There are several schools of thought on measuring content marketing performance. Marketers and leaders are looking for actionable insights into how and when they should be measuring the effectiveness (both in cost and engagement) of their marketing content.
Because content is a vast piece of the marketing puzzle, there are many reasons to focus on certain types of content, certain publication and post frequencies, and more. But all this boils down to a simple question: what are your goals with the marketing content you’re creating?
Many will answer this question by saying something like, “I want my content to make money for my business.”
And while ROI and sales are always going to be content marketing – and general marketing – KPIs (key performance indicators), there are several other metrics that can help you see the true impact your content efforts have on your goals and bottom line.
Let’s go through some of the top content marketing KPIs and the metrics we use to measure them.
Organic Website Traffic
Content is created for several different purposes. Some of it is to inform your prospects and customers about new trends or information in your industry. Other pieces are more targeted – you’re looking to sell your products and services, share a promo code, or request other actions from your audience like donating, subscribing, or voting for your brand’s initiatives.
Organic website traffic is one of the best content marketing KPIs that measures how well your company is educating those audiences.
But not all website traffic is the traffic you want. For example, writing quick pop culture reference articles with clickbait titles can gain you traffic – but it hurts your brand image and often will leave your visitors feeling duped or misled.
When it comes to driving more traffic to your website, it’s best to focus on topics that are well-researched and presented in a transparent and honest medium. Many people first interact with your brand via social media or a Google search. If you can’t answer their questions in a way that satisfies them, you may be missing out on an opportunity to capitalize on organic website traffic.
Number of Content Marketing Pieces Published Per Week
Your weekly publishing schedule is one of the most important content marketing KPIs to track, and it’s more important when you’re first starting (or doing an overhaul of) your content marketing strategy.
Marketing industry experts disagree on this topic for many reasons, but most can agree that a publishing schedule that includes 3 high-quality pieces of content per week – articles, videos, etc. –can help your website rank higher in searches for a larger volume of keywords.
Traffic and leads increase substantially when you follow this method for at least one year. Most content marketing performance metrics even show that there is a large difference in the impact that moving from 2 articles per week to three can do for your engagement and ranking.
If you are like most business leaders, you and your team likely don’t have the time or manpower to suddenly increase your content creation in the next few months. But SharedTEAMS offers several content volume solutions for you to choose from, including blog article creation, ebook, email newsletter, promotional email, and content calendar projects to help boost your content marketing results.
Along with the frequency of new content, the time your audience spends engaged in that content is another worthy endeavor as you work through the most effective content marketing KPIs for your business.
Time on page is a KPI that tracks your visitors’ interest in seconds. And it’s important to remember that the time spent on a page is directly related to the length of the content that makes up the page.
There is a caveat here, though: longer articles and content will increase the time on page, but it will decrease the likelihood that your visitor will read the content from beginning to end.
Between 700 and 1,200 words is the ideal length of marketing content – any shorter and your visitors will bounce because they want more, any longer and you’ll risk losing their attention unless the content you’ve provided is exceedingly engaging for them.
Page, video, and article views are also great indicators of the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy and topics. You can track your engagement by the number of visitors each content piece has.
But it’s important to note, as we mentioned before, that views aren’t the end all, be all of content marketing. Think of it like this: things go viral on the Internet every day. And some of the most viral content is not creating an above-average user experience, it just relies on shock value or star power.
When you evaluate your content’s efficacy on the ability to get someone to visit a specific page, you also must evaluate the other factors that do or do not make that content worth consuming.
Using views along with time on page and other metrics will give you a clearer picture of whether or not your content has true merit, or if it’s just relying on clickbait strategies to boost short-term performance.
Keyword ranking is easily one of the top content marketing KPIs right now, and there’s definite merit to it: keywords are a big driving force behind SEO success and SERP rankings as well.
Many businesses that see improvement from keyword research efforts are often using those keywords to direct visitors to content that addresses one or more of the following topics:
- What does the solution cost? What defines your product’s value and why is it priced the way it is?
- What are the most common problems? There’s great value in addressing the shortcomings of your offerings that buyers frequently ask about.
- How does your solution compare? What does your product or service look like when compared to a similar product or solution?
- Reviews: Audiences across industries are always looking for a fair and honest depiction of how your product performs.
- What is the best solution? Create content that supports the best solutions by answering key performance and usage questions.
Creating a content calendar that includes top keywords you are hoping to rank for, approved and related topics for seasonal and evergreen content, and goals for your content marketing program is a great way to increase keyword rankings in a cohesive and sustainable way.
Love it or hate it, social media is a huge contributor to the opinions and purchases of your target audience. However, it is a very competitive space for marketers.
Great social media projects and strategies are built on having a thorough knowledge of your audience’s habits, their preferred social media channels for specific content items, and more.
Gated Content Downloads
Gated content is great for use as one of your top content marketing KPIs. It also works in tandem as a lead generation asset and measuring the impact of these gated content initiatives can help you find out what content your customers are looking for, and how much they want that information.
Setting a low barrier to entry shows you that your audience is willing to work a little harder and provide you with their information to access this content.
Conversions & New Sales
We mentioned conversions above and they are often the bread and butter of content marketing KPIs. Because you can’t turn every visitor into a customer immediately (though we wish we could), conversions can help you measure your audience’s journey from an interested browser to a fully convinced customer.
New sales directly related to your content is another powerhouse KPI – it’s not often, but certain pieces of content can drive massive amounts of sales by the sheer nature of its relatability, or its entertainment or educational value.
Creating Content is a Time-Consuming Endeavor
As business or marketing leaders, you aren’t automatically given the time and expertise it takes to create the many different types of content that our target audience is looking for.
Whether you are looking for help with search advertising, optimizing your website content, social media content, or other content creation efforts, SharedTEAMS has a dedicated and specialized team of marketing professionals to assist you.
Check out our marketing solutions and explore all the ways SharedTEAMS can help you create more powerful and targeted content that increases your content marketing KPIs.