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Why tracking content can be harder than creating it

Get the most detailed insight into your content data yet and use it to inform effective future strategies.

Sophie Thompson
6th April 2021

Coming up with a great content marketing plan sounds like it should be the hardest part of content marketing - but in reality, that's the fun bit! Having the time, resources, tools, and ability to actually track what content is working, and knowing what success looks like for you, is where it gets complicated.

If you’ve just read the above and thought “yep, I feel that" - read on, we can help!

We know you know why social media analytics are useful:

  • You can track your performance
  • You can compare your performance to previous weeks or months and set targets
  • You can spot trends and patterns to help inform your wider content strategy
  • You can run competitor comparisons and keep an eye on what they're up to

But, if you're new to social and not really sure where to start with social media analytics, or if it's something that you've been putting off due to a lack of time or resource - here's some quick and simple advice to help you start seeing improved results, from better tracking.

What should you be tracking?

Ultimately, this is dependent on your marketing KPIs and wider business objectives. Make a list of what activity leads to revenue, and track that. Here are a few ideas of metrics you could look at to gain more insight…

  • Impressions - The number of times your posts appear on a user’s feed
  • Click-through rates - The number of times a CTA (call to action) or link was clicked on
  • Conversions - How many interactions turned into customers (and how many interactions it takes for someone to become a customer)
  • Views - The overall number of times your post has been seen
  • Dwell-time - How long people spent looking at your post (and what they did next)
  • Engagement - How many times people interacted with your post, whether through liking, commenting, or sharing

Now let’s take a look at why these metrics are so crucial in the long-run:


If you’re looking to raise brand awareness, impressions are key. You want your posts to be seen by as many people as possible. Even if it’s not a sales post, building trust and humanizing your brand for potential customers is essential for keeping you front of mind when viewers are ready to purchase.

Click-through rates

Click-through rates help shape your overall marketing strategy. Are your calls-to-action effective enough? Are you using enticing language and imagery that makes people want to see more? This metric allows you to see if your content is having enough of an impact to make people take the next step in interacting with you.


Compelling content equals customers! And of course, aside from building a great name for yourself, pulling in revenue is arguably the key reason marketing exists. Tracking how many strong leads or conversions your content is making gives you a better idea of what content your audience enjoys seeing, so you can create more of the same - and take over your industry.

Creating Instagram content that drives conversions


If you want to establish your brand in its field, getting your content needs to be seen. Content views build your brand’s reputation, profile, and helps to establish a brand style that's instantly recognizable to users. People will decide to hit follow if they like what they see, and in turn, move further down the funnel and eventually convert.

Dwell time

Dwell time gives us an indication of how long people are looking at your content for. You should be aiming for a dwell time of two-four minutes, although it’s not a totally linear metric as a number of things can impact it, it's a pretty good guide.

As a general rule, the higher the dwell time, the more interested people are in your content. It’s a good way to see what content keeps people engaged for longer, so you can focus resources into that area.

Dwell time is particularly important for more bulky content such as web pages, blog posts, or emails.


Short-form content can be transitional. A tweet only lasts an average of seven seconds on a feed. That’s a very short amount of time to convince someone that your brand is worth interacting with, so posting content that people either want to like, share, or comment on increases success. It's great for brand visibility. The more times a post is engaged with, the more times the algorithm pushes it to other user’s feeds. If it goes viral, it may even get you some nice PR.

How can you track these metrics?

Have the right tools!

A good analytics tool allows you to see data across all social channels and includes metrics such as likes, followers, top-performing posts, views, impressions, page views, posts, clicks, engagement rate, reactions, comments, shares, and reach. There should also insight into how the hashtags you're using are performing, and what hashtags you should be using to get the most from your content.

You can explore detailed follower demographics, including gender and location, as well as learning about the audience of people viewing your posts, to scope out partnership and influencer opportunities.

You can also access data around your competitors' performance, allowing you to make comparisons, spot trends, and identify areas that they’re excelling in, that could also work for you.

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