How successful are your content marketing efforts? Do you know what type of content your audience values? Do you know how to measure the success of your content marketing efforts?
Before you can measure your efforts, you first need to determine the desired action. What do you want your content to accomplish? Knowing the desired action will help you understand which metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you determine whether you are meeting your objective.
But first, lets briefly review what makes good marketing content.
What Makes Good Marketing Content Great?
As content managers and copywriters we strive to create “engaging” content that provides value either in the form of educating or entertaining our readers and results in an increase in web traffic and leads.
Your content should not be:
- A sales pitch
- An advertisement
- A self-promotion
- Purely SEO driven
In short, don’t make your content about you! Be selfless. Your content should focus on solving your customers’ problems. Offer a solution that helps your readers make better decisions, or entertain them, but spare them a sales pitch!
Now lets talk about measuring the success of your content efforts.
How To Measure Your Content Marketing Efforts:
You know that your content is “hitting” the mark when it is:
- Driving in more traffic
- Being shared
- Increases leads
- Improves your lead-to-paid customer conversion rate
Let’s define the actual key performance indicators that will help you determine whether you are achieving your objectives.
Content Marketing Key Performance Indicators
The distinguishing factor between a metric and a KPI, is that KPIs are actionable. They are outcome oriented, meaning you can affect the result.
They are directly tied to an objective.
KPI #1: Is Your Content Engaging?While the number of visits to your article or blog is a nice metric, there are several KPIs that will help you identify how well your content is being consumed. The following KPIs indicate your readers interest level.
Time On Site: This metric will let you know if visitors are really reading your content. It can indicate whether they only read the intro, quickly skimmed the content, or took time to entirely digest the content.
Bounce Rate: Bounce rate will tell you the percentage of visitors who came to your content but quickly exited without viewing other web pages. This can indicate that they did not have much interest. A 50 percent bounce rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should consider making some changes.
On the other hand, a high bounce rate can also mean that your web content has met your reader’s objective and they did not need to view other pages. If readers are taking action then the bounce rate may not be meaningful.
Pages Per Visit: If visitors are continuing on to other pages, that is a good indicator that they place value in your content and want to continue exploring.
KPI #2: Does Your Content Have Value?
Content that is shared by others indicates that it has value. Consider these KPIs
Social Shares: How many times was your content shared on social media?
Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, Pinterest pins, and Google pluses are nice, but they may be a reflection of loyalty rather than a reflection of content value.
For instance, Facebook "like" counts can outpace traffic for that content which suggests users click “like” on the content they have never read. Likes and tweets vouch for your content, but sharing is a better form of endorsement.
Referrals/Inbound Links: Referrals and inbound links are a good indicator that your content is valued.
If your content is getting a lot of views, it is likely that you have inbound referral links. This is good; search engines use this as an indicator of popularity and authority if the referral is coming from a reputable source.
Use your web analytics tool to determine where the referrals are coming from and then use use Moz Rank or a similar tool to determine if these are trustworthy sources.
Besides site rank, you can use time on page, and conversion rate to help you determine the engagement level of readers from the referring site.
Comments: Readers taking the time to share their thoughts and opinions on your post is a clear indicator that they are engaged! Be sure to respond their comments to further engage them and encourage other readers to add their comments.
KPI #3: Is Your Content Generating Leads?Did any of your readers take action such as sign up for your newsletter, event, webinar, or trial? Did they download any other content such as guides or case studies? If so, these readers are engaged leads. Continue to nurture these with your email drip campaign until they are qualified leads that can be passed to your sales team.
KPI #4: Does Your Content Lead To A Sale?If your marketing content resulted in a direct sale that brought in revenue you know it is a success! Give yourself a pat on the back if your boss has not already done so. Continue to promote this page to bring in more! Don’t forget to check indirect conversions where your content assisted in a sale.
Successful Marketing Content
Once you have identified which marketing content has the best results, use this as your model for creating new content. What was it that made it resonate with your audience? Was it the subject matter or the style? Understanding your target audience’s interests and needs will positively impact your content’s performance.
Are you tracking your marketing content efforts? What KPIs are you using to measure success?