Content 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.
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:
Now let's measure how good (and conversation-inspiring) our content really is, as indicated by searches, views, likes, shares, comments and links:
Finally, let's specifically measure the impact of our content marketing on lead generation (and ultimately on revenue generation):
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.
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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. Connect with John via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.
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