Are you able to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing? Do you have proof? How about your content marketing ROI. What is the purpose of creating content?
Effective strategies and clear goals are essential for content marketing success. You must document your plan and track your results once it is established. This will help you determine if your efforts have been successful.
According to Semrush 84% of businesses have a Content Marketing Strategy, while only 11% believe they have an Excellent one.
All building blocks need to be stacked correctly: audience research, content scheduling and content repurposing. The results will start to appear once everything is in place. But how will they appear? How will you track them down?
Although content marketing is a well-established practice, many businesses, especially small ones, struggle to understand that the results of content marketing rarely translate into macro-conversions.
Content marketing is a significant contributor to the final step (a sale or lead). There are many other important metrics that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your CM efforts and determine its impact on your business.
The right metrics can help you spot poor-performing content and suggest ways to improve it. You will be able to identify your most successful content. Data analytics can be used to help you find the right “recipe” for content marketing and creation. You can then rinse and repeat to ensure content marketing success.
Understanding your “why” is essential before you can set goals or track the right KPIs.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase brand awareness online.
To measure success, your content team must track five metrics.
After you have a better understanding of the different metric categories, and how they work, you can use these KPIs to track your progress.
What are your objectives and key performance indicators for content marketing?
Before you can decide which marketing metrics you want to track, each member of your marketing team and your client (if you are an agency) must understand the objectives of each content campaign’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
This is in contrast to the “how do I measure content marketing ROI?” question, which we answer at the end of the article. It is essential to identify your primary goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) before you can determine which metrics will be used to track your content marketing activities.
After you have built your business case and convinced your client or business of the potential ROI, this question will be asked. Perhaps you need to explain what content marketing is at a simpler level.
Start with your “Why” to identify your goals and determine your primary KPIs for measuring performance.
Find out the higher purpose of your brand
This may sound like I’m not answering the question. But, please bear with me.
You need to understand why you business exists in order to know how to set objectives and KPIs to guide your content marketing.
Simon Sinek explains this concept in his Ted Talk: Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Activity. He explained, “People don’t buy what your do.” They will buy what you do.
Before you can set your goals and performance indicators, your business must first understand why you do the things you do. You need to establish a top-level goal based on your overall business purpose and marketing goals.
I’ve spoken a bit about share of conversation (or sharing of voice) before. It all starts with the belief that marketing can be described as a conversation. It encompasses any form of measurable brand awareness including online mentions, website traffic and PPC.
It shows how popular your brand is in comparison to other brands. It helps you to understand your market position.
While you can start a conversation online, it is more effective to join existing discussions. The goal is to guide them.
Content marketing is essential for this reason. Content marketing’s ultimate goal is to increase conversation.
What is the right topic for conversation that your brand should be leading? Once you know your brand’s purpose, you’ll be able to answer the question.
Customer-centric goals include sharing the conversation. This forces you to think beyond your business and to focus on your target audience by providing content related to your topic.
This can be measured by using the term “share of discussion” to describe the percentage of brand mentions related to the topic you would like your brand to be associated with. Start by measuring the share of conversation your business has (social + online). Next, increase that share.
Five Content Marketing Success Metrics You Should Track
Once you have an idea of the “why” behind your content marketing, you can start to look at the following metrics every content marketer should be closely monitoring.
Traffic is the lifeblood for online content. No matter how great your blog posts may be, if nobody visits your site, they won’t do you any good.
Traffic is a metric you must measure if you want to get it down to its essence. Traffic is an indicator of brand strength, but it also has some value beyond the abstract nature of “brand”.
You can also split the traffic into different categories. The metrics that you should be monitoring in Google Analytics are:
Users is the total number of unique users to your page
Pageviews The total number of times that a page has been viewed on your website
Unique Pageviews If a single user views your page multiple times, they are combined into one pageview in order to calculate this metric.
