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Content marketing KPIs: Defining and Measuring Yourself Against Them

Sophie Thompson
29th December 2020
How to track KPIs

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable way of seeing how something is performing. Content marketing KPIs therefore measure content marketing statistics and data over time, and they are used to analyze how well that content is performing.

You should have some clear content marketing objectives. But how do you know if your business is meeting those objectives, unless you have some way of measuring performance? This is why a B2C or B2B content marketing report should be bursting with relevant B2C or B2B content marketing statistics, which use KPIs to make sense of what’s actually going on.

Why is it important to determine KPIs before getting started on a content marketing campaign?

Content marketing KPIs give you something to measure yourself against. You can see how you’re making progress over time. You can see what’s going well and what needs improvement.

Collecting content marketing statistics alone isn’t enough. The point is to use the information to act.

It’s much easier, and provides more valuable data, if you set the framework for your KPIs in advance of beginning a content marketing campaign. If you don’t then your B2C or B2B content marketing report will be trying to determine success without any understanding of where you started, what happened, and how the end point differed from the beginning.

You may well be able to dot the report with content marketing statistics, but they will in fact be pretty meaningless.

How to measure kpis

So, your order needs to be:

  • Set your content marketing objectives: What do you want to achieve from your content marketing campaign?

  • Determine your content marketing KPIs: Which KPIs will tell you whether or not a campaign has been successful?

  • Establish which B2C or B2B content marketing statistics to collect: KPIs require you to have the right data to hand and there is a plethora that you can collect, so which data matters and why?

  • Create your strategy and content marketing campaign: What content strategy and action is required to meet your content marketing objectives?

  • Measure and refine: Use your KPIs to measure progress and performance and detail these within relevant marketing reports, but most importantly, use them to refine the campaign going forward.

Which KPIs are most important?

With the tools and data available to us, there are a huge number of things you can measure. However, you don’t necessarily need to do them all. What you do need to do is determine which will give you the information you need and which is most valuable to your business.

There are three core groups of KPIs that you will want to consider:

  • Social engagement: These KPIs relate to how your content performs on social media.

  • On-site metrics: These KPIs outline how content causes a website visitor behaves e.g. bounce rate.

  • Conversion metrics: These KPIs look at how content turns leads into sales.

Within these are some main KPIs worthy of your attention:

  • Unique visits: This is a blunt measure of the number of visitors, and is a key part of all analytics tools, including ContentCal Analytics or Google Analytics. It enables you to see how many people are viewing a piece of content such as a blog post or video. The aim is to see a growing audience over time.

  • Page views: Closely related are page views. This KPI doesn’t just tell you how many unique visitors to a particular page or site you are getting. They tell you how many pages those visitors look at. This is a good measure of how engaging your content is. The more page views, the more engaged the audience is. If one of your objectives is to provide informative or authoritative content, then this KPI will matter.

  • Social media engagement: There are various KPIs which can be used as measures of social media engagement. Firstly, there are those which relate to your whole platform, e.g. audience growth rate. You can then look at individual pieces of content and measure things such as amplification rate and virality rate which measure shares, and metrics like post reach and applause rate (the number of approval rates that the piece gathers).

  • Time on site: Time on site, or time on page, is another good indicator of engagement and how well the piece of content is meeting the needs of the audience. If you’re meeting their needs, they will hang around longer. Google Analytics gives you the relevant B2C or B2B content marketing statistics for this.

  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate is quite closely linked to time on page. It’s the indicator which reveals if users ‘bounce’ off a page almost immediately after landing on it. If a user bounces, it means that they came expecting one thing and were instantly disappointed. It’s bad news. If measuring bounce rate reveals a high number then you’ll need to consider what it is about that piece of content which isn’t working e.g. the title doesn’t match the content.

  • Scroll depth: A Google Analytics plug-in allows you to see how deep into a piece of content a visitor gets. For example, do they leave after reading just 25% of an article or do they make it all the way through? This is a good measure of engagement.

  • Heat maps: Add-on tools allow you to track a user’s movement across a page or site, giving you a picture of how users tend to view and interact with your content. It can help you to determine which bits of content are being seen and which are missed. This can help you to refine layout and structure, making it more appealing and efficient.

how to measure kpis

  • Traffic source: No piece of content in your strategy sits in isolation. It can be useful to consider how a user has moved from one piece of content to another. One way of measuring this is to look at traffic source which can identify whether the user landed on a piece of content from an ad, organic SEO, a newsletter link, a social media post, or something else.

  • Click Through Rate (CTR): This can be applied to content in various forms, measuring whether the audience actually clicks through to the next stage on the customer journey, or clicks through from an ad to your website.

  • Social Media Conversion Rate: How many people hop over from being part of your audience on social media and come through to your website?

  • Conversion rates: This KPI measures the number of individuals viewing a piece of content are converted into paying customers.

KPIs can translate into tangible business results

You don’t want to be wasting time, effort and resources on content campaigns which aren’t ultimately helping your business in terms of results. By putting the content marketing statistics into a comprehensive report, you can refine content strategies to better meet objectives over time. Without content marketing KPIs you are operating in the dark.

Ultimately, the information gained from measuring KPIs should lead to action. They are the way to grow and progress.

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