Powerful Content Marketing KPIs to make Your Game A Grand Slam

Content marketing KPIs

Let’s begin the story of content marketing KPIs with another story:

The marketing ninjas at Canz Marketing sat down one day to devise our next marketing plan in the lively conference room (that we call the mother of great ideas, which bring revolutions & revenue – not only at CANZ Marketing but in our client-companies too. Many of them have openly confessed). 

Everybody was eagerly awaiting the moment to share incredible ideas and energetic plans they have been gathering for this day until a strong voice quoted John Jantsch:

*Your impact is measured not by what you do but by what happens to other people when you do it.*

Not that our marketers don’t already live by the mantra of creating that difference in our clients’ lives, but that voice had its fair share in bringing ‘only the best’ out to the table that day.

What happened next is what you’ll read in a while. Let’s first look at precisely what you are going to read about KPIs for Content Marketing today:

Let’s get back to the story of that meeting that day:

The Cause And The Effect

That saying alone had such massive power that it had everyone in the room re-evaluate their ideas and thoughts within seconds. 

The meeting that day was a big hit with massive ideas-brainstorming, resulting in a highly effective strategy.

That is the power of meaningful content when you deliver it to the right audience at the right time.

However, you can’t just keep producing content without a strategy to measure the progress the content makes towards the goals. Can you?

Well, if you nodded your head to and fro, you are to be addressed in another blog post. However, glad tidings to you if your response was a blunt *NO* (because this post today is created for you!).

CONTENT MARKETERS ARE NOT BORN TO DISAPPOINT their target audience. 

They have a dopamine rush. True! But that doesn’t cause addiction, only MOTIVATION. Their strategy is their guide, but they keep evaluating and optimizing their strategy to perfection.

Now, you might be wondering * how*?

Let’s stay together to find that out:

KPIs in Content Marketing

Like every other process, Content Marketers also use specific Marketing Key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their performance. 

A paper on clipboard saying *KPI* with a checkable list and a pen placed on it. An arm is pointing towards it.

But before we get to the most important KPIs in Digital Marketing with special reference to content marketing, let us as you a simple question:

Do you know what a KPI is in marketing?

To understand what are KPIs for marketing, let’s first see what a KPI is in marketing (I hope you know the difference):

“A KPI in marketing is a trackable metric to track, analyze and determine your progress towards a defined, measurable goal. Needless to point out that measuring a KPI helps determine how successful a business has been in reaching a particular goal.”

Since there can be more than one metrics and KPIs to track the progress towards a single goal, discussing each of the content marketing KPIs is neither a smart move nor attainable and practical. 

However, if you are concerned about your utility bills, mortgages, and other expenses but not sure about how to track your progress and improve your earnings, here’s a gift for you:

We have shortlisted the only three types of Digital KPIs you are required to keep track of to be sure of your game’s real situation so you can plan for the winning shots and meet your goals. 

How does sharing Free Content work for marketers? [Content Marketing]

Here comes the first gem from our list.

Let’s take a deep dive.

1- Measure Engagement

Assuming you know what Key performance indicators in marketing are, here’s a simple (to say) but hugely valuable tip:

Bear in mind that different kinds of content measure other engagement metrics. 

Engagement is all about meaningful interactions so, for social media posts, you are interested in the number of likes, shares, and comments.

You’d want to know the number of people who visit your site and interact with your website’s landing page over time.

You’d be interested in the number of views your videos receive, or the number of subscribers to your YouTube channel or watch-time, etc.

And how do you measure engagement KPIs to make use of it?

Marketers make things better and easier using these and many other tools. Let’s take a brief look at how to measure this KPI:

Illustration of a person carrying ladder to the hanging symbol of *like* on Facebook.

Tools For Measuring Engagement

Google Analytics

You can leverage the power of Google analytics to harness revenue by watching over the trends and fixing possible issues indicated by the tool. For instance, it gives you a breakdown of page views and unique pageviews for top pages with the source and medium. 