These metrics can be used to give you a rough idea about the traffic to each page of your website. The data can be broken down to show where your traffic comes from, how they found it online and what device they used to view it.
These data can help you plan your content strategy for the future. If you have primarily U.S. customers, but get a lot of traffic from the U.K. you can tailor your future content to suit U.K. users. You can also tailor your content to your social media followers’ data if you get a lot of traffic from one of your social channels.
Your site is being visited by many people who enjoy reading your blog. What else do they do after they finish reading? Are they reading your newsletters and clicking on the links? Are they signing up to your newsletter? Are they completing an e-commerce transaction
B2B companies are best if they can convert leads into sales. A few buyers won’t buy from an article that isn’t about them. B2B companies should monitor the buyer journey, from click-throughs and subscriptions to more complex conversions such as offer registrations.
You decide what constitutes a conversion. Some content may be designed to sell physical products, while others might increase awareness and authority. You might consider focusing more on engagement metrics and social shares if this is the case.
If your blog is used primarily as a sales tool, it’s important to track the number of sales it generates. This can be done by activating ecommerce in Google Analytics. You will see the page value for all your content in the behavior section.
This gives you an average revenue for each page based on the number of users who have visited that page to purchase something or meet another goal.
Sometimes, the traffic to your site is more indicative of how effective your efforts are to get people to click on your links than your content.
You can track how long people spend on your website and which pages they visit each session to really see if they are engaged with your content.
The goal is to keep them on the site for as long as possible, so that they can read more of what you have to offer (unless you plan to direct them to a sales page).
This information can be viewed under Audience Overview in Google Analytics. You can also see your total sessions and visitors.
You want content that is easy to read. This means you need a lot of pages per session and a long session time (depending on how long your content is) as well as a low bounce rate.
A great way to gauge your content engagement is by analyzing how it performs on social networks.
There are many metrics that you can track, but the most important one is how often your content has been shared across multiple social media networks. Shares indicate that other people find your content valuable.
Google Analytics doesn’t provide this information, but social sharing buttons placed on content will display the number of times it has been shared across different platforms.
BuzzSumo, another tool to track social media shares, is an easy way for you to quickly identify the most popular content on your website.
It is possible to track how much traffic your social media platforms are bringing you. This is another way to measure engagement. You will get more social media clicks if your content is being shared and interacted with by more people. This information can be found under Acquisition > Social > Referrals in Google Analytics.
4. SEO Performance
Social media is not the only source of traffic. Search must also be a major source of traffic. Google Analytics can be used to track how many people visit your site via search, but it doesn’t provide much insight into the performance of your site in search engines.
Instead, measure your SEO performance. You can track a variety of metrics here. The most important is SERP ranking. This is the position of your page in search engine results for a specific keyword phrase.
Rankings don’t stay static. They fluctuate. However, when you track your ranking over time you want to see whether it’s static (if you are already in a good place) or improving. This shows that you are building trust and authority.
Google Search Console can be used to identify terms that you rank for, and track how your ranking changes over the time.
Higher traffic, more leads and hopefully more sales will be the result of better SEO. Great content is the key to better SEO. This is what we cover in our coverage of Google’s report.
Although authority isn’t as easy to measure than most other metrics, it is still important to work to increase your authority.
A high authority status will not only increase your SEO and help you get more search traffic but also build your brand, trust and increase your conversion rate.
Moz provides its own authority metrics, which you can use to get an idea of how Google may judge your site and page’s authority. These DA (domain authority), and PA (page authority), scores are from 1 to 100. Higher scores correspond to greater authority.
There is no one right answer to what “good” DA or PA should be. You just want to score higher than your competition.
8 categories of content marketing metrics and key performance indicators
You can gauge your authority and brand presence by measuring metrics such as the number of mentions of your brand in social media and links to your content. These specific scores are useful, but there are more impactful and campaign-specific ways to track your real-world authority.
