Are you frustrated with low results from your content marketing campaign despite the best content creation and research?
Content marketing is indeed an effective method to build brand awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, sales through high-quality content. In fact, 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing in 2022!
However, marketing through content is a long-term activity that does not yield visible results anytime soon! And this makes it tough to determine if you are on the right track in the ever-changing market. As a result, it’s easy to go off course and end up with poor results.
Don’t worry, though! You can constantly judge and improve the performance of your content marketing efforts by measuring and implementing the major performance metrics or Key Performance Indicators. Also, you can monitor and implement KPIs easily by using analytics tools.
However, not all KPIs will suit your business. There are around 20 KPIs for content marketing alone, but only a few would be most relevant for you. This makes finding and implementing the correct KPIs tricky for the marketing team.
So, this blog will start from the basics of KPIs and move on to the top 17 content marketing KPIs that you must check out. It will also help you choose what KPIs you should focus on and offer some key implementation tips.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable and quantifiable value that helps you determine whether you are on the right course to achieve your business objectives. Businesses of all types measure and analyze multiple KPIs to determine all aspects of their performance over time. And KPIs applied to judge content marketing performance are called content marketing KPIs.
Content marketing KPIs help businesses measure the effectiveness of their decisions or actions and make necessary changes in time. This ensures that the businesses meet their goals in a timely and affordable manner.
So, choose simple, easily measurable, and relevant content marketing KPIs to track your content campaign’s performance across all sales funnel levels.
An important question at this point is- How can you find and distinguish between the relevant KPIs and metrics in general?
It’s pretty easy! Just look for the values that matter the most to increase your profitability and require regular tracking to find if you are on the right track. These are usually related to awareness, engagement, or conversions and form the KPIs for your specific business. Meanwhile, other measures of performance are considered useful metrics but not key indicators of performance.
Not sure what the right KPIs are? Don’t worry! In this blog, we’ll further cover the significance and common types of KPIs to help you decide…
Content marketing is a long-term activity, and results take months to show up! Moreover, you will achieve good returns only if you apply and improve the perfect content marketing strategy.
This involves periodically checking your content marketing campaign’s results to improve and keep it on the right track in the dynamic market. And this is where tracking content marketing KPIs becomes critical!
KPIs offer insights that give you an idea of the visibility of your content to your target audience as well as the engagement and conversions it is achieving. This knowledge helps you find your plan’s strong and weak points and make timely improvements as required. Here is what makes content marketing KPIs essential for the success of your content marketing campaign-
The above benefits ultimately impress and compel your target audience, boosting your brand awareness, engagement, conversions, and sales.
You must remember that the KPIs for every business are different, and try to focus on your processes to find the major KPIs. The reasons behind this difference are usually the difference between business models, niches, target market, and main goals of your marketing campaign. Here are some key factors that lead to differences in the ideal KPIs-
At a B2B company, content marketing aims to turn prospects into leads and then guide them efficiently through the sales funnel, up to the point of conversion. It also plays a crucial role in post-purchase activation and customer retention.
For example, media publishers focus on engaging advertisers to form long-term business relations. So, metrics such as average time spent on a page, the average number of pages visited per visit, and bounce rate would be the KPIs here. This approach contrasts the sales-driven metrics used by FMCG companies that sell in bulk.
On the other hand, B2C content plays a more diverse role, ranging from raising awareness and engagement to retargeting across platforms. Various metrics like email open rates, shares, click-through rates on ads, and conversion rates may interest B2C marketers.
The most important metrics vary based on the main goals of your content marketing campaign at the time. These goals must be decided in advance while ensuring they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). Here are the best KPIs for each of the three main types of content marketing goals-
You must consider various factors to decide on the best content type, content theme, distribution channel, timing, and scale of your content marketing. And the best KPIs would vary accordingly. Some market factors that can affect your content marketing and its KPIs are-
Apart from the external factors, your organization’s strengths and limitations like expertise, budget, top management policies, etc., may influence your content marketing campaign and its KPIs.
For example, going for content marketing on social media will be ideal if your target audience is active on social platforms, your competitors have a low social media presence, and you have the expertise and budget required. Accordingly, your KPIs may include shares, likes, follower count, etc.
As you saw above, you must clearly understand your business’s model, market conditions, and key goals to track and measure the relevant content marketing performance metrics. And then, you must match your KPIs with these factors. Here are some key points you must consider during this process-
You must align your content marketing goals with the goals of the company. Moreover, you must define how they are linked to the organization’s long-term goals to ensure that they are correctly interpreted and used.
When evaluating your current content marketing performance, you may find results that don’t match your expectations. This is often the result of setting unrealistic goals that are not practical to achieve. So, you must make sure that your KPI goals are realistically achievable.
