Setting and measuring effective content marketing goals and objectives is one of the greatest problems in marketing. Despite how simple it may sound, getting upper management and the rest of the team on board is often the most challenging. Finding the success of your content marketing strategy and confirming it to stakeholders are only part of what a well-executed content marketing analysis entails. Only then can you improve the plan and put it to work toward your organization’s objectives.
You may be making judgements in the dark without even realising it if you lack the proper measurements. Making your content marketing into a growth engine for your company is impossible unless you have a clear picture of how it is contributing to, or detracting from the organisation’s overall business objectives. What you know it’s capable of doing. Your analytics are the narrative of your content efforts; they show where and why your material is successful or unsuccessful. Your strategy’s effect on revenue growth can be measured by analysing content marketing KPIs. However, you can’t tell how much your content is helping your business achieve its goals unless you track the correct KPIs.
Using the wrong metrics, such as placing too much weight on vanity metrics or being off on your key performance indicators, is a serious issue. If this is the case, your content marketing reporting may be misleading your strategy, causing you to focus on the wrong things, diluting your efforts, or overlooking chances that could help you develop.
Is the Typical Content Marketer Any Good?
It’s common to struggle with determining how much your content marketing is worth. Among marketers, only 39% think they are at least somewhat successful at measuring return on investment. Only 8% feel they’ve had tremendous success. The Content Marketing Institute claims that:
- Despite 80% of B2B marketers saying they “use metrics” and 65% saying they developed content marketing KPIs, just 43% of B2B marketers admit to tracking ROI from their content marketing efforts.
- Nearly half of the businesses (44%) say they don’t even bother to measure it.
- Of those, 13% truly have no idea.
ROI Graphs for Various Marketing Metrics
A lot of work needs to be done to perfect this. It also suggests that the capability to monitor and evaluate information may provide a significant competitive advantage. Despite the abundance of marketing technologies, most content marketers still get their KPIs wrong. Just under half of B2B marketers (46%) are happy with how well their marketing analytics map to their content marketing objectives. Most of the time, it’s because marketers aren’t keeping tabs on adequate metrics.
How Can You Build a Content Marketing Strategy Around Your Goals, and Ensure That Your Metrics Reflect Those Objectives?
The first step is to revisit the process of identifying and prioritising your key performance indicators. Many advertising agencies employ generic marketing metrics without delving into the meaning of the ones that truly matter to your company. Second, you need to employ effective marketing analytics tools and put your platforms to good use. You’ll need to build a marketing technology stack that keeps tabs on prospects and customers from the moment they first interact with your brand until the transaction is finalised.
Connecting Content Marketing KPIs to Business Objectives
An ROI strategy for content marketing should be the first step. But what are the most important organisational targets that correspond with it?
Lead generation and customer acquisition may be at the top of your list if you’re trying to expand your firm.
Do you want people to have faith in your company and regard you as an authority in your field? Your content marketing KPIs could centre on things like the number of shares, comments, and new visitors you get from social media. Your strategy’s primary objective will likely dictate whether you prioritise lead nurturing or customer retention.
Developing a content marketing plan that produces results requires first pinpointing the most pressing goals your team has at the moment. Increasing sales, gaining new customers, and expanding brand recognition are goals shared by all businesses. However, your content marketing must have a central purpose to be effective. Using these as a foundation, you can create meaningful Key Performance Indicators.
Knowing your existing content marketing objectives can help you choose the most important KPIs to track. Some key performance indicators that should be tracked by any programme are: reach and conversion. If acquiring new customers is your top priority, content engagement and lead metrics should take centre stage on your analytics dashboards.
You’ll still employ key performance indicators (KPIs) from other categories; after all, you need to know how effective your content is at each point of the buyer journey. However, the priority metrics are what matter in determining whether or not you’re succeeding.
This differentiation is vital when explaining your content’s impact to upper management or other interested parties. Even if sales have just inched upward a little, you can still show that your content marketing is successful if your metrics show that your content strategy has developed a vibrant brand following. Objectives were met. And, of course, sales metrics beware: you have a thriving brand advocate army that your content strategy helped develop. When the core goals are outlined and the corresponding indicators take centre stage, it is easier to reassure stakeholders. When the C-suite is satisfied, you can move on to the next content marketing priorities.
The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Your Content
There are various ways to categorise content marketing metrics:
- Indicators of Consumption
The number of people consuming your material, the breadth and depth of their consumption, and the distribution channels via which your content is accessed are all aspects of the consumption metrics you should be tracking. If increasing brand recognition, generating new leads, and nurturing existing leads are your top content marketing priorities, these metrics will take centre stage in your reporting. The metrics of a website’s success:
- Visits, page views, and average time spent
- Metrics for emails, such as open and click rates
- Several downloads and accurate form submissions are required to access a gated eBook or digital product.
- Clicks on links shared via social media
- Click and view counts for feeds
Measures of Retention
With the average lifetime value of a customer being R 560 and the cost of gaining a new customer being R 120, this is one aspect of content marketing analytics you don’t want to ignore. Don’t lose sight of your present clients even if you’re generating a lot of interest and action from new prospects while you’re focused on lead generation, sales, or other usual goals. Key performance indicators for customer retention can help you gauge how well your content is retaining its existing readership. Measures of website performance:
- How often do users return and how many pages do they see during their sessions?
