Success for content marketing in many organizations is still based on visits. Visits are great but they aren’t really what counts. Goals tend to focus on things like revenue and fame. Our KPIs for content marketing need to align with the goals of the organization.
When our content marketing KPIs reflect the goals and vision of our business, we will better understand our impact on the organization. Sharing and reporting on these metrics will not only show other team members your value, but help you secure more budget and buy-in for content marketing efforts.
Below are five metrics that demonstrate the value added by content marketing. These won’t apply to all businesses, but should help you set appropriate content marketing KPIs.
1. Email Addresses
Many online marketers prefer to avoid email marketing due to perceptions of the practice built by spammers. That said, email marketing tends to be one of the highest converting online marketing activities. Your email marketing team can leverage every email captured from your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing plays a huge role in newsletter sign ups. When you produce exceptional content, people sign up for your newsletters. Even when email addresses are one of the most tightly guarded secrets (who isn’t on too many email lists?), good content will get people to hand over their email addresses.
You should know and report on the number of email addresses that you capture from your content marketing efforts.
The possibilities are endless when you’re trying to include an email capture mechanism – and you should test different implementations for effectiveness with a split testing tool. Two really common implementations are at the end of your content or in the content sidebar.
Below your content implementation
2. Assisted Social Media Minions
Just about every company that puts effort into growing their social media presence keeps a close watch on how many social media minions, er… followers, they have. The social team reports on how many followers they acquired; you should be reporting on your assists.
Good content can be a great traffic driver to your social media profiles. Further, it can even motivate people to get updates from your company. You should track when your content sends traffic to social profiles and report these “social assists.” Event Tracking in Google Analytics and Universal Analytics (or eVars if you’re the Site Catalyst type) can track clicks from your content to social platforms.
3. Content Campaigns
The use of tracking parameters is a common practice for most marketers who are sharing content on social or email. Using tracking parameters will automatically create campaigns in Google Analytics. This will allow you to track conversions associated with specific efforts.
The problem I often see is parameters tend to reference the tactics and channels used to promote content but omit the content marketing campaign itself. To fix this, we must reference content marketing, or specific content marketing campaigns in the UTM code.
To truly see the impact of content, you can’t just look at the Campaigns tab. You will need to go into the Multi-Channel Funnels report and view Assisted Conversion.
4. Visitor Frequency
Not all metrics need to point back to revenue. It is important to have metrics that indicate the quality of your content marketing efforts.
If your content is relevant and valuable to your target market, they will want more of it. Not exactly sure what kind of content to produce? Ian Laurie’s SearchLove San Diego deck has some good useful tips on creating good content.
If you aren’t sure who your target market is, don’t guess. Get some data! You can use companies like AYTM Market Research to figure out who your target market is. With an understanding of who your customers are and what they want, you can create content that will keep bringing them back to you.
While the Pages Per Visit report can reflect how engaging your content is, Visitor Frequency is a much better report because it shows engagement over time. I recommend looking at the percentage of visits with 3 or more visits. This report will help you get a sense for how many people come to your site and actively want to come back to hear you again.
5. Web Mentions
This is another metric that looks at the quality of content we’re producing. Is our content seen as authoritative? Do people want to talk about what we’re creating?
You can answer these questions by creating a Google Alert for your company name as well as any prominent campaign names. If your business name is tricky, make sure to set up alerts for misspellings of your brand.
Keep track of the mentions in Excel or a Google Doc and keep a tally of the number of mentions each month.
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