Content Marketing Success

 Content Marketing Success

How to Measure Content Marketing Success

You’ve created a content marketing strategy, invested resources in creating content, and distributed it across channels. But how exactly are you going to measure your content marketing success? Are you going to look at traffic, conversions, social shares, or all of these? Or at something else?

Why Key Performance Indicators Matter

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the numbers that really matter when it comes to content marketing. They tell you how your audience interacts with your content and which of your content performs best. KPIs enable you to easily track and measure results.

You may get thousands of visitors, but if your goal is to increase engagement, metrics like shares and comments will likely prove more valuable to you. Traffic alone doesn’t mean success.

The KPIs that you choose depend on both your marketing goals and your higher purpose. For example, if you are trying to inspire social change through your products or services, social media engagement metrics may mean more to you than just traffic.  Here are the 4 steps to measure content marketing success:

Step 1 – Define Essential KPIs

content-marketing-success-kpiDepending on the goal of your content marketing, here are some of the important KPIs you want to track:

  • Brand awareness – Views, Traffic, Social mentions, Referrals
  • Engagement – Social media likes and shares, Blog comments, Inbound links
  • Lead generation – Conversion rate, Email signups, Blog follows, Form completion
  • Sales – Online sales, affiliate sales

Choose metrics that support your key goals. Don’t try to track too many metrics but zoom in on the ones that matter the most to you.

Step 2 – Use the Right Tracking Tools

content-marketing-success-analysisUse Google Analytics or another similar tool to track these KPIs. Analytics tools may seem a bit complicated at first, but getting your head around them is well worth the time you invest in them.
Many social media networks also feature built-in analytics that makes the task easier. At the end of the day, you should put all your KPIs into a spreadsheet.

Step 3 – Review Metrics Often

content-marketing-success-reviewAt the very least, you want to track KPIs monthly. Even better is to track them weekly. Keep in mind that tracking metrics more frequently enables you to more quickly adjust your marketing. For example, your KPIs will tell you if certain types of content don’t engage your audience.

Don’t forget that content marketing is an ongoing strategy. It may take weeks or longer before you see major results, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche.

Step 4 – Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI

content-marketing-success-roiKPIs are reliable indicators of success, but they don’t show the whole picture. For that, you want to measure the return on investment (ROI) on your content marketing.

Calculating your content marketing ROI isn’t hard. Start by calculating how much you spent to produce and distribute your content. Then work out the amount you get in return as leads, engagement, or sales.
The simple formula for calculating content marketing ROI is return minus investment, divided by investment. The percentage you get will tell you whether your content marketing is a success or not.

Content Marketing Success – The Bottom Line

Remember that content marketing may contribute to success indirectly, by spreading awareness about your brand or attracting people to your site. This can make it a bit tricky to quantify.

But if you track KPIs, you’ll be able to assess the impact of your content marketing on your essential metrics. You can then decide whether the increase justifies the effort and investment you’ve been making.

Content Marketing Success – Summarized Steps

  1. Define Essential Key Performance Indicators.
  2. Use the Right Tracking Tools.
  3. Review Metrics Often.
  4. Calculate your Content Marketing Return on Investment.

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