“But, how is that beneficial?” you ask.

Here’s how:

Using Google Analytics for content marketing reporting, note where you’re performing well, improve where there’s room left, and hit the ground running. 

That’s pretty much what we all want.

YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics is another powerful content marketing reporting tool evolving faster than lizards and mice (or all the insects living by the mantra of disgusting you in a thousand forms) do.

It measures the views for a video and the number of subscribers with an understandable breakdown of time. The tool helps you find out your watch time (something directly connected to your greatest inspiration, i.e., ability to pay bills), both per video and overtime.

Read again if you couldn’t figure out the use of these features and YouTube analytics itself. 

Other Social Media Engagement Measuring Tools to track your content marketing KPIs:

As you already saw, many social media posts, many platforms themselves provide quite in-depth analytics.

But, there are other independent content marketing analytics tools at your service too. SproutSocial, Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, and even Google Analytics are the hottest options, to name a few, to measure marketing performance and do whatever you aim to do. (We recommend you use them to optimize performance).

That’s all about the engagement – amongst the most important content marketing KPIs to help you figure out how well your content performs. We have also shortlisted the most important metrics – crucial for almost every other business – (and the simplest and most useful tools) to track content performance.

Let’s head to what we have next. 

2- Measure Conversion

Now that people have shown interest in your content by engaging with it, you wonder if they have taken the steps you wanted them to take.

Marketer’s jargon for this step taken is *Conversion*. We count such marketers in the clan having good heads on their shoulders if they optimize conversion rate.

But, how do we do that?

In a word, “tracking.”

The process begins with tracking conversions. Unless you track your conversions, there’s no way you can track if your content is performing up to the mark or still needs improvements. 

The Most Important Conversion You Should Track

To track conversion, we first need to be clear on one fundamental question: 

What are the most important content marketing conversions in KPI marketing?

Let’s find that out: 

Conversions For e-Commerce Stores 

Typically, we count events like “add to cart” or “purchase” as conversions in e-commerce.

But there’s more to Conversion you should know about. 

Conversions For Social Media 

For social media content, the Conversion could be the number of shares, likes, and even comments based on your goal (and we have discussed the tools that help you with it).

Conversions For Blog Posts

For blogs and other website content, even if you urge them to comment on a post, you call for action (commenting, in this case) that needs to be tracked. 

Other conversions like newsletter subscriptions or downloads etc., are also pieces of the softest cake for Google Analytics. 

Marketers like Neil Patel second the notion regarding these KPIs for content marketing.

A small-sized metal shopping cart full of big-sized make-up items.

Conversions For Automated Emails

To measure the re-targeting response or lead nurturing process via email, your email automation tool records stats for you.

You just learned about what a conversion is and the importance of tracking them. We also shortlisted the most important conversion for content marketers that you need to keep an eye on.

Now that we have talked about engagement and conversions, here’s a small request for you:

Don’t proceed if you are not clear on anything yet. Our help is at it’s best when we – you and us – are on the same page.

If you are still reading this, we are safe to pronounce us on the same page. So, we thought to surprise you with a gift:

We have saved the best for the last:

3- Measure Spent VS. ROI

Make a budget, a realistic one. 

Measure your costs for tools, salaries for the team, freelancers’ payments, and other overhead expenses. 

Keeping track of expenses helps you spend only where it is needed and enables you to calculate your ROI. 

Now, what kind of a fish is ‘ROI’?

ROI (return on investment) is a big, hot fish everyone is crazy for.

The bigger it grows, the hotter it gets and thus gets more in demand.

The ultimate goal of your money spent is to cast the spells that increase your fortune. ROI calculation helps measure the difference your spell made.

Now, that’s crazy, you say.

And, if the results are equally crazy, how exactly do you measure the ROI?

Well, the direct answer is, there is no direct answer. 

It is a process that has steps and levels.

