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Are You Measuring These Content Marketing KPIs?

By John McTigueMay 27, 2013

are you measuring these content marketing kpisContent marketing is rapidly gaining ground as the go-to activity for increasing brand awareness, generating new leads and nurturing them into customers. Lagging behind the activity itself, how to measure its effectiveness? So far, we are focusing on outcomes, such as increases in website traffic and leads, but those metrics have other influences besides content marketing, such as demand generation campaigns and outbound marketing. What about the activities themselves? Wouldn't it be smart to measure the type, frequency and interactivity of our content to gauge its effectiveness as a function of outcomes and to keep ourselves on track for achieving performance goals? We think so. Here are some content marketing KPIs we recommend measuring to do just that.

Output KPIs

Let's keep track of how often we publish content, our authorship (a new key for Google), and what kind of content we publish on a regular basis. Consider these content marketing KPIs:

  • Number of blog posts published (per month)
  • Number of distinct authors (per month)
  • Number of guest bloggers (per month)
  • Number of syndicated blog posts (per month)
  • Number of blog comments (by us - per month)
  • Number of social media posts (per month)
  • Number of downloads published (ebooks/whitepapers) per quarter
  • Number of videos published (per quarter)
  • Number of webinars hosted (per quarter)
  • Number of press releases (per month)

Interactive KPIs

Now let's measure how good (and conversation-inspiring) our content really is, as indicated by searches, views, likes, shares, comments and links:

  • Blog post views (per month)
  • Blog subscriptions (per month)
  • Blog post comments (other than ours - per month)
  • Blog post inbound links (per month)
  • Blog post visits from organic search (per month)
  • Social media shares (other than ours - per month)
  • Social media likes (per month)
  • Social media +1s (per month)
  • Social media comments (per month)

Conversion KPIs

Finally, let's specifically measure the impact of our content marketing on lead generation (and ultimately on revenue generation):

  • Leads from blog post CTAs (per month)
  • Leads from blog post links (per month)
  • Leads from blog page CTAs (per month)
  • Leads from social media posts (not ads - per month)
  • Leads from press releases (per month)
  • Leads from all downloads (per month)
  • Leads from webinars (per month)
  • Number of lead nurturing downloads (per month)
  • Conversion rates on all types of landing pages (blog CTAs, social media, etc.)
  • Number of customers whose first touch was content (per month)
  • Number of customers whose last touch (before purchase) was content
  • Revenue sourced from all content marketing activities (per month)

How to Measure Content Marketing KPIs

Some of these are straightforward to measure if you have marketing automation in place or even basic blogging tools, such as Wordpress plug-ins. Others will require some digging, for example isolating the number of customers whose first or last touch was content. Some tools are better than others for putting this data together, and in a future post, we will examine specific methods for tracking these metrics. Ideally, every digital marketing department should have one or more data analysts whose mission (and passion) is figuring out how to glean KPIs from all of the marketing big data you collect.

For now, I would recommend starting with measuring your own output. How often do you blog and create offers for lead generation? Staying accountable for regular production and publication is one of the bastions of inbound marketing success. Tracking those efforts keeps you moving forward and lets your management team know that you are spending those content marketing dollars consistently and following your plan. Measuring the interactivity of your content and some of the conversion KPIs will give them at least some idea of how effective your content marketing program is becoming and help to justify your budget.

Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery

john mctigue blog photoWith over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. Connect with John via TwitterLinkedIn or Google Plus.

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.