Is your content marketing strategy up to scratch?
According to research from SEMRush, 84 percent of businesses have a content marketing strategy, but only 11 percent think that their strategy is excellent. The secret to a perfect content marketing strategy is data, and in order to get that data, we rely on content marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The Content Marketing Institute recently published their end-all, be-all content marketing report for 2021. We’re breaking down the most interesting findings from that report and what factors you should focus on below (combined with some of our own insider intel).
Align Content Marketing Goals With Business Goals: the Metrics that Matter
The metrics of your content marketing program confirm how effective your content is for your audience. However, you can measure just about anything. So, how do you dial in and find the content marketing metrics that matter? For most businesses, this is all about integrating your broader business goals within your content marketing strategy.
We’ve broken down the most common business goals and the metrics that matter when it comes to a content marketing strategy:
If your business prioritizes brand awareness, the following content marketing metrics are critical:
- Page views;
- Website traffic;
- Video, document or download views;
- Social chatter;
- Referral links.
10x Tip: to increase website traffic and page views, we recommend going back to the basics and asking yourself the following questions about your content: Is it valuable? Is your website easy to use? How could you create content that would better serve your audience?
Lead generation is another common business goal. The content marketing metrics that will tell you the most about lead generation include:
- Form completions and downloads;
- Email subscriptions;
- Blog subscriptions;
- Conversion rates.
10x Tip: to increase form completions and downloads, we recommend streamlining the process. Ask where could you improve, if you needed to, and make information easier to achieve? Consider incentivizing email and blog signups with a promotion code or value-driven gated content.
If your conversion rate refuses to budge, go through the process yourself to see why customers aren’t clicking. You may find that slow load times, poor web design or even unclear instructions are to blame.
Performance Benchmarks: Achieving Your Goals with KPIs
Content marketing KPIs are essential to a marketing campaign. You can’t just throw content out into the void and expect sales. CMI shared their list of the essential KPIs depending on campaign type, and we’ve ordered them in terms of importance (and explained why) below:
Marketers developing blog campaigns should focus on:
- Website traffic;
- Bounce rate;
- Unique visitors and repeat visitors;
- Time on site;
- Page views;
- Traffic sources;
- Mobile visitors;
- Desktop visitors;
- Visits per channel.
10x Tip: we recommend starting with website traffic as the most important KPI for a blog campaign because it represents organic traffic (i.e., your content and SEO is performing correctly). If people aren’t navigating to your page, something’s wrong. We also recommend looking at the bounce rate. A high bounce rate can indicate a serious problem with content (more on that here).
A successful email campaign should track content marketing KPIs such as:
- Open rate;
- Conversion rate;
- Click-through rate;
- Delivery rate.
10x Tip: if your potential customer isn’t opening your content, you’re in trouble—which is why we recommend looking at open rate first when it comes to optimizing your email campaign. According to research from Mailchimp, the average open rate for an email campaign is 22.71 percent. Most campaigns should be aiming for an open rate of between 15 and 25 percent to be considered effective.
Social Media Campaigns
Social media marketers should use content marketing KPIs such as:
- Amplification rate;
- Engagement rate;
- Conversion rate;
- Post reach;
- Return on engagement;
- Follower increase/decrease.
10x Tip: social media is always changing—algorithms on Instagram and Facebook frequently update, especially with platforms such as Instagram removing the ‘like’ and ‘follower’ features. While it can be challenging to keep up with current social media trends, it’s essential.
As far as KPIs, we recommend focusing on amplification rate (how many people see your post) as well as engagement rate (the percentage of your followers that engage via comments, likes and shares) to determine campaign success.
The Importance of A/B Testing
Marketing, especially content marketing, isn’t an exact science. You can do everything right, but sometimes campaigns and plans don’t work. This is where A/B testing comes in.
A/B testing allows you to run several campaigns simultaneously to see which one is most effective for your goals. We’ve even developed a data dashboard that enables our clients to see their campaign performance in real-time. This means that there’s no more waiting for monthly and quarterly reports. After the testing phase, most clients tend to use the campaign that offered the best ROI for their respective metrics.
Determining the Best Content Marketing KPIs and Metrics for Your Brand
The secret to great marketing is data. However, the marketing landscape and your audience’s behavior consistently evolves. As such, it’s crucial to make sure that the content marketing metrics and content marketing KPIs you track also help drive results and reach your goals.