The shortest answer is (exactly, no short answers too) – by measuring the number of people at each stage of your funnel entering through your content, email subscribers you got as a result of content marketing efforts, and the revenue from your direct & indirect marketing and re-targeting efforts.

Crazy indeed, we say, but totally worth it! 

A few piles of coins depicting a gradual increase with time, with a clock in the backdrop.

Bottom line: Don’t just spend randomly on whatever feels important. Make a plan, designate an appropriate amount for each of the expenses and spend accordingly. That’s how you can see how much of the revenue your investment is making you. And that’s only how you can optimize your spendings to optimize ROI.

Important Note

You’ll observe that there are several content metrics to consider for each of the digital marketing key performance indicators. You’d also see that many of the Metrics overlap while measuring specific key performance indicators for marketing.

Also, measuring progress would be different for different businesses, departments, and business goals.

We have discussed a few of the most important content marketing KPIs and metrics with you. But they are not all.

Additionally, for many businesses, these might not be as important as for others.

Therefore, let’s take a look at some other examples of website KPIs with a small Marketing KPIs list that could also be important to many businesses:

Measure other content marketing KPIs And Metrics

  • Page Views:

Pageviews form a critical KPI metric in tracking marketing efforts in that they determine how your prospects are interacting with your website. Based on page views, you learn if your content is successfully getting traction and which content is more popular amongst the potentials. 

In case you haven’t thought through it, your page views also help you determine the exact kind of content your prospects are interested in, so you can produce more of it or enhance the existing one. 

Google Analytics is the simplest yet amazing content marketing analytics tool to help you count your page views.

  • Time on page:

While any metric alone can not help you make big conclusions about your site, page, or content, ‘time on a page’ or ‘dwell time’ can still do pretty much on its own. Let’s take a look at what conclusion can you draw out of dwell time:

  • Low dwell time on a page might point towards some problem/s on the page, such as:
    • Low page speed
    • Incorrectly targeted keywords
    • Insufficient content
    • Non-convincing/uncompelling content
  • If certain content pages/formats successfully get more dwell time, they indicate the need for more of that type of content and replicated efforts on other pages too.

However, combine this metric with other useful ones and get a better map, tracking the most valuable future direction.

  • CTR

Together with ranking metrics, click-through rate or CTR is among the great digital marketing KPIs to measure. However, CTR alone has massive information that can lead your content marketing efforts in the right direction.

For instance, the page that gets clicked more often would have the kind of content that interests your targeted audience more. The pages with low CTR still need more of your attention.

  • Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the rate of people leaving the page soon as they land on it (within a few seconds). Unless leaving a page is a mistake (which it might not be if a specific page has a very high bounce rate compared to others), bounce rate indicates the website has failed to meet the visitors’ expectations.

This could mean more than one things:

  • The content you have provided them is not relevant. The type of content they were anticipating to find on the page in question is not available. 
  • The navigation, structure, design, or overall visual impact of the page is repulsive.

A higher bounce rate indicates the efforts you exert in content marketing are going down the drain by not being visible to the right people or by inappropriately reaching them. 

A consistently high bounce rate ultimately lowers your rankings on SERPs, which is definitely a problem if you create your content for people (because, now, they don’t get to read it). 

  • Heat Map

A Heat map is a visual depiction of what part/sections of a page get more clicks and mouse touches – in short, more attention. The areas that have more visitor’s activity are shown hotter and vice versa.

Analyzing the heat map helps you figure out the factors that have made your heated areas more popular. Therefore, heat maps can be a fantastic way of tracking successful elements to replicate the same efforts in other content.

  • Organic ranking

Organic ranking is a way to measure the success of your content. Therefore, it is an important content marketing KPI that you can track to keep performing better.  

  • Customer Retention

Most businesses are alive thanks only to their repeat customers. Therefore, customer retention is their lifeline. 

Keeping track of the content that is getting more engagement and involvement from the existing customers helps you figure out what kind of content to send out there. It is, therefore, an essential digital marketing KPI.

