Content marketing is, without a doubt, one of the most important ways for a business to market itself today.
And with good reason: well-written, interesting, and relevant content can lead to increased brand awareness, greater customer engagement, better search engine ranking, and more email opt-ins. But how can you be sure that your content marketing efforts are effective?
That's where tracking content marketing metrics come in. By monitoring key indicators such as engagements, click-through rates, email opt-ins, and more, you can gauge the success of your content marketing strategy and make necessary changes or tweaks as needed.
In this blog, we will help you understand which content marketing metrics you should know and track for successful content marketing campaigns.
What are content marketing metrics, and why are they important to measure?
Content marketing metrics, or KPIs, can be defined as quantifiable measures of the effectiveness of your content creation efforts. They help you determine the effectiveness of your content strategy. By understanding where your audience is spending their time, you can optimize your content for better results.
The more data you have on your content performance, the easier it will be to improve it and increase the ROI of your campaigns over time. This will further help you gain the confidence of stakeholders like CMOs, CEOs, and marketing managers and get higher budgets for more full-fledged campaigns.
Things to consider before choosing content marketing metrics
From identifying topics to creating a healthy content mix, including blogs, infographics, social media posts, videos, and ebooks, and marketing them, planning and executing content marketing strategies is a lot of work.
As marketers, it is important that you set the right expectations for yourself and the stakeholders involved. There are a few steps you can take to establish a result-oriented approach to your content marketing campaigns:
- Define an umbrella end goal
Schedule a discussion with the key stakeholders such as reporting managers, CMOs, or CEO and ask them.
What are you looking to achieve with your efforts? Is it to create brand awareness, generate leads, or bring in revenue?
While defining end goals, keep in mind that if you are just starting with content marketing, it is better to start with measuring brand awareness goals.
Defining an end goal will help you understand the ROI expectations of stakeholders.
Break down your end goal into smaller parts and create a timeline for your campaign. What are you looking to achieve in the first month/first quarter, and what comes after that?
Once you have a timeline with your targets, you can start discussing the different kinds of content marketing KPIs you can track to achieve your end goal.
There is no one size fits all approach to content metrics. Every company has a different set of expectations from content marketing campaigns. A start-up looking to create brand awareness wants more people to engage with its content. On the other hand, an established thought leader in the same industry may be looking to capitalize on existing traffic and generate leads.
Content marketing metrics that matter
Every piece of content you create can be categorized into early, mid, and late-stage content. Early-stage content like blogs, free downloads, and social media posts help you establish an online presence. Mid-stage content like gated ebooks, cheatsheets, and DIYs help you generate leads and create a pipeline of prospects. Late-stage content, such as sales demo presentations, helps the sales team convert prospects into customers.
When it comes to tracking your progress, there are different content performance metrics for each stage of content creation. Here are the basic metrics for early, mid, and late-stage content.
Early stage metrics
Early-stage content is meant to attract and engage your target audience. These metrics will help you track the trajectory of your brand awareness. Content marketing metrics for this stage include
- Blog traffic
- Social shares
- Increase in follower count.
Mid-stage content helps you nudge visitors into sharing information or show a willingness to engage with your products and services. It could be a newsletter signup, marketing survey, or form fill-up. The goal is to generate leads for your sales.
You can track the progress of mid-stage content with metrics such as
- Click through rate
- Email subscriber count
- Number of form fill-ups
- Survey respondents.
Late stage metrics
Late-stage content helps the sales team bring closures. It could be a demo presentation or a free trial user manual; the goal with this type of content is to help the sales team convert leads and prospects into customers.
So naturally, the metrics for this stage of content have to be pipeline allocation, revenue allocation, and sales utility.
Depending on which stage of content you are producing, you should choose relevant metrics to track the effect they have on your organization's growth. Here are a few examples:
- Leads generated
- Revenue allocation
- Sales made using content piece vs. sales made without it
40 Metrics every content marketer should measure
There are many metrics that you can track, but you must select those that help you achieve your goals. We have prepared a list of 40 content marketing metrics that every marketer should know in 2022.
As you can see, there are many different kinds of metrics for every aspect of your content marketing campaign. It might seem like a lot to track, but don’t worry. We will help you identify the best metrics to track for different purposes.
Download your copy of "40 Content Marketing Metrics Every Marketer Should Know in 2022” (with definitions.)
Top 10 content marketing metrics for 2022
If we were to categorize every content marketing campaign into groups, most would fall under three main categories: brand awareness, engagement, and SEO growth. Let’s see what important metrics you should consider for each category.
Brand awareness metrics
Building a brand online requires patience and perseverance. You might know that, but your managers and decision-makers may lack the patience. So you need to track a few metrics that help them see your progress and continue to support your content marketing campaigns.
For content marketing campaigns that target brand awareness, you should track the following:
- Organic traffic
The organic traffic of your website is the single most important indicator of brand awareness online. The more people visiting your website from search engine results, the higher your brand value.
A simple integration of your website with Google Analytics will tell you how many people visit your website organically. You can find this inside the ‘Acquisition’ section under the ‘All Traffic’ sub-section.
