The first step to measuring your content marketing performance is to make sure you’re looking at the right metrics.
In 2018, 47% of B2C content marketers and 54% of B2B content marketers said the metrics they track often don’t align well with their overall goals. This makes it impossible to accurately determine your success or failure – you simply won’t be able to measure your content’s performance if you’re looking at the wrong data points.
Every content marketing strategy is different – and therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to measuring campaigns. You need to set your business goals, then measure the things that impact each of those specific things.
To help you better align your approach, here are five metrics to measure that map to various content outcomes.
1. Quality leads generated
Great content generates leads and inbound leads can be tracked as a direct result of your content.
You can get leads through contact forms, downloads, or social media interactions. The key here is to make sure you’re getting quality leads.
Quality leads are those who will eventually convert into customers or prospects who actually need your product or service. If your content isn’t generating enough quality leads, several factors can contribute.
For example, consider how often you blog. Do you publish articles regularly? According to HubSpot, companies that publish more than sixteen blog posts per month generate approximately 4.5 times more leads than companies that publish between 0 and 4 monthly articles. The more you blog, the more leads you can generate.
There are many different types of content, and some formats are better suited than others for generating the right leads. Check your existing content to see if you’re creating a variety of materials, such as case studies, resources, or buying guides. And more importantly, you need to develop an understanding of whether or not your content is providing value to your readers.
2. Sales data
Sales are one of the best metrics you can use to evaluate your content marketing campaign – if you can attribute sales revenue to your content marketing efforts, you’ve struck gold.
It is also useful to research the content that influences sales so that you can optimize it or produce more of it. Speak with your sales team to understand how your content marketing leads are performing in your sales funnel.
Are these readers converting? is there a process in place to feed them? Or, more likely, does the sales team need the right content that helps these leads become customers?
What can be frustrating for marketers is when they bring in many leads that are being ignored by sales, which is a company-wide waste of time. Make sure both teams are aligned for optimal success.
3. Email Subscribers
Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 40% of marketers believe email newsletters are one of the three most important tactics for their content marketing success – alongside blogging and social media content .
When someone signs up to receive emails from your business, it shows that they are interested in your content and want more. Therefore, email subscribers are a good indicator of the performance of your content marketing campaign.
If you don’t see an increase in subscribers, consider offering an incentive, such as an e-book, white paper, or checklist, in exchange for visitors’ email addresses. These lead magnets can be one of the best ways to get more email subscribers.
4. Open rate and click-through rate (CTR)
Email marketing is an integral part of content strategy, so ensuring your audience opens your emails and engages with the content is essential.
Email open rates indicate whether your subject lines are engaging enough for your audience. If your open rates are dropping, A/B test your email subject lines to increase the chances of someone opening your email. For example, try some subject lines with an emoji and some without.
Once you’re able to increase your open rates, it’s crucial to also look at your click-through rates, as they show how many subscribers are engaging with your email content.
A good CTR depends on your industry – according to MailChimp, the average click-through rate is around 2.5%. If your CTR is below industry standards, try including multiple links to your site or adding brightly colored buttons in your emails to encourage people to engage.
5. Average time spent on website page
Engagement metrics, such as average time on page, are key to understanding how long your audience pays attention to your content and whether they find it interesting.
Using Google Analytics, you can check the average time on page to see how long people are spending looking at your content. If users only spend a few seconds on material that should take longer to read, try making your content more engaging with images or videos. You can also try to improve the readability of your content by breaking large paragraphs into smaller chunks. This will make it easier for readers to digest the information.
You need to use the right metrics to measure your content marketing accurately and in alignment with your larger business goals. Consider what you’re looking to accomplish, then research the metrics that will help you best measure those things.
If your metrics aren’t up to par, it’s a sign that your content marketing is failing, but all is not lost. There are many tweaks you can make to jump-start your content marketing campaign.