This list could keep growing, but we have ended it here by focusing on the most important KPIs and metrics for most businesses.

Let’s get the answers to two of your most frequently asked questions about content KPIs: 

How Do You Set KPIs For Yourself?

Setting up new marketing key performance indicators or fixing the existing ones are not pieces of cake, but they involve no rocket science.  

With a bit of attention and better understanding, you can DIY Digital KPIs that match your exact brand needs and current situation. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Understand your current business situation, and it’s current goals. 
    • What is trending might not be appropriate or useful for your unique business or the stage you currently are at.
    • Make sure your goals are measurable in terms of time and output.
  • Analyze existing KPIs (if applicable).
    • See if they match your goals.
    • Check if they can measure your performance to meet those goals. 
    • If the above conditions do not stand true, CHANGE.
  • Pick new KPIs.
    • While setting new KPIs, you can take a look at what your competitors are doing. However, each KPI you pick should match with your own goals and unique business situation.
    • What KPIs you choose also depend on the role involved in KPI-tracking. The KPIs for the sales and marketing team would slightly vary from those the content creation team would want for the same goal of sales.
    • The industry recommended practice is to have between 2-10 KPIs for each goal.
      • However, that does not say you go overboard wishing to track more or avoid the important ones to avoid more work. Pick as many goals as needed.
    • Repeat:
      • Even when you have changed your KPIs and tracking the progress differently, REPEAT.
        • The business situations and often the goals keep changing. That calls for keeping track of the KPIs and changing them whenever needed.

How Do Content Marketing KPIs Differ from Business to Business?

A B2B business would have a different set of requirements than a B2C company. For each of these businesses, customer life cycles, goals, the best way to sell, and many factors would vary widely. These factors might even have hugely differing values even for the businesses with the same business models or different companies within the same industry.

You can’t compare the cost per acquisition of a B2B company to a B2C company. Even the same business can have a different average acquisition cost for various levels in the marketing funnel. If you clearly understand what KPIs are in marketing, you’d realize and admit that social media comments or post shares in a B2B business might or might not be as important as they are in a B2C business. Say you are designing a content marketing strategy for your website with more video content, you’d be interested in a different set of key performance indicators for the website compared to when your plan is more text or image-oriented. 

There are no set rules about what KPI metrics or digital marketing key performance indicators are the most important for each business. However, since the basic needs and situations for different business models vary, the need for the KPIs they track usually differs.

Wrap-up

Let’s quickly wrap up this discussion on measuring content marketing KPIs.

David Bebee said:

Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” 

So, 

I- Needless to say, your Content Marketing Strategy needs to be highly effective, so you bond-up right on your first date.

But, that’s not it!

Here’s the bottom line.

II- Now that you know what a KPI is in marketing, what are different valuable content marketing KPIs important to different businesses, and useful website KPI examples, you need to measure the performance using meaningful content metrics and KPIs. That’s the only way to gauge and optimize your performance and draw revenue from this relationship.

Winning Content Marketing with Psychology – Persuasion Principles

Now that you know how to measure marketing performance with some of the top marketing KPIs let’s conclude today’s post.

Of course, these KPIs mentioned in the post are not the only KPIs or the only important KPIs for content marketers. But these are definitely the top choices you can pick from, to begin with. You can also stick to the first three categories if you are not a core-marketer, lacking in-depth knowledge of tracking performance.

“This is insane.” You’d hear someone whispering in your ear.

But the whispers fade away soon as your affordability for the luxuries of life grows.

View of a wonderful beach and a resort around a swimming pool.

You’re Up, Next!

So, what website key performance indicator-combinations have you already been using? Have they been helpful?

Would you rather stick to these top 3 choices of marketers to see the difference? Do you fall in the other list instead? Or, do you have yet other preferences that we haven’t mentioned?

Our ears and eyes are wide open to see and hear responses on how to measure different content marketing KPIs or use them to improve your content marketing strategy =)

Content Marketing Agency vs. In-House Team – Factors to Consider

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