You’ve probably read a million articles about content marketing by now, but with 88 percent of B2B marketers using the process every day and another 76 percent planning to in the future, you’d better start taking content marketing seriously. Your competitors are using it, and you don’t want to fall behind.
But it’s not enough to use content marketing. You have to use it properly.
Otherwise, what’s the point? But using it properly requires you to measure your content marketing’s success in a meaningful way.
Tracking the success of your content marketing not only measures how effective it is but tells you what you need to improve. But by what metrics do you measure the success of your marketing?
More than 60% of marketers surveyed ranked “leads” as the most important KPI for measuring the success of their content marketing program. However, while leads are important, they don’t always give you the specific data you need to make your campaigns better.
The key is to find metrics that will lead to actual results and improve your ROI. The more ROI you get from your marketing efforts, the more successful you will be as you get more out of doing less.
Let your marketing drive your traffic and sales!
This guide will look at metrics that will measure the success of your content marketing. We will specifically be looking for metrics that give you data-driven methods to improve and increase your ROI.
Social media is a significant hub for content marketing, and how often your content is shared is an excellent way to keep track of how engaged your audience is with your content. Most social media platforms have analytics that give you much of this information, but you may want to dive deeper.
A tool like BuzzSumo can help you identify which topics and articles are being shared the most, giving context to what is being shared and why. Of course, what tools you use and what data you gather depends on the goals of your content marketing campaign but what content is being shared is a fast way to estimate your success on the platform.
Assisted conversions can be found in Google Analytics and give you an idea of which channels a prospective client used before taking whatever action you want them to take. The closer to zero the analytic is, the better.
You are looking for someone consuming the least amount of your content while still performing the wanted action. This metric shows that the piece of content they consumed, specifically, drove them to your site to give you a better sense of how your marketing is working.
SERP stands for social engines research page and measures how well Google thinks your content responds to a customer’s search question. This ranking is, of course, vitally important as most people are not going to be looking specifically for your content when they search Google for something.
Your SERP ranking can be broken down into several specific categories depending on your marketing goals and give you an idea of what content is driving the top of your funnel. In addition, because this metric tracks the connection between a potential client’s query and your content, it gives you a better idea of what your customers are searching for.
A pageview is a basic but valuable metric that tells you how often your page has been viewed. Although it does not tell you what action the customer took after viewing the page, it does give you some measure of how engaging the content is.
You can look at how often your page was viewed or the average time people spend viewing your content. Either way, it gives you a place to start when wondering about the effectiveness of your content marketing.
Like pageviews, this is a fundamental metric to understand how often your content is being engaged; however, unlike ordinary pageviews, this tells you only when you are attracting new visitors. So, although customer retention is more important, you still want to find out when you get unique views.
Presumably, an increase in unique pageviews means your new content marketing project is engaging. As new people visit your content, you have a hope of converting them into regular customers.
While you always want to be adding new customers, it is even more important to keep your old ones coming back. Retaining old customers is much cheaper than getting new ones, so to get a good ROI, you want as high of a customer retention rate as you can get.
By looking at this metric, you’ll get an idea of how often a customer visits your content and how much time passes before they return. This information will help you decide when to add new content to keep your old customer coming back.
Sales cycle velocity
It stands to reason that if your content marketing is working the way it is supposed to, you should see a reduction in your “time to sale.” But, again, you can use analytics to track this or have your sales team catalog when first contact happens to when a sale occurs and compare that to your average “time to sale.”
Pages per session
Pages per session track how many pages a viewer looks at in a given session. By looking at this number over time, you can understand how enraging your content is.
If your pages per session stay high, your content is being successful at engaging customers. If low, it might be time to switch up your content marketing campaign.
CTR lets you know how your keywords and meta descriptions get people to click on your content. After all, your content marketing can’t succeed if no one can find it.
Creating meta titles and engaging descriptions is a skillet all on its own. If your CTR is low, you need to find someone who is better at getting people invested in your product.
The most accurate test of how people feel about you is what they’re saying about your product on social media. Many apps can find any mention of your brand’s name and alert you to what is said.
A true test of how well your content marketing is working is if it’s actually changing your audience’s perspective. If you can see your audience’s esteem grow in real-time, you’ll know your project has your desired effect.
Traffic sources let you know where the traffic to your website is coming from, whether it’s referrals, direct, or from searches. Traffic sources ignore any traffic you are getting from paid ads so that you better understand how your content marketing is driving traffic.
The analytic also give you an idea of what channel people are taking to your website. Whether they’re fending you by word of mouth or keywords are good enough that people are finding you through a Google search.
Looking at the negatives gives you as much information as the positives. For example, bounce rate lets you know how many people left your site without interacting.
Your engagement may be high, but if your bounce rate is also high, people are coming to your site but not following through. When this happens, you need to retool your marketing measure to take what action you’d like people to take more straightforward.
How and if a person reacts to your content reveals how successful your marketing campaign is. Comments let you know that your customer cared enough about what you created to say something.
What your customers say helps you redefine what your marketing campaign will look like. Similarly, a lack of comment may mean that your content isn’t creating enough of an impression to be commented on.
It’s great to have people at the top of your funnel, but at some point, you want them to come down the pipeline and become customers. Looking at pipeline contributions metrics helps you know how your webinars and EBooks drive traffic to your site.
The whole purpose of content marketing is to drive traffic to your site, but if you aren’t converting them, you need to rethink your strategy. Knowing how well your pipeline contribution works lets you know if you need to rework your marketing efforts.
Page depth lets you know how many pages people visited on a trip to your site. It also gives you an exciting way of analyzing the engagement produced by your content marketing.
Although, ultimately, you want your customer to buy your product or service, a high page depth can give you an indication that your content is creating curiosity about your product. Then you need to figure out how to convert that curiosity into sales.
How Welcome can help
Now that you’ve analyzed the metrics of your content marketing project, how do you take the next step? If you want to leverage real-time search data and recommendations that help inform your content strategy, optimize content so that it ranks well for search, and ensure it resonates with your audience, Welcome can help.
Ready to take your content marketing to the next level? Get started with a free Welcome account today!