Is your content marketing strategy working? One way to find out is to look at content marketing KPIs.
Logical next question:
What are content marketing KPIs and which should you be paying attention to?
KPIs are metrics to determine success. So, when we apply this to content marketing, it’s how well our content:
- Builds brand
- Generates leads
- Leads to sales
These KPIs seem broad. But look closer and you’ll see familiar metrics.
Let’s dive in.
Content Marketing KPIs – a Macro View
I broke down content marketing KPIs into three broad categories. A KPI is a metric to understand performance. From a business perspective, this funnels down to a sale (in most cases).
But generating a sale is a process.
It starts with getting your brand out there. Sales are hard to come by when no one knows who you are. This is brand awareness.
After enough people know your brand, a few of them will see the value in your products or services. This is lead generation.
From these leads, a few will convert and become the sale. The final frontier of your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing is important at all stages of the game. This gives you an idea of content marketing KPIs from a bird’s eye view. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Building Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is how you get your business out there. And you can use metrics to see if the job’s getting done.
These metrics are:
- Social media engagement
- SEO score
- Site referrals
Social media platforms make promoting content easy. You can share anything you want with interested communities. Blog posts, your free ebook, maybe an exciting company update. Anything.
What you want to come after you share a post is engagement. High social engagement can spread your content like wildfire. This means interested communities responding to what you’re putting out there.
In the example above, we see BIG ACME Software boasting engagement increases any content marketing team would be happy with.
You can measure these metrics weekly. What you want to see from a brand awareness perspective is higher engagement every week.
SEO score shows if you’re optimizing on-page SEO elements well. This means your page’s meta information and important body tags mention a focus keyword. Something users will search for.
A high SEO score boosts your brand’s visibility in search engines. Making content visible in search engines means organic visitors hitting your content.
SEO scoring sounds great, right? But where can you use this in your content marketing strategy? One way to see your SEO score is to use the Pagezii Blog Pulse report.
Optimizing content is critical to your blog. Here’s an example of blog SEO for Big ACME.
The Blog Pulse report shows if you’re optimizing your content for search engines. You’ll also see how well you stack against competitors in your space.
Because you’re constantly publishing new blog content, it’s important to always optimize. A blog post ranking high for a valuable keyword can bring floods of traffic to your site. There’s no limit to the potential of increasing your brand’s awareness.
Use SEO score as a brand awareness KPI.
Site referrals mean other sites are linking back to your content. Backlinks to your site are a brand awareness win-win. Here’s why:
- It refers valuable visitors to your content. How many times have you read something like “Awesome Free Tools for …” and poked around on a few tools they mentioned?
- It boosts the referred content’s SEO rank. In the off-page SEO game, we have to work hard for this kind of referral traffic. It’s called “link building.”
To measure referral traffic, head over to your site’s Google Analytics profile. Then search for “referrals”.
Google Analytics Reporting
This report shows you where referral traffic is coming from. Not to mention how it boosts brand awareness (New Users data).
You can also use Google Webmaster tools to see how many sites link to your content. Check out this data out under:
- Search Traffic > Links to Your Site
Referral traffic and content marketing go hand-in-hand. When you create valuable content, other sites will refer to your site. But the key here is to make other aware of your valuable content.
Use the number of backlinks to your site and new users coming in from these links as a brand awareness KPI. These are the metrics falling under brand awareness KPIs, let’s move down the pipe to lead generation.
We’re in the thick of it. We’ve gotten enough people to check out our business with our awesome content. It’s time to see who’s interested.
Here are three KPIs to look at for lead-gen.
- Blog Sign-ups
- Free Trials
In content marketing, a download usually means swapping premium content for information.
Examples are ebooks, white papers, case studies, etc.
The idea is to create quality content users need to stay ahead in their industry.
The goal? Getting people to download. But before they do, they have to give you their information. This lets you know they’re willing to share their details with your business.
Downloads are a traditional content marketing KPI for lead-gen. You’ve probably seen them at work with ads like these.
After you click this ad, you’re brought to a landing page highlighting a few benefits and how this company can help. You’ll also see a user form you can fill out. Getting users to use the form and download your content is the name of the game here.
By creating awesome content, you can generate leads. And you can measure these leads with what’s called conversion rates.
To see how well you’re doing, set up “Goals” in Google Analytics. This tells you exactly how many people have downloaded your top content.
You’re churning out top quality content on your blog. Why not use it to stay in touch with visitors?
If visitors like what they read on your blog, they’ll sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog. This makes users lives easier. Instead of having to check your blog, you’re offering to deliver content to their inbox.
Check out how Google does it on their Think blog.
See the “Subscribe” call to action on the right? Google Think is using their blog to drive visitor sign-ups. This is a great way to see how many unique visitors are interested in your product.
Check in on this metric by looking at your email subscriber growth. If you’re noticing increasing subscriber levels month-in-month-out coming from your blog, you know you’re hitting home on this content marketing KPI.
Content is great for getting users to try out your products. It lets content marketers talk about their products in a meaningful way.
Here’s an example of this from our blog:
In this blog, we introduce our tool and show users where they can give it a try. If users like what they read, they can signup for beta access.
The key is to craft good content so users want to try a product out. They feel compelled.
You can see how well your content is performing by tracking free trials from your blog.
Now we’ve covered brand awareness and lead-gen KPIs, it’s time for the final frontier.
From Leads to Sales
Measuring your success in the sales department isn’t a hard nut to crack. There’s one thing we’re looking for – the sale.
What we can look at closely are all the other content marketing KPIs leading to the sale. From raising brand awareness to creating leads.
Now you know what content marketing KPIs to look for, use them going forward. Determine the success of your content marketing strategy.
The KPIs mentioned here are major KPIs content marketing teams can look at. There are tons of other KPIs you can use to judge the success of your content marketing strategy.
Are there any content marketing KPIs you would add to the list? Let us know in our comments section.