Simply stated, content marketing is messaging made up of blog posts, white papers, case studies, infographics, ebooks, social media blurbs, videos, and podcasts.
According to Gartner, the average percentage of total marketing budget spent on content marketing is 26% (among all respondents). Skilled states that over 85% of all marketers worldwide use content marketing to generate more sales.
This is all well and good, however, the key question is how to measure the success of your content marketing efforts so you know whether or not it is driving growth.
There are many ways to measure your success. Here are 14 key performance indicators (KPI’s) to measure your content marketing efforts.
1. Unique page visits
One simple measure of your content success is the traffic it’s receiving. Take a look at your unique page visits to see how many people are visiting your page on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Downloads can give you even more insight into the popularity of your content, since they indicate an elevated level of interest (your reader probably had to fill out a form to download, rather than the level of effort it takes to skim through a blog post).
3. Time on page
A page visit means one thing. But someone actually staying on your page long enough to read an entire article or fill out a form means something else entirely. This says that your content was high enough quality to merit additional attention.
4. Inbound links
Are people linking to your site? This means that your content is improving your credibility. When other sites start viewing you as an authority, it can increase your site traffic and help you achieve a higher spot in search rankings.
While many consider “shares” to be somewhat of a vanity metric, they’re worth keeping track of so that you can see which channels your content is resonating on.
6. Comments and interactions
Comments on your content are great indications that your content is sparking conversation and making an impact on your readers.
7. Cost Per Click (CPC)
In all likelihood, your boss is going to want to see some metrics that correlate with dollar signs. If you’re promoting your content via pay per click ads or sponsored social postings, track your cost per click to see your return on investment for those campaigns.
8. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
Similarly, cost per lead is another valuable metric you can start tracking to measure your content marketing ROI.
9. Lead generation
For many companies, content marketing is primarily a lead generation tactic, used to acquire leads through forms and content downloads. Keep track of how many leads originate from a piece of marketing content, so that your content gets credit for that revenue if the deal closes.
10. Annual Contract Value (ACV)
If you’re keeping track of leads that originate from a content marketing campaign, you can also track the ACV (for example: the monthly cost of your service x 12) of the deals that have closed due to your content.
Has your content served as a touchpoint for leads at any point during the sales process? If so, you can judge the number of leads, opportunities, or closed deals that have been “influenced” by your content.
12. Conversion rates
When it comes to content marketing, you’ll want to make sure you’re optimizing your conversion rates at every possible opportunity. If not, you risk losing valuable leads who would have converted, but decided not to for one reason or another.
13. Followers and/or subscribers
The number of followers and subscribers you have is a great indication of brand awareness. If increasing your brand awareness is one of the goals on your list, make sure you’re keeping track of these numbers.
When it comes to content marketing, you’ll want to measure your growth in the following areas: subscribers (for a blog, perhaps), downloads, page views — anything that you can put a number on and measure the percent change over time.
Keep in mind that content impacts the bottom line. Make it a practice to use metrics to measure revenue and business growth on your content.
As a team, select the KPIs that apply to your content marketing strategy and put them in a single, comprehensive report. Use those metrics that matter most!
For more information on how to create a marketing measurement strategy, attend our webinar.
This blog post was originally written and posted by Jenna Hanington in 2014, and updated June 2020 by Crystal Garrett.