6 KPIs For Content Marketing

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Marketing is all arts and crafts.

Marketing is a cost center for my organization.

If you haven’t heard these things at least once as a marketer, you’re in the minority.

What’s more, until the digital age, arguing against these statements was near impossible. Now, marketers are lucky enough for the ability to fight these words with a long list of KPIs and ROI. Unfortunately, In the smaller silo of content marketers, the “what do I measure?” question has yet to be clearly answered.

Here are six quick KPIs you should measure to prove your content’s value and help dictate your content marketing strategy.

Top of Funnel KPIs

These content marketing KPIs are intended to measure awareness and interest. For the content marketer, that almost always includes both search and website metrics.

Average Position of Unbranded Terms

This is the average position of all terms that a user types into Google to surface a URL from your website. This report is “unbranded” (meaning it doesn’t include queries with your brand name) because most companies rank number one for their brand and it skews this KPI. The lower the number, the closer it is to the first position on page one. From a KPI perspective, your objective should be to get that number as low as possible.

You can calculate this KPI in Google Analytics in its search console.

Percentage of Organic Users on Website

This report can be pulled from Google Analytics’ Audience Overview by comparing and organic traffic segment to overall site traffic. Eric Ayotte, Director of Customer Strategy at content marketing software company Curata shares why this is an important KPI metric:

“Recently, top of funnel metrics like these have gotten a bad rap in the industry as “vanity metrics.” I think that’s a bit unfair. Sure, visits do not equal revenue (heck they don’t even equal conversions), but for most companies, there’d be no leads without traffic, no opportunities without leads, and no revenue without opportunities. At best, it is incomplete to only use top of funnel metrics as your indicators of success. But if you are using full funnel KPIs in the proper context, then I believe they have a place on your strategic content marketing KPI dashboard and in a data-driven content marketing strategy.”

Middle of the Funnel KPIs

These are content marketing KPIs meant to measure the depth of engagement and intent to purchase.

New Leads by Program & Asset

Take the concept of conversions a step further with this feature in a marketing automation platform to see how many new leads your premium content generated. Instead of using anonymous data like Google Analytics does, a marketing automation program should be able to show you the number of “new names” your content generated versus names that might have already existed in your database. Post-conversion, those previously “unknown” leads are now “known” leads. Because you have to create a distinct program for every piece of content to get this performance data, most marketing organizations only create programs for premium or gated assets and not for ungated assets such as blog posts.

MQLs by Program & Asset

This report takes the concept of a “new name” or a lead and takes it still a step further. An MQL or marketing qualified lead is defined as a lead that is likely to become a customer based on behavior gleaned from data, analytics, or intelligence.

While the previous report demonstrates your content is driving quantity, this KPI measures for quality. Though both reports are similar, together they are extremely powerful. Combined, they can tell you different things about your content and inform future strategy and topics.

Example: a piece of content generating a high number of leads but a low number of MQLs might suffer from a topic that’s not drawing in the right audience. A piece of content generating a low number of leads but of those leads, many are turning to MQLs, probably has good content but could use a better title or promotion.

Bottom of the Funnel KPIs

These are metrics that measure content marketing’s influence on opportunities and revenue.

Pipeline Generated

This report uses advanced content metrics to show the dollar value of the pipeline created by content marketing. The report tracks all of the content consumed by a contact associated with an opportunity before the opportunity was created. Essentially it shows you how effective your content is at creating new opportunities. If you are struggling to measure blog performance or connect any top of funnel content to bottom of funnel metrics, this type of report may be able to help.

Revenue Influenced

“Sales and marketing alignment is about one shared goal: revenue that is delivered or over-delivered every quarter. There will always be tension, but that tension can be positive if there is a culture of clear expectations and communication.” – Craig Rosenberg

Revenue influenced is the ultimate content marketing KPI: how to calculate content ROI. This report shows how much revenue is influenced by content marketing. You can also do it manually by starting with accounts closed and tracking back to content interaction.

What KPIs for content marketing do you track? How has this changed your marketing planning? I’d love to hear about your process and measurements in the comments.

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