A content marketing strategy without a goal is like a “Pokemon Go” account without any Pokemon. What’s the point?

Of course, making goals isn’t the problem. What paralyzes many real estate firms, brokers and agents who want to dive into content marketing, but haven’t, is having a clear, easy process for measuring progress toward their goals.

Tracking clicks and conversions, and tweaking strategy in response to them, is the realm of chief marketing officers and their business analysts, not small businesses.

Yet, setting goals and measuring performance toward them is key, the only way to justify the immense effort that goes into planning, creating and distributing content.

So, what do you do? You can hire a firm like HageyMedia to help you craft a winning content marketing strategy that incorporates all elements of a smart plan: goal-setting, audience and brand analysis, metrics & analysis in relation to goals, content production, distribution.

Or you can do the work yourself, which is possible, time consuming, but possible. If you decide to experiment with a strategy solo, above all, I’d suggest getting crystal clear about your goals. Ask yourself: Why am I creating content?

Some common content marketing goals:

  • Generate leads and grow database
  • Increase SEO for target keywords and phrases
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Demonstrate expertise
  • Establish trust

Ultimately, all content marketing should be geared toward growing sales, because, as the saying goes, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.”

But it’s important to be as focused as possible around how you plan to increase sales with your content strategy. This allows you to measure effectively.

For example, if you want content to grow your content database, you can track newsletter signups. You can track signups, and many other metrics associated with your website, for free with Google Analytics. See a breakdown of how this works here.

Increasing your website’s position in organic search results on Google for target keywords and phrases is another common goal for content marketing. This can be gold because Google is still search engine king, by a wide margin, according to eBizMBA.

Increasing SEO is a slow process, but if you consistently put out high-quality content with your target phrases, you’ll climb up the Google search results. This one’s easy to measure: conduct a search for your target keywords or phrases in Google Incognito (Incognito, because Google tailors results on individuals’ search histories), and see where your site ranks.

An important note about content marketing: it’s a long-term play and it’s not always easy, or relevant to try to measure ROI.

For example, leads you pull in from Facebook, Zillow or realtor.com may not be ready to transact right away. But they’re in your database and they appreciate the quality, thoughtful content you consistently sent out through your email newsletter.

When they’re ready to buy or sell, that trust and relationship you’ve built up will pay dividends.