The efficacy of your content marketing campaigns depends greatly on your ability to spell out your marketing goals. In terms of marketing dynamics, content marketing is unlike other forms of marketing strategies in that it calls for businesses to make clear-cut goals before setting up a content marketing campaign.
Essentially, a diligently-crafted content marketing campaign can create a variety of outcomes including its effect on your main marketing goals. Some key performance indicators or metrics of content marketing ROI may include increased traffic, ranking boosts, and lift in social presence among others.
The case with some businesses is that they track their content marketing campaigns erroneously and falsely, which ultimately changes the way they see content marketing and how they streamline their future campaigns.
Understandably, befuddlement can build up, particularly if you’re a newcomer to content marketing. The good news is that this blog post guide will introduce you to the various content marketing metrics, and will walk you through some of the most commons ways to track them based on your marketing objectives.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
Metrics to Track for Content Marketing ROI
Objective: Lead Generation
Metrics: Click-throughs, Conversions
Is Lead Generation the main objective of your content marketing campaign? Then you need to track key metrics such as click-throughs and conversions. While other signals are also important, these two offer a strong signal about whether your content marketing is working.
Click-throughs: To determine click-throughs, you should track the number of downloads or sign ups which your content assets generate. Likewise, to track the effectiveness of your guest blog posts, consider the click-throughs your guest posts have generated.
Conversions: While click-throughs are positive signals, they are not accurate enough if isolated. This is why you must track the conversions as well. Tracking conversions is a time-consuming and artful matter, but necessary nonetheless. To track conversions, you should complete a background check on the leads generated through your content marketing campaigns. This will give you a good idea on how many leads are worth pursuing.
Tools to Use: Try these tools to track your lead generation from a content marketing campaign.
Objective: Sales Enablement
Metrics: Sales Conversion Rate, Sales Cycle Length
If your content marketing efforts are focused on boosting sales enablement, Sales Conversion Rate and Sales Cycle Length are two key metrics that will give vast insights about how strong your content marketing campaign is.
Sales Conversion Rate: Channeling content to your leads is an important way to recognize their pain points and build confidence in your brand. When you pursue your leads with a content marketing campaign, it’s extremely valuable to observe how it influences your sales conversion rate. If it’s effective, your prospects should convert at a higher rate versus those who are not receiving your content.
Sales Cycle Length: Along with sales conversion rate, your sales cycle length is another effective approach to tracking your content marketing success. With a shorter process the leads that receive your content are possibly going to convert faster, so support this development by condensing the standard sale cycle length.
Tools to Use: There are plenty of content marketing instruments that quantify your metrics for sales enablement. Determine the perfect one for your business from this comprehensive list.
Objective: Brand Awareness
Metrics: Social Shares, Follows, and Article Views
When the objective of your content marketing strategy is boosting brand awareness, it can get really challenging to track the metrics accurately. Nevertheless, you should focus on two KPIs such as Social Shares and Article Views.
Social Shares: In theory, your content marketing is effective if your content assets are getting a lot of shares. However, in actuality, it’s more difficult than that. There is more than one channel for your content pieces to reach your prospective audience, and therefore, you need to track the routes responsible for social shares.
You can employ any or a combination of these tools to track your social shares.
Article Views: Article views are also a great metric to measure how effective your content marketing is. While keeping track of this metric is easy within your own analytics platform, it can be difficult to measure it if your content is published in external an external platform. Using analytics, you can determine how many views your content has received, which then determines the popularity of your content.
Objective: Audience Engagement
Metrics: Social Shares, Comments, Click-through Rates
If you’re working within a niche where brand awareness is paramount, tracking audience engagement is the choice method when validating your content marketing efforts. In fact, many businesses trust that audience engagement metrics are more significant than brand awareness metric (although these two are commonly inclusive).
Here’s how to monitor your audience engagement.
Social Shares: On the exterior, the social share count is a solid indicator of your content marketing success. However, you should go beyond the vanity metrics to track the efficacy of your campaign. Was your content shared by any influencers and thought-leaders within your niches? How many of those who shared content are strong leads? If you’re seeking answers to these questions, these social media monitoring tools could substantially assist you.
Comments: Comments, both on your blog and social media channels, can open the floodgates to potential opportunities. However, comments from qualified prospects, rather than spammers and trolls, should be taken into account for a precise assessment. Honest comments are not only a sign of heightened brand engagement, they are also a key milestone in the overall conversion funnel.
Click-through Rates: Apart from sincere comments, the unadulterated love for content pieces can manifest in terms of downloads, shares, and sign-ups. In short, the click-through rate is a critical metric for tracking audience engagement. You can use this metric to determine what kind of content your audiences finds useful and which they love to engage with.
Tools to Use: Apply these tools to monitor your audience engagement easily.
Content marketing is an extensive promotional framework which leads to multiple rewards across a business cycle, and impacts prospects’ buying decisions in varying degrees. By tracking the metrics precisely, you are in a better position to get more from your marketing drive and spend your marketing dollar judiciously.
Which metrics are the most important to your content marketing campaigns? Please, share with us in the comments below.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter:@sushantsahoo