You can use the following metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs), if you are familiar with their functions. This will help you create a tracking system that is more efficient and works for you business. These are just a few:
1. Consumption Metrics
Consumption metrics show you how many people have viewed and consumed your content, and how long they spend delving into it.
- Pageviews This metric can be used to determine which parts of your content are most engaging. These types of content will be your future focus.
- Unique visitors This metric can be used to determine the size of your audience and how many are returning visitors.
- Average page time: Are your contents engaging? This metric should be relatively high. If your visitors are just skimming the content, you need to put in some effort.
- Behavior flow: Using Google Analytics, behavior flow can help you to understand how users navigate through your website. This chart shows the user’s location on your site as well as how they navigate through different pages and exits. This will help you to identify and optimize drop-off points for user retention.
2. Website Engagement Metrics
Your audience and visitors should engage with your content. Your engagement metrics will show how interested your followers are in your content.
- Inbound Links: A greater domain authority will be achieved if there are more sites linking to your site. You should assess how many links have been earned for a specific content piece. You can use tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz to assess the quality and quantity of links to your site. This will allow you to create more opportunities for link building. To create similar pieces, increase search visibility and rank, find the page that has the most links.
- Duration of session: Each person who visits your website counts as one session. Session duration is the time a user spends on your website, regardless of how many pages they have viewed.
- Page depth This metric (also known as “pages per Session”) gives you an average number pages that someone will click on when they visit your site.
- Click-through rates (CTR): Every button and link on your site has a CTR, which is the ratio of clicks to view. Higher CTRs mean higher engagement.
3. Metrics for retention
You can see how well your website retains visitors by using retention metrics.
- Return Rate: Return rates allow you to compare how many visitors you are getting with how many new visitors. Each group will be different, but it is important that you have a healthy mix.
- Pages per Visit: How many people visit your page and spend time there before moving on? This metric will show you how valuable and engaging the bulk of your content, not just the part that brought people to your page.
- Bounce Rate: The bounce rate of your website is the percentage that visitors leave after visiting the first page. The bounce rate is generally lower. This means that visitors tend to spend more time on your website. To repurpose and update content with a higher bounce, identify it.
4. Social Metrics
Social media is another excellent channel to gain valuable insights from customers, leads, or followers.
- Follower count Keep track of your social media accounts and know your total followers. This metric will allow you to track the growth of your social media audience over time.
- Social media likes and shares: How does your content do on social media? Is your content likely to go viral? Or are you losing out on all the likes and shares that you have achieved? You can find out this information by tracking all shares and retweets. You can set up sharing buttons on many platforms to track the number of shares for a piece of content across social media. To understand your audience’s expectations, you can use the best content to establish benchmarks.
- CommentsSocial media comment are a good indicator of engagement. You can keep track of the comments to see how people react to your content and get suggestions for new content.
5. Metrics for Content Production
These metrics will inform future content creation decisions.
- Time spent creating content: Tracking your time spent creating engaging content will help you refine your CM strategy. It is possible to decide whether you want freelance writers or if you prefer to work in-house with a group of writers. To assess the efficiency of content creators, it is important to know how much time they put in.
- Time and performance: Your article was shared over 100 times in the first week. How is it doing after a month? Are you still getting some traffic? Is your content created for an event or a specific purpose? Are you seeing a decrease in engagement and shares after a week of posting? Find the content that is most valuable to maximize the value of each one.
6. Email Metrics
An analysis of email metrics can help you increase engagement and decrease dissatisfaction.
- Email open rates: It is important to track how many emails and newsletters were opened by your prospect before you send them out. This gives you valuable information about what content to focus on and when it works best.
- Click-through Rate (CTR: Your email CTR is the percentage recipients clicked on at least one of your emails out of all the ones sent.
- Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of people who did the desired action (like buying a monthly subscription). It determines your email conversion rate.
