KPIs are crucial to content marketing success. Knowing how (and why) to measure conversions, site traffic, consumption, engagement and other areas is crucial.
In content marketing circles, campaigns are typically judged by whether or not they hit the key performance indicators (or KPIs) for the campaign. For the uninitiated, a key performance indicator is simply a metric used by businesses to gauge the success of a campaign’s marketing success. Sales teams might look at net revenue KPIs or customer loyalty KPIs, while a content team might measure content engagement KPIs or social shares along the way.
What were a campaign’s email opens and clickthroughs? What about the leads? These are KPIs that content marketers have to define before the launch of any campaign. Content Marketing Institute suggested that marketers should have marketing goals like these below for their content before determining the KPIs involved.
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to the site
- Generate sales leads
- Convert more leads into customers
- Improve retention and drive upsell
These are the five basic KPIs that a team should measure:
Time on Site (Session Duration)
Content ideally leads to a high time on site by visitors. This is the time when a viewer explores the site, clicks an internal link, and sticks around for a bit. If visitors spent 1 minute on a site during the first content campaign, and 3 minutes on the site in the second campaign, that’s a win. That’s where you can measure the relative success of a content campaign.
Conversely, measure bounce rates are also a way to measure time on site. This KPI is somewhat vague, because it could point to a poor content experience or a great one. Visitors may find content on a Twitter link, click to the site and simply read the content without navigating anywhere else on the site. That 1 page session will show a bounce rate of 100% and a 00:00 time on site. These should be checked against time on site rates.
How many new leads does your content marketing produce? If a site’s best content is always published on Thursday, are you measuring that KPI to see if new leads are coming in after visitors touch that content? That’s a key metric to capture quickly, because that number will dwindle as the days go on. Make sure to measure the number of new leads from each piece of content produced and distributed.
Sharing content has become the way of social media. We share to others what is purposely interesting and worthwhile. It’s important to measure this in follow-up efforts. When a team can create that kind of amazing content that gets shared with high frequency across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels, then it’s clear the content is relevant and resonant.
Another performance indicator worth measuring is the content produced by individual members of your staff, or even freelance producers. If a writer is consistently creating content that’s generating good numbers, particularly in session duration and click throughs, their style and coverage can be a good indicator of where to steer content.
Content marketing goes hand in hand with measurement. Having a good set of KPIs will help:
- Build an audience
- Increase levels of customer engagement
- Drive lead generation
- Build brand authority
- Create relationships with customers and partners