Every content marketer wants to be able to measure the results of their campaign. But, very often they believe that they can’t accurately measure the results generated by their content. And the truth is, most content marketers give up after they check numbers of page views or social shares. The scope of metrics, however, goes way beyond that, extending to the fundamental business and its goals.
Let’s take a look at the four categories of content marketing metrics and what they actually mean. Then, you can decide which ones are most significant to you.
Basic Consumption Metrics
Basic consumption metrics measure brand awareness and web traffic, answering the most fundamental content questions about how your strategy is performing. You get to see how many people viewed and accessed your content, while gaining an overall idea of which pages of your website are most popular and attractive to users.
Basic consumption data can be found in Google Analytics.
- Users: total number of unique visitors to a particular page on your website
- Page views: total number of times a particular page on your website is viewed
- Pages/Sessions: total number of pages a user visits while browsing your website
- Average time on page: average time spent on one page, for example a blog post
- Downloads: total number of times users downloaded your content
- Retention metrics: number of returning visitors to your site and specific content pieces
- Bounce rate: percentage of people that leave a page of your website without viewing other pages
- Email open rate: total number of opened emails shows how many people are interested to read your email content
The resulting numbers show which pages are attractive and unattractive to let you see which campaigns were effective, while providing insight into how you can drive people to your website.
Sharing and Engagement Metrics
These metrics measure brand awareness and user engagement, showing you how your audience interacts and engages with your content. You will gain a clearer understanding about what types of content are more interesting to your audience and inspire interaction. But keep in mind that sharing metrics measure publicity, not actual competitiveness of your content.
Some data can be found in Google Analytics, the social networks you use, as well as other free and paid tools.
- Likes, tweets, +1s, pins: number of (positive) social reactions to the content you share on social media
- Shares: number of shares via social media but can also be analyzed as shares depending on type and length
- Forwards: number of content forwards from one user to another, via email or direct messaging
- Referral links and inbound links: number of link backs, usually to your website content
- Comments: how many people commented on your social media posts
Social metrics are useful for determining what types of content you need to create to keep your audience engaged with your brand, and which to avoid. Also, they might reveal opportunities for future content campaigns.
Lead generation and lead nurturing metrics track how your content is performing and whether it is fulfilling its purpose – converting visitors into leads that your sales team can take over, and turn into customers.
Google Analytics, as well as other tracking or CRM software can help you gather the necessary data.
- CTR click-through rate: measures how many clicks your calls-to-action- received
- Form completions and downloads: total number of people who completed a form to download content
- Email subscriptions: total number of email subscribers, old and new
- Blog subscriptions: total number of people committed to reading your blog
- Blog comments: number of people who interacted with your brand and need more information about a product or service
- Total lead attribution: tracking where your leads are coming from
- Conversion rate: total number of visitors who became leads
This group of metrics will inform you about content performance and help you identify which efforts push visitors further down the sales funnel, and which push them away. For example, you can identify if the copy or calls-to-action need improving, or perhaps you need to change the incentive.
Sales metrics are pretty obvious. You get to see how many people transitioned from visitors, leads, and to finally customers. They demonstrate whether your content marketing efforts were successful and profitable for the business. But to be able to measure the impact of content marketing, you need to create something trackable.
Typically, sales are measured though CRM systems, ecommerce systems, and other analytics software.
- Online sales: number of online sales resulting from online marketing campaigns
- Offline sales: number of offline sales supported by your overall content efforts
- Manual reporting: number of unofficial sales deals made with future customers
- Customer retention: number of returning customers that stay loyal to your brand due to special content efforts directed towards them
- ROI – return on investment shows the profit generated as a result of your content marketing efforts
Sales metrics are an excellent way to quantify your content marketing results. They will express your overall content performance in terms of closed sales and generated profit, and show you how to proceed in order to gain more customers.
Each metric group compliments each other while providing valuable insight. All metrics combined, when gathered systematically and analyzed carefully, will help you realize which campaigns work. You will find the types of content that work best, what customers need to know to make a purchase, and much more. Just follow the data, and make adjustments accordingly.
We believe that content marketing is part of a larger integrated marketing approach, and we aim to create content that attracts new audiences, provides visibility for your brand, and retains customers. Let us help you create your next big content marketing campaign. Contact us today and start measuring success right away!
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