- Asset Downloads: Track forms completed and gated content to measure ROI. You can determine the success of each asset by going through every one. Marketo, a marketing automation tool that allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing adjustments made, is a great way to do this.
- Email-subscriber rate: The email churn rates refers to how many people unsubscribe from emails you send. You must be aware of every unsubscriber as you increase your email subscribers.
Source Campaign Monitor
7. Cost Metrics
Keep track of the cost of your content marketing program to your company so that you can assess how effective your overall efforts.
- The cost per content piece: Track the invoices of freelancers to calculate the cost per piece. You will need to add up salaries, benefits, overhead costs and other overhead costs to track internal expenses. This can be a bit more difficult to do. If you are resource-constrained, consider the pros and cons of outsourcing vs. in-house content creation. It is helpful to calculate the cost per item when planning for the content budget.
- Distribution costs It is important to increase the visibility of your content. This metric should be kept track to see the costs associated with promoting it on social media or ad networks.
8. Sales Metrics
You can see how your content marketing activities directly affect your sales funnel, and your revenue.
- Leads generated How can content support lead generation through a funnel? This metric can be used to identify new leads and assign them to content. The combination of your CRM and your marketing automation tool will show you how many leads have been generated by a piece of content. It will also tell you how those leads reacted to your brand on what platforms.
- Lead quality/score Although you might feel fortunate to generate leads through your content offerings, it is important to not overlook leads’ quality. The lead quality is important because content creation takes time and money.
- Leads that have been influenced by your content: How many leads were influenced by your content and what content? This will allow you to determine how often your leads must contact you on an average before they convert.
- Funnel conversion rates: You want to find out which content is helping you push prospects further down the funnel, all the down to the do phase.
- Pipeline generated To calculate the dollar value for every opportunity you can identify to a piece of content, use the first touch method.
- Revenue influenced At the end you can see how much revenue came from buyers who started their buying journey by coming in contact with your content, or interacted with your material at any stage.
Depending on your industry, there may be more metrics that are useful.
How to measure content marketing ROI
This simple process will help you calculate your content marketing ROI in just five steps.
- Step 1 : How much have you spent on content creation? Include software and tools, as well as employee salaries and outsourcing costs.
- Step 2 How much have you spent to distribute your content Add paid advertising, social media advertising and costs for tools and software.
- Step 3 Add up all your expenses to calculate the cost of producing your content. This is your total investment.
- Step 4 : Add all sales that were generated by your content. This is your return.
- Step 5 Calculate the content marketing ROI by using this formula.
Balance is essential
It is not easy to understand user behavior. There is no magic bullet. You can start moving in the right direction by implementing actionable metrics. If you want to thrive in the digital age, it is essential that you continue to adopt metrics that explain why certain content gets shared.
It’s possible to “game” these metrics by focusing on just one. Many publishers use tricks to manipulate their metrics.
Reach is something you can always purchase. You can increase pageviews by including page breaks in your content and creating slideshows that have multiple pages. Then, force your visitors to click through. Over-promotion of offers can make every visitor take some action to convert. You can also refuse to allow links that lead visitors away from your page, even if they are citing research.
But you shouldn’t.
These methods can have a negative impact on the user experience, and may even cause damage to your brand’s value.
It is important to balance the importance of each metric in order to reward the right behavior. To ensure that you don’t sacrifice too much, look at all areas when testing content marketing designs, topics, and content types.
Content marketing success is a combination of strategy, quality and consistency
MIG’s Content Builder Services package can help you create a strategy and implement it to reach your goals. It will also track important KPIs.
Our team will produce high-quality, optimized content that you can publish on your website regularly. We will promote your content to increase visibility and track its ROI so that you can see how it is performing.
Find out more about our Weekly Blog Content Services.
Marketing Insider Group published the post Key Metrics to Measure Content Marketing Success.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: Key Metrics to Measure Content Marketing Performance
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/metrics-to-measure-content-performance/
Published Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 11:00:00 +0000