You must set clear goals and explain them to all stakeholders to allow quick and error-free action towards achieving them. Moreover, KPI metrics are the basis of effective decision-making to accomplish these goals. So, your content team needs to understand the KPIs and also translate them into actionable future steps. Accordingly, you must properly analyze and present the KPIs by applying the right tools and expertise.
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a goal-setting framework that aims at achieving measurable results. KPIs drive your OKRs by forming the basis for adjusting objectives and setting result targets. So, you should plan and implement both simultaneously.
As you saw, the best KPIs of content marketing performance depend on multiple internal and external factors unique to your business. However, there are some common KPIs that all businesses must consider for their content marketing campaign. So, let’s check out the top 17 common content marketing KPIs that you must keep track of-
This KPI refers to the number of visitors who come to your website from the organic search results of web browsers. It is an important metric as its growth denotes that you reached the main SEO objective of growing the number of interested people finding and visiting your website.
You can easily find your organic website traffic report using Google Analytics. You count a visitor when you see a user for the first time in a defined period on your site.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one sees it! So, measuring the views your page receives is critical when measuring the performance of your content marketing strategy.
You can find the number of unique page views you get on your pages using Google Analytics. Here, a view is counted whenever any visitor loads or reloads a page. Unlike organic traffic, it counts all views and not just visits only from new users in a duration. Also, it is not limited to visits resulting from organic searches only.
The session to contact rate is the number of contact form submissions divided by the number of unique visitors on your site for the selected time. So, it is a metric displaying the ratio between total sessions (visits on your page) and the new contacts in your pipeline. It represents the current likelihood of visitors being interested enough to ask you to contact them.
Session to contact rate= (The number of contacts or customers / Total number of sessions in the same period) x 100
The click-through rate counts how many readers click on the links in your blog articles, ads, or landing pages. The CTR is a percentage value calculated by dividing the number of people who clicked on a specific link by the total number of viewers of that content. The CTR of internal links is the CTR calculated for hyperlinks on your website page that lead to another page on your website or domain.
CTR = Number of clicks on the internal link/Total impressions or views of the page
This is a direct measure of the rate at which you are publishing pieces of content. It is found by simply counting the number of pieces you publish. And you must maintain this number at a sufficient level to ensure high content visibility, freshness, and engagement.
It’s always better to have more content out there! However, you must maintain high content quality and avoid overwhelming your team or audience. To write converting blog posts, try our free blog post generator.
Your marketing content inspires visitors to take the desired action, which could be subscribing to a newsletter, registering for a webinar, signing up for a free trial, downloading an e-book, or proceeding to buy the product or service. The content could be ads on social media, emails, or content on landing pages. But not all viewers will convert!
The conversion rate is the percentage of users who complete this desired action. You can calculate it by dividing the total number of users who convert by taking the desired action by the overall size of the audience of the content in the specific period. A low conversion rate indicates that your content and call to action need improvement or your marketing strategy needs corrections.
Moreover, you must also measure the final revenue your content marketing generates. After all, the revenue is the ultimate measure of your content marketing success. And a low revenue indicates that your content and content marketing strategy needs improvement.
Also, low revenue often results from a low conversion rate. So, you must try to focus on improving conversions to raise your business’s revenue.
Open rate is an email marketing metric that measures the rate at which unique recipients open emails. The open rate represents the number of recipients who opened your email out of every 100 recipients.
Open rate= Number of unique opens/Total number of recipients
As it counts unique opens only, the opening of the email twice or more by the same receiver will still count as one open. The open rate is crucial to ensure that people read your emails and is optimized by using compelling subject lines, cleaning and segmenting the email list, and timing your emails strategically.
Newsletters help you reach a large audience with interesting content at low costs. Apart from engaging content that maintains engagement, newsletters also allow you to use personalized content to raise awareness about your new releases or offers. And a high number of newsletter signups will likely result in a better conversion rate and brand loyalty.
So, you must use convincing and interesting content and add requests for newsletter signups along with it on all platforms like blogs, sales webinars, and cold emails. This will help ensure that the maximum number of targeted prospects or existing buyers sign up for your newsletter.
The number of website visitors who return to your site represents the overall customer experience and helps you understand how much value visitors find on your site. After all, people usually return only to sites they like. This means they know your brand, like it, and want more!
So, returning visitors should be measured over defined periods, and you must aim to maximize it by providing exceptional content and high-quality offerings. You can use Google Analytics to set tracking codes from your “thank you” page or log-in screen to measure this KPI.
The likes and social shares on your social posts represent your engagement with your target audience. The more users interact with your social media posts or page, the more likely you are to gain their trust, loyalty, and conversions over time.
