Content Marketing Metrics
Content marketing is a delicate task, the intersection of the art of writing and marketing. It needs to satisfy both human readers and the algorithms of a machine. These are such different audiences with differing priorities. What may read well to a human may not possess the technical details that an algorithm is wired to pick up on. Likewise, a piece of writing packed with keywords may serve the algorithm well, but may not attract a human reader due to its lack of coherent thought. It is the duty of any content writer or content marketer to balance these two elements, which often appear in direct conflict with one another.
So many factors play into the execution of strong content marketing. Therefore, the question one must ask is how to measure content performance? Unlike mathematics or science, where an equation demands one and only one answer, writing is substantially more subjective. It can be difficult to objectively judge what is good and bad writing, even though there are plenty of literary critics who make a living by doing just that. What may seem high-quality writing to one reader may be considered low quality to the next. This makes determining the success of content writing a bit of a challenge.
To circumvent this dilemma, marketers have put in place a variety of content marketing metrics to see how well a piece of content is garnering the desired response and/or action from its readers. Rather than access the merits of the writing itself, marketers have developed a results-driven methodology that uses several different types of data surrounding the piece of content. These metrics are usually viewed through a content marketing dashboard where a marketing team can break down the different elements of their content marketing campaign. With a content dashboard to view every aspect of a content marketing campaign at a glance, marketers can review what strategies are successful and which are not, and make adjustments accordingly.
B2B Content Marketing Metrics
Businesses will usually draft a content measurement plan based on their particular goals, and those goals may vary if they are running a B2C content marketing campaign or a B2B marketing campaign. Content performance metrics may also vary depending on the objectives that the marketing team is hoping to achieve. Whatever those objectives may be, there is no denying that content marketing is an important investment for B2B endeavors. Content marketing costs less than traditional marketing (62% less, in fact), and content marketing has the potential to yield up to three times as many leads as traditional marketing. Also, 60% of customers are open to researching further or buying a product/service after reading some content about it. Therefore, content marketing should not be ignored as a pivotal part of the overall marketing strategy for a business, particularly as our society becomes more and more digitally dependent.
One of the biggest factors in B2B content marketing metrics is assessing whether the content marketing campaign succeeds in bringing in revenue. Other forms of content measurement can include but are not limited to, organic traffic, content engagement, and brand awareness.
Content Engagement Metrics
As mentioned in a previous section, content engagement is one area of content metrics that should be considered. But what is content performance and what does it look like?. Content engagement metrics can be broken down into a myriad of data points, including things such as:
- Unique page views
- Average time on pages
- Social shares
- Mobile users vs. desktop users
- Users by location
- Goal conversion rate
Transactions are a major subcategory that businesses naturally should focus on since all of their efforts are meant to turn visitors into customers. According to Demandwell, other metrics are worthwhile to track, but nothing will paint a better picture of a business ROI than the amount of revenue that their content marketing efforts are yielding.
One can compile all these details into a content performance report to see every single piece of data separated out. This helps to create a holistic view of the entire content marketing campaign. Marketing team members can see exactly in which areas their efforts are succeeding and which areas the results are lagging. With Demandwell, businesses can view a dashboard with all of this data at hand and review it to determine how they should move forward with their content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Metrics That Matter
Besides transactions, what are the content marketing metrics that matter? What metrics are used to measure content marketing ROI? One important form of content analytics metrics is URL reporting. This refers to the practice of tracking the entirety of a business’s URL, rather than only the metrics for each and every piece of content. Viewed with a content metrics dashboard, URL reporting can help businesses see for themselves what impact their content marketing campaign is having on their website as a whole. A content marketing campaign will naturally have an effort on a business’s SEO, and it is worth documenting the difference before and after the campaign.
Demandwell uses both approaches, using full-funnel reporting from content to conversion. This shows businesses the entire organic performance from the time the piece of content was created and published to site visitors and lead conversion. A business can also track organic growth in real-time, allowing marketers to compare trends in performance at large. Demandwell can also integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console to gather performance insights within a single frame.
How To Measure Content Marketing Performance
The greatest question of all that the writer is addressing in this article is: how to measure content marketing performance? As discussed in previous sections, content marketing analytics can come in various shapes and sizes. Some performance content metrics may be more important than others, depending on the goals of each business. Whatever those goals may be, content performance tools like Demandwell provide businesses with a way to measure metrics and review a comprehensive content performance report that covers every single aspect of a content marketing campaign.
If one were to try to analyze content performance without an appropriate separation of all of the elements at play, a marketing team would more than likely fail to see the strengths and weaknesses of their campaign. If that were the case, then they would be at a loss on how to bolster their campaign and create the desired results that would hopefully lead to ROI and revenue growth. Content marketing requires a lot of effort, but that effort can easily be wasted if it is led in the wrong direction. Content performance reports allow businesses to know precisely what is working and what is not, thus allowing them the opportunity to rectify certain elements of their strategy if it is not creating the desired results.
Content performance tends to be the better way to judge a piece of content writing. How is content accurately measured? Not in its merit as a literary piece of work, but rather how does it serve to further the agenda of the overall content marketing campaign? Content marketers are constantly asking themselves how to measure content marketing ROI. There are plenty of data points that are worth tracking and considering, as mentioned in the previous sections, but ultimately the best indicator of ROI is in the growth of the business, namely in revenue.
With the help of an ROI dashboard, businesses can engage in cost-worth analysis to ascertain if the effort they are putting forth in their content marketing campaign is (1) achieving the desired outcomes and (2) achieving those outcomes in a way that is appropriately proportional to the effort being invested. As stated above, content marketing can be a thankless endeavor if so much time and resources are devoted to the campaign with little to no ROI. There are no consolation prizes in content marketing; it’s entirely results-driven.
Content Marketing Goals And KPIs
Another facet of content marketing metrics that businesses should consider monitoring is keyword reporting. Keeping tabs on content KPIs (keyword performance indicators) can help a business see the overall impact that various keywords have had on its SEO. When it comes to digital content, KPIs can have an enormous influence. With keyword reporting, a business can measure dozens of metrics for every single keyword within a content marketing campaign. By focusing on keywords, businesses can observe how they contribute to critical organic growth in SEO.
This article has discussed various elements of content marketing, but what is content marketing, truly? Content marketing is the use of content (blogs, emails, newsletters, anything with a textual element) to further the interests and goals of a business. Those goals usually involve ROI and an increase in revenue, but more nuanced goals can be obtained through content marketing as well, such as brand awareness and establishment as an authority within the industry. As technology changes the way in which we consume textual information, content marketing will only become more and more vital to a business’s operational blueprint.