitors. It’s not perfect (spoiler alert: no software is) but it’s a start to becoming more influential online.
Kred Influence and Outreach
Kred is Similar to Klout, but provides two different scores: influence and outreach. Kred measures influence by the amount of mentions, retweets, and replies you receive. Outreach measures the mentions, retweets and replies you send out.
Why we like it: Kred measures your influence and outreach globally and across different niches. You can see what your Kred is for “travel,” “marketing,” “parents,” etc. Now you can focus on improving your Kred in a specific industry or area relevant to your industry.
PeerIndex (now part of Brandwatch)
Brandwatch bought PeerIndex to become a major player in influencer and content analytics. This is a robust platform if you really want to get into the details of your social campaigns. Instead of one or two numbers like Klout or Kred, Brandwatch provides marketing measurement, competitor benchmarking, influencer identification and outreach, and a whole lot more.
Why we like it: Brandwatch is the first platform that goes beyond a one-off number to assess your influence online. The financial commitment and onboarding are more involved than Klout or Kred, but the analytics are more specific and comprehensive.
Qualitative Milestones to Measure for Greater Online Influence
Are You Trusted?
Does your audience trust you and your brand? How do you know?
Take time to read reviews and solicit customer feedback. Send out surveys. If you lose customers, do you have a means of getting feedback as to why?
Would people recommend your business to a friend or colleague? It’s important to get feedback from customers about your business. Word of mouth goes a long way in marketing and making sure your customers (and ex-customers) trust you is critical.
Have You Established Yourself As An Expert or Authority?
Have you created unique, helpful content within your industry, given speeches at conferences or trade shows, mentored, or invested in your community? These are just a sampling of ways to establish credibility and expertise that people will respect for an online influence.
If you haven’t. Start now. You’ll be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves as you take an active role in your industry and community.
Want advice on ways to improve your blog’s influence?