Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are measurable values that gauge a company’s ability to achieve their objectives. KPIs support and influence business objectives, becoming a critical aspect for managing the business as a whole. You need to determine your KPIs in order to review the success of not only the campaigns you churn out, but also the effectiveness of the practices you use in order to complete each initiative.
In content marketing, the key performance indicators help you highlight and capitalise on the content types that give you the best returns. Depending on the results, you can either choose to magnify and pound on a certain practice or content type or dismiss it altogether, choosing to focus on another metric or type that actually matters.
A variety of content is available for you to explore, including blogs, white papers, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, etc. Whatever format you choose, here’s a short guide to Four Key Performance Indicators in Content Marketing that you shouldn’t forget to measure:
- Unique Visits or Unique Users
- Bounce Rates
- Social Engagement Metrics (followers, comments, and shares)
Before we begin, however, we suggest you take a look at Google Analytics. It’s a free web tool that helps you observe visitor behaviour through your site, giving you a glimpse into what attracts visitors to your site and what aspects of your website eventually turn them away.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
We start this list with what 60% of the marketers asked for this study deemed as the most important KPI for measuring the success of content marketing initiatives—leads. More of a goal, really, the number of leads generated by a certain content helps determine what among your content types effectively converts people and impacts sales the most. With Google Analytics, you can set up conversion goals in order to track lead generation. Conversion goals are primarily concerned with gauging how often your visitors take specific lead-generating actions within your website.
Whitepapers are one of the best lead-converting content types, as well as blog posts with clear call-to-action. You can also look at platforms and content types that is distributed to your audience on a regular schedule. Often, these channels and types most consumed by your audience helps build trust. Additionally, it emphasises your credibility to meet the audience’s needs, getting them closer to finally seeking you out and using your services.
Unique Visits or Users
To establish just how important unique visits or unique visitors are to analysing the amount of traffic your website has, we must first look at it in terms of another related metric—visits. Visits refer to the total number of times your website was accessed on a given period. Unique visits or unique users on the one hand, would refer to the number of distinct individuals who accessed the website or its pages, regardless of how often they visited the said site within a reporting period.
This KPI can help you determine what type of content within your website attracts the most visitors; what content these visitors deem worthy of their time and attention. Additionally, unique visits or users is useful for spotting the best performing content within your website. Think about it this way: a unique visit to a lead-generating whitepaper is deemed more valuable than a simple visit to a blog post, since it’s the former that usually converts visitors to leads and ultimately, sales.
Bounce rate is that percentage of visitors who navigate away (or bounce off) from your website. The higher the bounce rate, the more concerning it becomes. However, when it comes to content, you can utilise the bounce rate data to pinpoint just how engaging your content really is. If unique visitors spend say, 15 seconds on average on a 25-page white paper, it’s cause for concern. You know that a content of that length should make visitors stay longer.
To make the bounce rate data more effective for your website, it’s important that you not only assess the site-wide bounce rate, but also track the bounce rates for segmented pages. This makes the data more meaningful and helps you keep track of pages where the high bounce rates occur and rewrite or plan it accordingly.
Social Engagement Metrics
(Followers, Comments, and Social Shares)
Since we’re talking about content distributed on various channels, we must talk about some important social engagement metrics. Here are some important social media aspects you should definitely look into:
Your number of followers indicates a good measure of people’s awareness of your brand. All of your content (spread across different channels) has brand-building potentials that expose you to prospects and familiarises them to you. Your content must have the ability to win people over and influence them. When you embrace the social, you must also ensure that the content you release has enough calibre in it to inspire a solid following and later on, their engagement.
Online sentiments or comments, on its own, is a very important metric for discovering how your audience views you. When you’re on social media, you automatically subject yourself to bi-directional conversations. It’s a case of “give and take”. The comment section helps audience reach you. Their attempts at engagement shouldn’t be thwarted or curtailed. It must be highly encouraged. Even negative comments are an opportunity to be better. They provide you with an insight into your audiences’ pain points. Keep your eyes open to which type of content are generating the most engagement from your audience. Finally, plan your content accordingly.
Aside from comments and likes, a content’s success on social media is often determined by the number of shares it gets. That’s why creating shareable content is an important aspect of the whole content marketing strategy. In general, shares help a brand or website gain explosive traffic. It casts a wide net over to those who aren’t aware of your services and products.
An analysis of the most frequently shared content type, as well as the platforms they tend to share it on can help you allocate budget and energy into which type of content you should capitalise on more. Imagine you release a long-form article on your blog. You share it’s link on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Said link has been shared, say, 320 times on Facebook, 42 times on Twitter, and 129 times on LinkedIn. The results would point out that your networks appreciate this type of content, helping you tailor your subsequent content better.
When you plan content, you start determining the key performance indicators you need to finalise in order to gauge its success. You can’t go at it blindly; the right metrics, coupled with good measuring devices will help you realise what works and what doesn’t. Rightly executed, it’s these little facets that ultimately determine the success of your content marketing initiative.
If these metrics’ results are non-converting, then it may be time to rethink your content strategy. However, don’t fret just yet because you are not alone in this. You can always tap digital marketing experts to walk you through the strategies for optimising your content on social media!