- Unique page views
Unique page views are another useful metric that helps you understand how many unique users have viewed your page. This metric helps you understand the level of engagement with your content.
You can track this metric through your Google Analytics dashboard under the ‘Behaviour’ section.
- New vs Returning users
Another useful content marketing measurement is new vs. returning users. While establishing brand awareness, you want to focus on new users visiting your website. This will inform you about the effectiveness of your content in attracting your target audience.
You can find these statistics in the ‘Behaviour’ subsection of the ‘Audience’ section of your Google Analytics account.
How to grow your brand awareness
Conduct customer surveys, discuss with your customer support staff and sales team to understand your customers' pain points, and create a content marketing strategy around them. The more helpful your content is, the higher brand awareness it will create. Remember, the goal of such campaigns is to create goodwill and generate brand recall value for the future.
Engagement is a stepping stone to that evergreen sales funnel every content marketer hopes to establish. It is important that you track your progress and keep an eye on your strategy decisions. If your content is not resonating with the audience, it may require a few tweaks.
Let’s take a look at some engagement metrics that you should track.
- Time on site
The amount of time a user spends on your website is a good indicator of the quality and engagement of your content. This is a constant north star in guiding your content creation and marketing efforts.
You can find this metric in the ‘Overview’ tab of the ‘Behavior’ section of Google Analytics. The average time on page is also a Google ranking criterion for ranking websites. If your average time is less than a minute, it is a sign that you need to improve the UI/UX and flow of information on your website.
- Bounce rate
Bounce rate is a cautionary measure of the percentage of users that go away from your page after spending a few seconds. This metric highlights important aspects of your content, such as the relevance of the keywords you are targeting. A high bounce rate means that you are targeting the wrong keyword or the content is just not good enough for the audience.
You can see this measure in the ‘Overview’ tab of the ‘Behaviour’ section of your Google Analytics dashboard.
- Inbound links
Inbound links or backlinks are an important indicator of the thought leadership quotient of your content. If you are getting a lot of backlinks, your content is performing well and is trusted by other websites. If you are not getting many backlinks, it's time to start marketing your content and get some.
You can use a tool like Ahref to track the backlink profile of your website. The platform will give a detailed analysis of the backlinks with links to specific websites that link to you.
- Click through rate
Click-through rate is a good measure to track the performance of your call-to-action (CTA) content. If your blogs, landing pages, and website, in general, have a lot of CTA sections, it is ideal for tracking the performance of these sections.
You will find information about click-through rates in your Google Search Console dashboard. If you want to dig deeper into the performance of each page, click on the ‘Performance’ tab, and scroll down to select ‘Pages’ in the section below the graph.
- Comment , share and mention
Comment, shares, and mentions are everyday metrics that help you understand the trajectory of growth of your engagement. If you are getting consistent comments, shares, and mentions, you have built an engaged community online. If it is on the uptake, you are attracting new people, and if it is going downhill, you need to up your content quality.
Every social media platform gives you an analytics dashboard to track these metrics. We suggest you collect the information from these individual dashboards and track them in one place for better understanding.
How to grow your engagement rate
The most important aspect of engagement is the UI/UX and flow of information on your website. To grow your engagement rates, it is important to monitor your website continuously and tweak its look and feel to improve engagement rates.
Search engines are a huge source of traffic and leads. If your content marketing efforts are able to put you at the top of SERPs, they are doing great. If they fail to do so, it is time to have a hard look at the topics, keywords, and meta attributes of your web pages.
Let’s take a look at some SEO metrics that can help you track the search engine performance of your content marketing efforts.
- Page authority
Page authority is the measure of the credibility of your web pages when compared to other web pages with similar content or keywords. It is a good measure to track the long-term performance of your content marketing campaigns.
You can use a free tool like Moz Chrome Extension to assess the Page Authority of your web pages.
- Domain authority
Domain authority or domain rating is another metric that helps you gauge the authority of your website compared to similar websites in your industry. This is an overarching metric that should be used to measure the long-term performance of your content marketing campaigns.
You can use a free tool like Ahref’s domain authority checker or Moz Chrome Extension for this metric.
- SERP ranking
The SERP ranking of your content is a true indicator of the results of your SEO efforts. It also shows how relevant your content is to the keywords you are targeting.
One of the easiest ways to check the SERP ranking is to enter your target keyword and look for your webpage. You can also use premium tools such as Ahrefs Rank Tracker to keep a tab on your SERP ranking positions.
How to grow your SEO metrics
SEO helps you optimize your content and its meta attributes to be featured on the search results page. Identify high-volume, low-competition keywords and use them in your content naturally. Also, do not forget to add meta attributes, such as page title, description, and image alt texts, to your content. Doing this will increase the chances of your web page’s ranking.
We hope the metrics mentioned above help you plan successful content marketing campaigns.
If you want to learn more about how to set content marketing goals, we suggest you check out our detailed guide on the topic of ‘Content Marketing Goals’.
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