Content marketing metrics can be confusing and preoccupy your time, so start by selecting a just a few fundamentals to measure.
Content marketing is key in today's marketplace - it is the intersection of awareness and lead generation. Brands must provide a steady stream of articles, photos, videos, and other resources to demonstrate their relevancy and bring in new customers. While some large companies like Sears, Coca-Cola, and Kraft have quickly caught on to content marketing and are able to accurately measure and leverage their results, it's not always easy to quantify the value of a piece of content. What makes this process so tricky?
Much of the trouble comes from the fact that content marketing can influence a buyer's decision process during each stage of today's circular sales process:
In the traditional sales funnel, consumers begin
with a set of potential brands and methodically
reduce them to make a purchase decision.
But McKinsey points out that today's consumer
decision-making process is circular.
You can measure just about anything these days, but that doesn't mean that you should. Figure out which content marketing metrics you want to measure and why.
It's essential to know what your business objectives are. This will help you pinpoint the areas of your content strategy that you want to measure so that you can identify what's working well, and the tactics that need some fine-tuning. Common content marketing measurements include:
- SEO: Your ranking and visibility, plus search as a traffic source
- Leads: Their quality and lifetime value
- Conversions: Sales, subscribers, and leads
- Sales: Volume, financial value, and length of the sales cycle
- Acquisition costs for user, leads, and sales
How content marketing grows your bottom line
The folks at BrandPoint, a digital agency that creates and distributes premium content that connects brands with consumers, have put together the infographic below to demonstrate the conversion funnel in action and illustrate some techniques to to help you put content to work for your business.
1. Awareness: Exposing new people to your brand, product, or service
Awareness is important because:
- 93% on online experiences begin with a search engine
- 75% of searchers don't move past the first page of results
- Quality content increases the number of ranking keywords for which your site can rank
- Surveys report that a majority of online consumers research products via social media before making a purchase.
What to measure:
- Ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Number of first-time website visitors
- Social metrics: Likes, follows, +1s, pins, etc.
2. Consideration: Inspiring potential customers to engage, read, download, comment, share, etc.
Consideration is important because search engines rank content based on:
- Time spent on-site per user
- Amount and age of pertinent original content
- Social chatter about the site
- Sites with 300+ indexed pages see an average traffic increase of 236%
- Sites with 400 to 1,000 indexed pages receive 600% more leads
- 61% of consumers feel better about companies that deliver custom content
- 65% of social media users learn about products and services via social networks
What to measure:
- Increased total page views
- Longer visit durations
- Lower bounce rates
- Social metrics
3. Conversion: When a customer makes a purchase or fills out a contact form
Why does content marketing drive conversions?
- Search engines support searches for specific products and services - more than 39% of customers come from search
- Social media amplifies traditional word of mouth and grows organically with time
- 77% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired customers via Facebook
- People share their experiences with others on blogs, social media sites, and online communities
- These discussions reference content, which builds links and positively impacts search and social media awareness
What to measure:
- Increased conversion rates as measured by sales or leads
- Which content sources contribute to the conversion funnel
- Social media referrals from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
- Subscriber vs. non-subscriber behavior