- Metrics on unsubscribe requests in email campaigns
- Quantity of people who follow you wherever online
- Statistics on the growth or decline of your subscriber base
Metrics for Spreading and Participation
Here you can see how relevant and helpful your information is. If they find value in what you’ve written and think it will benefit others, they’ll spread the word. Your primary KPIs for sharing are the number of shares and likes on social media, as well as the number of forwards on emails.
Intriguing, thought-provoking, or entertaining material is what will draw in your target demographic. Your brand’s popularity can be gauged by its level of engagement. When establishing your company as an industry leader, KPIs for both sharing and engagement are essential. Page views, comments on blogs and social media, and time spent on the site are all strong indicators of user involvement. Your content’s key performance indicators (KPIs) in the areas of sharing and engagement analysis will vary greatly based on the specifics of your company and the marketing channels you employ.
Top KPIs for Advertising
Among the many objectives of B2B content marketers, lead creation has long had a prominent position. This is where the real action of the buying process takes place. Conversion from prospect to paying customer occurs in the middle of the sales funnel, alongside lead nurturing. The number of leads created and their engagement with individual content are two examples of lead metrics. You can tell which posts are performing well based on your funnel’s conversion rate. Focusing on lead generation benefits from considering conversion times and channel-specific rates of conversion.
Achieving Content Objectives Through the Lens of Reach, Engagement, Conversion, and Retention
The first step in developing a successful digital marketing strategy is defining your content marketing objectives. You can be as specific as you like, but in the end, most firms are trying to accomplish one of four things:
These are the big-picture objectives that should guide your content marketing strategy. Think about how your planned actions will move you closer to your goals in each of these categories.
To increase your brand’s reach, you should focus on increasing the number of people who are aware of your company and its offerings. With the right content marketing strategy, you can expand your consumer base beyond the people who are already familiar with your brand and products. However, expanding your readership is not the end goal of content marketing. Finding people who care about what you have to say is also important.
Your content’s reach can be expanded by targeting certain subsets of your audience with tailored messaging, which has been shown to boost the likelihood of engagement and conversion. For instance, compared to non-segmented programmes, the success rate of segmented email campaigns is over 14%. How then do we quantify the impact? The size of your audience may be measured in several ways. For example:
- Visitors to the website, or fresh eyes,
- Views on pages
- Fans and followers on social media (even less important).
- Visitors resulting from generic keyword searches
When comparing the success of the two brands, I find that organic search traffic is the most telling. Branded search is simply you conversing with individuals who are already familiar with you. However, the real reach is in organic (or unbranded) searches. By filtering out site visitors who specifically searched for your brand or products, this metric is useful for gauging the efficacy of your search engine optimisation and content marketing efforts.
Sharing your content on as many platforms as possible, such as social media, an email list, and other content distribution channels, can help it reach the widest audience possible. A single blog post can be transformed into an ebook, a video, and a podcast, for example. In this way, your content can be exposed to those who might not have encountered it in any other medium. Having a large number of social media followers (maybe engagement is preferable) or a rise in website traffic is always encouraging, but these metrics should be used in conjunction with others to avoid being seen as “vanity” measures. Having more people visit your website won’t mean anything if they’re already familiar with your brand, aren’t interested in your content, and don’t make a purchase.
Therefore, participation is essential. Connecting with people is just the beginning. Next, you need to make sure they’re reading and reacting to your material. Only if they see value in what you’re providing will they do this. For your audience to actively participate in your material, it must be not only pertinent but also of high quality, instructive, and fascinating. Again, there are a variety of ways to gauge audience involvement. Which ones are most important to you for a given piece of material will depend on what you hope to achieve with it.
Time on the page shouldn’t be expected to be very long if your goal is to only provide a small piece of informative content. This is not always a terrible thing. A list post’s speedy delivery of information doesn’t mean it can’t also be interesting when compared to other list posts. However, you would expect the viewing duration of a captivating video to be longer. Possible measures of audience participation could include:
- Views per page.
- Regular patient wait times.
- The ratio of bounce.
- Receipt of an Email.
- Driven purely by the number of shares and likes posted on social media.
Improved Methods for Evaluating Content
The success of your content marketing efforts may be measured with the right metrics. This single-mindedness is crucial for carrying out the planned approach. When the most recent content developments are as visually striking and widely discussed as augmented reality, virtual reality, 360-degree video, and virtual assistants, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to successfully implement them. All of which may or may not be useful in getting where you want to go.
Similarly, it’s easy to fall into the rut of routine. Many marketers continue using the same content schedule for the same reasons: it works. By playing it safe, you may be stifling your campaigns’ potential for growth and evolution in response to shifting consumer expectations and accepted best practices in content marketing.
The use of analytics allows you to monitor the performance of your content and make adjustments to your strategy based on how individual pieces of content are influencing key marketing KPIs.This will ensure that your content marketing efforts are always aligned with the objectives of your business. That will increase your content’s value to the company.
Isn’t That the Point in the First Place?
Reducing your analytics scope can help you focus on the ‘correct’ metrics. Attractive marketing reporting that doesn’t provide the clear answers you need can be the result of trying to make sense of 29 or 30 content marketing analytics, with multiple KPIs related to different touch points and objectives. Starting with a small number of metrics that are highly specific to your key content goals and your marketing team’s core metrics is a good place to be.
Your content analytics can then be used to inform editorial decisions. Once you have mastered a few metrics, you can expand. It is much easier to fine-tune your content strategy when you can see the immediate results of individual pieces of content or how specific types of content are affecting your bottom line. Better results can be achieved through content marketing with improved KPIs.