Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Content Marketing Success

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A fundamental component of any content marketing program is setting goals and establishing metrics to measure success. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play a critical role in tracking the ongoing performance of your program.

Today, analytical and measurement tools allow us to track a lot of our efforts and marketing activity in real-time, but knowing what to track is important! Before jumping into execution, you need to set goals for your content marketing program and determine quantifiable KPIs that align with those goals. To help you get started, we’ve put together some basic goals and KPIs to consider.

Start by defining your overall content marketing goals

At the onset of any content marketing initiative, it is absolutely essential to determine your overall goals for the program. These might include:

• Increasing web traffic
• Building awareness
• Developing thought leadership
• Establishing credibility
• Attracting new customers
• Educating and informing prospects
• Nurturing and converting leads
• Improving customer service
• Boosting upsells and repeat business
• Creating brand advocates

Establish Your Content KPIs

Once your goals are established, you need to determine your KPIs—the metrics you will use to measure the success of your efforts. These KPIs shouldn’t resemble your goals, but rather they should be specific and quantifiable.

Here are some basic content marketing metrics to consider:

Consumption Metrics

While consumption metrics are merely a starting point for measuring content marketing success, they do help to establish a baseline to understand how many people “consumed” a particular piece of content.

# Page/Post Views
# Video Views
# Document Views
# Downloads
# Podcast Plays
# Email Opens/Click-throughs
% Non-Branded Traffic

Engagement Metrics

Measuring your audience’s level of engagement with your content is another critical KPI in understanding how successful your content marketing efforts are. Great content gets shared, attracts comments, links, and will keep people on your websites.

# Shares/Mentions/Likes/+1s/Pins
# Email Forwards
# Blog Comments
# Inbound Links
Bounce Rate
Average Pages Per Visit
Average Time on Site

Conversion Metrics

Understanding how many leads and opportunities are being generated by your content marketing efforts is critical to the ongoing success of your program. Your goal is not just a page view, your goal is a conversion that will turn an unknown visitor into an identified lead or oppportunity.

# Form Fills/Downloads
# Registrations
# Blog Subscriptions
# Email Subscriptions
# New Leads Generated
# Opportunities Generated
# Deals Generated
Conversion Rate

Use the KPIs you identify to create a dashboard of metrics and track your progress daily.

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Gone are the days of launching a campaign and waiting months for an indication of results. Instead of making blind decisions about where to spend your time and resources, measuring KPIs gives marketers the insight needed to make intelligent decisions about their content marketing and better inform their strategies and tactics moving forward.

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Vice President & Director Of Digital Innovation

Tim is a syndicated blogger and sought-after national speaker, providing keen insights on modern marketing and an uncommon perspective gleaned from more than 15 years of B2B and A/E/C experience.