The common misconception about media consumption is that the more options people have, the more they will consume. Simply because one number goes up, does not mean the other will. In fact, with television, the number of channels tuned into has remained steady over the years, despite a massive growth in the available channels.
The same goes for content on the Internet. As the channels for consuming company-generated marketing multiplies every day, the amount a person comfortably reads and engages with remains low. It isn’t because of the options, it is because of human nature and habits. Until we conceive of a way to intake large amounts of information at faster rates, a single company decision maker can only read so many whitepapers and blog posts in one day. Include social media and that media intake expands exponentially.
It is estimated most people come across 285 pieces of content on average per day, amounting to 54,000 words, the length of a typical novel. This information overload hasn’t changed engagement levels. In fact, it is actually decreasing them. Overload has pushed people to the brink of scaling back on their consumption. A recent study showed that output of brand content increased by 35%, but content engagement decreased by 17%.
As an agency, you might be discouraged by this news. Your goal is to provide your clients with the amount of content and the right conversations they are looking for. The way to battle the engagement crisis and reassure your clients is to seek and explore conversion metrics.
Putting Conversion Metrics to Use
Conversion metrics enable marketers to understand how many prospects are entering the sales funnel. Given the right social media management platform, marketers can see how many conversions are coming from social media, and narrow in on what is effective. Seeing the tangible results of your social efforts and which posts and types of content are converting prospects successfully helps you tailor future content to the needs and interests of your audience.
More than anything conversion metrics show that even if basic engagement levels are falling, conversion levels might not be. Conversions are far more relevant than how many likes a post received. This shows marketers that their content is in fact generating revenue, rather than simply how many eyes the social content caught. That information goes a lot further in collecting data about a customer base than how well a post performs.
General engagement is important for brand reach, but conversion metrics are important for recognizing real customers, deciding how to proceed with social strategy and most importantly, prove the ROI of your social media marketing. An investment in technology that can show in one simple dashboard both how posts are being received and which ones are leading prospects down the funnel is easy to justify with such visible results.
Maximize Analytics, Maximize Engagement
Once you maximize your use of analytics, you can maximize the way you interpret engagement. This practice will vastly improve how you and your clients see the engagement “crisis” and move ahead in the content marketing landscape. You will begin to see the quality and characteristics of the posts you use to bring prospects from awareness to becoming brand loyalists.