The core of good content marketing is relevant content. But after valuable time and resources have been spent on creating content, there also has to be a distribution strategy in place and an idea of how to measure the effectiveness of your content.
The "Best-in-Class Benchmarking: Creating and Sharing Content" study recently published by Ascend2 and Vidyard's details the objectives and distribution channels of companies that successfully run content marketing. Unsurprisingly, brands do not create content for the common good. According to the study, the most important strategic goal in content marketing is increasing sales (50%), followed by improving the search engine ranking (42%) and increasing brand awareness (41%). Among the paid distribution channels, search engine marketing took the lead by a wide margin (69%).
So far so good. Of course, every successful marketing strategy is based on a concrete objective and the identification of suitable distribution channels - paid and unpaid. However, the strategy is not yet complete. Many businesses do not have a clear understanding of how to measure the success of their strategy. In the following, we present the most important KPIs for your content marketing.
The most important KPIs in content marketing
Respondents to the above-mentioned study identified brand awareness (64%), lead generation (52%), and engagement (51%) as the most important aspects of measuring their success. However, one must say that the importance of these metrics is strongly dependent on their respective objectives. Success in content marketing can have quite different meanings. Therefore, let us look at the three top goals in content marketing with regard to the most relevant KPIs.
Brand awareness refers to making your brand known to as many people as possible. Brand awareness is primarily about visibility. The basis for this is, of course, useful content, which has to be distributed accordingly. Important KPIs are:
- likes, comments and shares on social networks
- page views
- unique users
Use Google Analytics and social media tools to track these KPIs.
Lead generation comes after "traffic" - another important objective of content marketing. In order to generate leads, you must first attract visitors to your pages with your content. Key metrics for this primary goal are monthly page views, bounce rates, the average length of time spent, and unique users.
Traffic is usually the prerequisite for lead generation. Content marketing has become a key tool for converting users to leads: brands provide valuable content that users have to register for to get access. Hence, the most important KPIs are:
- newsletter registrations
- registrations for events, webinars, etc.
Today, marketing is not solely about delivering messages to potential customers. The goal is an interaction between customer and brand. This requires engaging content that people interact with in one way or the other – from watching a video to commenting on a blog post to sharing content on social media. Engaging content is very valuable because engaged users help brands to distribute content to a larger audience. This has a positive impact on website traffic and search engine ranking. The most important KPIs are:
- likes, comments, shares on social networks
- click-through rates
- comments on blog posts or articles on the website
- bounce rates
- the average length of time spent