Companies are spending one third of their marketing budgets on content.
Many successful brands invest as much as 40% of their marketing budgets into producing and distributing content. And these numbers are predicted to continue to rise. Why?
Content marketing costs 62% less than other forms of marketing and it generates 3 times more leads for every dollar you spend.
However, these statistics may not hold true for everyone. But they do show that content marketing delivers results and other marketers are making good money from it.
But the question is, are you getting enough results from your content marketing campaigns? Is your content marketing campaign a success?
Measuring the success of your content marketing campaigns is not simple. You need to track and measure the metrics that serve as key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaign.
In this article, I’ll guide you on how to choose the most important content marketing KPIs for your campaign. You can use these KPIs to measure your success and optimize your campaigns for better results.
But before that, let us take a look at why you should track and measure KPIs.
If you want to optimize your marketing spend, it is important that you measure relevant content marketing KPIs. Measuring the right KPIs can help you analyze which tactics are working and which aren’t.
This data can enable you to make more informed decisions during your campaign. You can then make relevant changes and adjust your tactics to improve your campaign ROI.
There is no magic formula to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should measure to predict your campaign success.
If you want to track relevant content marketing KPIs, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your campaign. Once you set specific content marketing goals, you can match those goals with the right metrics and KPIs.
Let’s take a look at some important content marketing goals and appropriate KPIs for each one of them.
Want to increase brand awareness?
You should focus on creating content that can help you reach and engage a lot of people. This means you should create highly relevant and interesting content that people will love to read and share.
You can measure the below content marketing KPIs to measure how effectively is your content creating brand awareness.
This is one of the easiest KPIs to measure. You can simply use tools such as Google Analytics to check the number of views your article receives. In fact, you can also gain insights about traffic sources, average session duration, and bounce rate for each article.
Image via Google Analytics
It might be a bit difficult to measure the number of views on your article if the content is not posted on your website. However, many guest posting websites display a view count, which lets you see how your content is performing.
You can also create UTM links for guest posts to see how many views your content receives through social shares and other content promotion activities.
Social media plays a very important role in making any content piece viral.
You should track and measure social shares and engagement to see how well your content is performing. The more social shares you get, the larger your audience base will be. This will eventually help you improve your overall online presence.
Tools like BuzzSumo rank the top-performing content on any topic based on their social shares and engagement.
Image via BuzzSumo
You can identify the type of content that drives maximum social shares in your niche and leverage it to boost your brand awareness.
The number of followers and subscribers you have is another important KPI to track brand awareness. And the best thing is that these numbers are easily quantifiable.
You can easily track the number of subscribers to your blog and YouTube channel. Similarly, it is easy to track the growth in your follower count over a period of time.
Genuine audience engagement such as comments and interactions on your content can help you understand how consumers feel about your brand. This also means that your content has the ability to spark a conversation and make an impact on readers.
Tracking audience engagement can help you analyze which type of content does your target audience engage the most with.
Are people linking to your content? Is your content being quoted on different websites? If so, this means that your content is making its mark.
Getting more brand mentions and links means that the industry sees you as a credible and authoritative source. This can help you reach more people and get more organic clicks, traffic, and leads. Also, it will help enhance the overall reputation of your brand.
Lead generation is one of the primary business goals. You need to track whether or not your content generates high-quality leads for your business.
The below KPIs can help you measure the effectiveness of your content when it comes to lead generation.
Measuring click-through rate of your content can help you understand how effective your content is when it comes to lead generation.
If you want to encourage users to click-through to your content, you should include a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every post. Whether you want the reader to visit a specific web page, contact you, download your gated resource, or take any other action, a clear and compelling CTA can help you drive leads.
Here’s an example of a compelling call-to-action:
Image via Netflix
You can calculate cost per lead by dividing the cost of your campaign by the total number of leads it helped you generate.
Tracking your cost per lead for multiple types of content and multiple channels can help you analyze what performs better. You can use these insights to prioritize channels in your marketing strategy.
While increasing brand awareness and generating leads are important marketing goals, your content should be able to drive sales too. After all, you want to convert your leads into customers and generate revenue for your business, right?
If you want to track how many sales your campaign drives, you should track and measure the KPIs mentioned below:
You need to optimize your content for conversions so that you don’t lose valuable leads. You need to track and monitor how many leads convert into paying customers.
Tracking conversion rates can help you see which content pieces drives the maximum conversions and sales. You can track conversions using custom UTM links for each piece of content you publish and share.
Many top brands such as Amazon use personalized content throughout their buyers’ journeys to increase conversions. This includes optimizing website content as well as the content in their emails based on the interests and past buying behaviors of their prospects.
Amazon offers personalized recommendations based on the browsing and buying history of their consumers to improve conversions.
Image via Amazon
One thing about great content is that it decreases the average length of your sales cycle. You should measure the length of your sales cycle to understand how long it takes for you to convert your leads.
This will help you identify channels that help you generate leads that close faster and have a shorter sales cycle. You can prioritize such channels to improve your campaign ROI.
The content marketing KPIs mentioned above are some of the most common KPIs. They are easy to monitor as there are many analytics tools that can help you track and measure these metrics.
However, this does not mean that you need to limit yourself to measuring these KPIs only. You can dive deeper and identify more relevant KPIs to measure the success of your campaign.
For example, this table from Search Engine Journal lists more content marketing KPIs. It also tells how important it is for B2C and B2B businesses, agencies, and publishers to track each.
Image via Search Engine Journal
You have specified your business goals and identified relevant content marketing KPIs. But that is not the end of it.
Establishing content metrics is not a one-time event. Instead, it is an ongoing process since the KPIs you need to track can change depending on your business goals.
As a content marketer, you should identify relevant performance metrics for each new campaign. If you make any changes to your campaign over time, you should revisit your content marketing KPIs.
What content marketing KPIs do you track? Please feel free to mention them in the comments below.
Originally Published on shanebarker.com
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the Co-Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.