By Mike Hanson / Covario Sr. SEO Strategist and Adam Hirsch / Rio SEO Strategist
Campmor, an in store and online camping gear and equipment retailer based in the Northeast, has been busy with its online marketing efforts this summer. Google featured a case study on Campmor’s dynamic remarketing success in May, and since then, Campmor has completed another digital marketing test to enhance its content strategy and provide more insight into online visitor behavior.
Using Rio SEO social retargeting and analytics, we were able to track how and where visitors to the Campmor blog shared content, and how other visitors entered the site as a result of the content being shared. Rio SEO Social was able to show us which content pieces were shared the most frequently, who was sharing the content, when, and on which sites. Using a seasonal marketing calendar and an editorial calendar, we developed content marketing topics, launched them on the blog at outdoors.campmor.com, and then opened the flood gates for the data to pour in.
The results gave Campmor valuable insight into successful content marketing pieces and strategies, as well as insight into content marketing efforts that did little to drive traffic. Below are some of the metrics and results, along with analysis and future content marketing plans to create smarter content through smarter search.
Social Traffic – Visits from Shared Content
Rio SEO Social has a URL parameter that carries referrer data. When a URL is shared with that parameter, and another person clicks the link, that is one tally for a visitor sharing and one tally for a social visit. The Campmor case study showed that more than 1% of blog visitors were successfully sharing content, and driving almost 10% of the overall blog traffic. These numbers indicate that there are some powerful influencers sharing Campmor blog content.
Individual Pages – Successful Content Marketing Pieces
Rio SEO Social also shows data on the page level, so you can evaluate which blog posts are more successful than others. The Backpack Cheat Sheet, the Go Camping Flowchart and Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots were the top three blog posts driving social traffic. These posts combined for more than 40% of all social entrances to the blog. Rio SEO Social makes it extremely easy to segment your successful content to see which posts drive the most traffic. This helps you determine which posts visitors share most often, and which posts bring in the most social visits.
Topical Categories – Successful Content Marketing Categories
If you are marketing content and varying the topical categories, then you can evaluate the types of content to see which brings the most sharing and social entrances. Some types of topical categories include: How To, Top 10 Lists, Expert Tips, Image, Video, Product Comparison, and Infographics.
In Campmor’s case study, the Infographic topical category performed the best based on social traffic, driving the most social visits of any content marketing category. Expert Tips was the second best performing category, followed closely by Product Comparison. The two top Infographics were The Backpack Cheat Sheet and the Go Camping Flowchart. The Product Comparison post compared the uses and benefits of hiking shoes versus hiking boots. These categories can be utilized again in the future to continue bringing in social visits at high volume.
Channel Performance – Successful Content Marketing Channels
People share content all over the web, and even off the web through text messages or other media. With Rio SEO Social, the referring domain is tracked and you can see which domain is sending the most social traffic. The software also attributes visits to a referral channel called “dark social,” which accounts for copy/paste shares through IM, text messages, some email, and other direct referrals.
Facebook was Campmor’s top referrer sending in the most social traffic of any site. Pinterest was the second highest referrer followed by dark social sharing channels. What surprised us was that of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, Campmor’s smallest audience is its Pinterest followers. Of the four major social networks, there was no correlation to the size of the audience and the performance of the social channel in this sampled case study. With this knowledge, Campmor can spend more time on Pinterest and start pinning more frequently, pinning more engaging images, and including specific products to help drive traffic to individual product pages and blog posts.
We learned which topical categories performed best, which individual posts drove the most social traffic, and how much of the overall traffic came from social shares tracked by Rio SEO Social. With this knowledge at hand, our advice is to:
- Review the content marketing plan through the end of the year and adjust the topical categories to ensure you are using topics that drive the most visits. You can report on the social visits as a percent of total visits and in our case we encouraged Campmor’s social team to monitor their activity and leverage the channels that drive the most traffic by being more active.
- Discover influencers that are sharing your content, and develop targeted influencer outreach programs to increase interaction and visibility.
- Test and measure a variety of social channels; find which channels are working and utilize them; find which are lacking and enhance engagement, creating a value-add to boost your content marketing efforts. Just like with proper search engine optimization, you can test, analyze and act on your data, creating smarter search through smarter content.