Measuring the effectiveness of content is crucial. It’s no use investing in beautifully written content if it doesn’t engage users or result in conversions. And it’s also no good if we fail to learn from our marketing successes and failures.
That’s why content marketing KPIs are so important. They allow us to assess the strength of our strategy and to refine our techniques for future campaigns.
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are an essential tool for all digital marketing professionals, and at greatcontent, we always advise that clients employ them efficiently. To help you maximise their impact, we’ve prepared a short list of KPI tips to help you set the right goals for every campaign.
1. Understand how KPIs fit into the content marketing funnel
To start with, different KPIs apply to different stages of the marketing funnel. So, at the top of the funnel, marketers tend to be concerned more with building an audience and promoting products.
At this stage, it makes sense to use KPIs that are set up for measuring brand awareness. This could involve setting targets for time spent by visitors on your site, the raw number of new site visitors per week, and new follower numbers.
This changes as we descend the marketing funnel. Towards the bottom, we tend to be more concerned with ROI and conversions. This means understanding how efficiently content turns leads into conversions, using metrics like cost-per-click.
2. Why SEO KPIs are vital for business performance
For many businesses, the top of the funnel actually lies outside their website or social media channels. Instead, their initial focus will be on SEO performance.
This is an area where tightening up your KPIs is a no-brainer. For instance, these metrics will be extremely useful when building a solid SEO strategy:
- Organic search traffic – A raw measurement of how many visitors arrive at your content via conventional search engines.
- Mobile search traffic – Increasingly important, this metric lets you assess how effectively your content reaches smartphone users. If it dips below organic search rates, some content optimisation may be needed.
- Keyword rankings – Each piece of content can be graded based on how it performs on Google searches for important keywords, giving you a clear picture of which keywords to focus on in the future.
All will provide invaluable insights into how your keywords are performing (or failing).
The aim here is to maximise the number of visitors, relative to SEO spend. We know that’s not the end game for content marketing, but it’s a vital starting point.
Without clearly laid out, properly analysed SEO KPIs, it’s not possible to create well-crafted SEO content optimisation strategies. But with the right data, you can launch your pages into the highest reaches of the search engine rankings.
3. Choose the right user engagement KPIs?
Let’s return to the top of the funnel for a second. As we mentioned earlier, in this section of content marketing campaigns, KPIs are all about attracting and engaging potential customers, who then become potential leads.
There are plenty of KPIs we could use here. Not all will be relevant for your specific campaign, so finding a profitable mix is essential. For instance, you could use:
- Page views – A simple measurement of how many unique visitors have reached each specific piece of content.
- Time spent on pages – Alongside page views, it’s important to know how much time users devote to absorbing each text or video. This metric gives a very neat read-out of which pages are the most immersive.
- Bounce rate – This matters if the aim is to draw users into other parts of a content system. It basically measures how many users leave after viewing just one page. If you want to attract them to dig deeper, it’s an essential KPI.
- Scroll depth – A Vital KPI. This tracks how far down a page visitor read before moving on, and it really helps when assessing long form content.
- Repeat visits vs unique visitors – Measuring how regularly users visit your content can give a great image of how engaged people are. If you attract plenty of unique visits, but few come-backs, there may be an issue to address.
- Conversions and leads generated – Each piece of content should also be assessed based on its ROI. There’s no sense working hard to generate engagement if your content doesn’t result in both leads and conversions. This links back to the idea of the funnel: if content doesn’t “move” traffic downwards towards a conversion, it isn’t working as designed.
While user engagement is essential, most of us don’t just rely on optimising our websites to engage leads. Social media and audience management are just as important to attracting traffic into the marketing funnel. This makes social engagement KPIs vital.
Basic KPIs matter here. For example:
- Likes and shares – Provide great evidence of your content’s effectiveness but shouldn’t be considered in isolation.
- Reach – This gives an idea of the potential audience for each piece of social media content and helps you understand what proportion of viewers chose to like or share.
- Brand mentions – Expanding awareness of your brand is a key social media goal, so it often makes sense to track how often users discuss your core brand or products.
Fundamentally, KPIs should tell us how likely social media users are to see our content and take the actions we want them to take. If we see a discrepancy between reach and likes, something is wrong. And if we see a drop-off in brand mentions, we should also take action.
5. Link KPIs to flexible content production
Finally, we need to mention the value of using KPIs to inform your content strategy. Ideally, analysis feeds directly into content production, so it’s possible to produce content that is perfectly tailored for your marketing funnel and that reflects the data generated by previous campaigns.
In other words, the funnel is actually a feedback loop, which makes content more effective with each pass through.
This means that you need content creation partners who can take your findings and put them into practice efficiently. That’s what greatcontent is all about, and we can help at every stage of the marketing funnel. Get in touch if you want to turn your KPIs into content that boosts SEO performance, engages users, and maximises ROI.
Text: Sam Urquhart