Likes show that people liked your content and left a ‘like’ to represent it. Shares show that viewers strongly liked your content and shared it with like-minded people. And this raises your reach effectively and exponentially!
The higher your website ranks for the relevant keywords, the more your search visibility and traffic! Search rankings are a crucial KPI as they directly correlate with your SEO success and website traffic. And this traffic converts to sales leads and conversions!
So, it’s important to track your ranking for the right keywords and use SEO techniques to improve it constantly. You can monitor your search position changes for the target keywords with tools such as Serpstat or Ahrefs.
You just need to enter your domain, select organic results as the type of SERP, import your list of keywords, and start rank tracking! Moreover, you can also choose your competitors’ domains and find their changes in rankings for the tracked keywords.
Content marketing aims to build a market share for your brand by defeating your competitors. Your brand must dominate the market by capturing a majority of sales to find success in the competitive market. But how do you determine your presence in the market compared to competitors?
You can use a content marketing KPI called brand market share to measure your sales as a percentage of an industry’s total revenue. To find it, you must divide your brand’s market share by dividing its total sales or sales revenue by the industry’s total sales over the given fiscal period.
This KPI measures the total revenue that your business can expect to earn from any one customer on average. It represents the value that every customer offers and must be maximized through cost-efficient marketing, engagement boosting, and relationship-building methods.
Moreover, you can determine how much to spend on marketing based on the approximate value of each customer. So, if you find a definitive limit on customer revenue generated, your per-customer marketing expenses should not be near or over that revenue amount.
The Customer Retention KPI measures your company’s ability to retain customers over the long term while generating recurring revenue from them. This key performance indicator is critical as retaining old customers is highly profitable for all businesses. In fact, 82% of organizations agree that customer retention costs are lesser than customer acquisition.
Attribution refers to assigning credit to a given touchpoint in your content marketing campaign. It helps you weigh the impact of content compared to your overall marketing and sales program. If the content at a particular point of the customer’s journey has maximum attribution assigned, it indicates that the content is effective for that journey stage.
To find attribution, you must ask some questions and apply their answer to the right model-
The most common types of attribution models are-
The customer acquisition cost is the overall marketing and sales resources needed to acquire a new customer. CAC includes the costs of all sales and content marketing efforts that are required to convince a customer to buy a product or service.
So, CAC represents how much an organization spends to acquire every new customer. And it must be minimized to boost profits by using the most efficient content marketing techniques.
You may calculate return on investment as a percentage by subtracting the initial cost of the investment from the gross returns it leads to, dividing this result (net revenue) by the total investment, and then multiplying the result by 100. ROI= (Net revenue / Investment cost) x 100
The ROI calculated for content marketing takes months to become significant, but you must regularly measure it. For this, you must judge your content marketing expenses and returns and then apply the correct method to measure the ROI. Presently, there are four common ways to measure the ROI for content marketing, which are-
Several metrics usually do not qualify as KPIs as they are not direct indicators of the content marketing campaign’s performance. However, they may act as useful indicators while interpreting the KPIs. Here are the top content marketing metrics that are not key performance indicators-
Scroll Depth is a percentage value that shows how far down a page a visitor scrolled in proportion to the total page length. It accurately measures the quality of your content, and you can improve it by improving your page’s content across its length.
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors on your website that leave within a few seconds after visiting it. You should aim to keep it as low as possible by optimizing the website speed, ease of navigation, and the content’s relevance and engagement power.
The time-on-page is the time difference between the visit to the next page within a site and the visit to the current, original page. So, the time-on-page will be 0 seconds for single-page visits where the visitor of one of your website’s pages does not go to any other page within it.
Content marketing takes a long duration to yield visible results. However, you must always ensure that your efforts are always on the right track, or you may end up with compromised results!
This is where measuring, analyzing, and implementing the key performance indicators of content marketing become critical. And this blog has equipped you with the fundamentals of KPIs, their selection, and their usage. This knowledge can help you get to a flying start when applied correctly!
So, it’s your responsibility to implement the best KPIs for your business’s content marketing to gauge its performance and make constant course corrections to ensure you are always on track to achieve your goals. Also, remember that regularly measuring and implementing KPIs is no longer an option. It’s a necessity to survive in the fast-changing modern business world!
The top 10 KPIs used for content marketing are-
1. Organic traffic
2. Page views
4. Conversion rate
5. Open rate
6. Likes and shares
7. Organic rankings
8. Customer acquisition costs
10. Customer lifetime value
Measure Key Performance Indicators regularly with the right tools to judge and improve your content marketing campaign’s impact. The correct KPIs will help you attract attention, get leads, and raise sales over time.
The top KPIs to track social media marketing performance are-
Web visitors by channel source