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5 Crucial Performance Indicators To Measure Your Content Marketing Efforts


It’s a pretty well-established fact that if you invest in marketing efforts, general public awareness of your brand or business will increase. While this fact holds true for content marking efforts, there’s a lot more to it than just a pay-and-be-paid structure. Without knowing your KPIs, key performance indicators, you’re shooting in the dark. What is a KPI? It’s a set of vital metrics used to measure the performance of an individual, an ad campaign, a company or in this case, your content marketing strategy. There are KPIs for every industry. Not only is it important to establish KPIs, but it’s just as important to use the right ones. Let’s look at a set of KPIs crucial to measuring your content marketing efforts through the following scenario.

If you’re just starting out, here are some tips for your content writers.

Your Plan

Say you’re a graphic designer. You create a fantastic website to promote yourself and your portfolio, and include a blog section on your website so you can publish design-related content. You also invest some time and maybe some money in other forms of digital marketing, such as creating a Facebook page, Twitter account, an email opt-in subscription service for followers of your blog, and some well-designed banner ads that you have showcased on other related websites.

Your Results

You notice your clients starting to slowly increase. You figure your current advertising efforts are paying off so you keep updating the Facebook and Twitter accounts, writing articles for your blog, and renewing your contracts with the other websites advertising for you.

Your Mistake

While this will work to slowly increase your clients, it’s not good enough, and here’s why:

What if you knew that 300 people a day were looking at your website, and that 250 of those people were all being pulled into your site by stumbling across a link to your article that got posted on a popular graphic design message board by someone you don’t even know, but who really loved your article?

What if you knew that not one single person even clicked on the banner ad you’re paying to have placed on the third party website?


Working blind never helped anyone

If you’re not tracking and analyzing metrics of your content marketing, you’re not getting the most out of your efforts, or your dollars.

What can you do about it..?

In the above example, if you were on top of your metrics, you could consider writing more articles similar to your smash hit. You could also consider creating an account on that message board that started it all so you could interact more with the readers of the board whom you’ve learned seem very interested in what you have to offer.

Tracking the most crucial metrics of your content marketing plan is key to making sure you’re getting the most return on investment.

  • By monitoring your personalized key performance indicators, you’ll be able to better invest both your time and money on efforts that are working for your business.
  • By knowing what people are most interested in about your product, what social media and other web outlets these people use most, and how the people who are reaching you are getting to your content, you’ll be able to better tailor your content marketing directly to those who are looking for it. This is the best way to directly reach potential customers and turn them into conversions, thus increasing your brand presence, as well as your bottom line in sales.

Let’s get into five of the more crucial metrics you should be measuring to establish and maintain successful content marketing.

1. Your Current ROI

To start, you need to really figure out how much money you’re spending and how much you’re getting back.It’s not rocket science to know that spending $500 to get $80 back isn’t the best deal.

Figure out what your personal key performance indicators are, and determine statistics for each. Once you have a list of the KPI you’re using, and the specific information for each, you’ll be able to look at the overall picture to see if you’re getting a fair return on your investment. From there, go one step deeper and see if each individual KPI is providing you with its own fair ROI.


Digital mountains shouldn’t have a downward slope

Let’s go back to pretending you’re that graphic designer from earlier. You’d want to see if you’re getting a fair ROI for your website and blog, your social media accounts, and your purchased advertising.

Utilize data analysis such as Google Analytics to see how many people are visiting your website, as well as how popular each individual article on your site is. This is a great way to see how your website presence may be influencing your business, and even further, which specific aspects of your website are having the best influence.

Check to see how many Facebook followers you have, how many new followers you get per week, and how shared or liked your articles and posts are.

Check statistics on your purchased advertising. How many people have found your site via your advertising link? How long did each of those people stay on your site? If there are a lot of clicks and then a lot of immediate click-aways, you may not be advertising to the best audience.

Here is also some advice to help your content writer improve your website’s current ROI.

2. Your Overall Visibility and Dispersion

How many people are sharing your content around the web – in other words, giving you 100% free and favored advertising?


It doesn’t matter how beautifully crafted your content is if no one can see it

If you don’t have Like and Share buttons on all of your articles, you need to do this. Not only does this provide your readers with an incredibly easy way to share your content with everyone they know, but it also provides you with an effortless way of tracking just how many times your article has been shared from its original home.

Social media tracking is incredibly important, as good and solid content can spread faster than wildfire across the internet and the world. It’s crucially important that you get a good grasp on knowing what is being shared, how, and with whom so you can tailor your content towards your audience, and your audience’s audience.

3. Your Back links

Remember in the hypothetical above when hundreds of visitors a day were routed to the graphic designer’s website through a link on a message board that the designer didn’t even know about? That situation perfectly describes why you need to be aware of other sites that link to your site. If you don’t know who’s looking for or at you, you won’t be able to reach out to them, or when to put your best face forward.

There are a number of really handy tools out there to make this easy for you. Check out Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, and Google Analytics and see which features and functionality appeal more to you.

Knowing who’s looking for you, how they’re finding you, and what kind of demographic they’re from is priceless beneficial information for ensuring your content marketing is as successful as it possibly can be.

4. Your Conversions

Why pay for something without knowing what you’re really getting?

If you’re not tracking conversions from pay-per-click advertising investments to see how many of your clicks turn into customers, you’re really taking a gamble and may be losing money. Try advertising on a number of different websites in a number of industries relevant to your personal business endeavors and track conversions. Also experiment with different styles of advertisements, from more loud and graphic ones, to more minimalistic, mysterious ones. You may be surprised to see one advertisement style getting far more conversions than another, or one website really bringing you a lot of potential clients or customers.

5. Your Content Throughput

I saved this for last for a reason. Once you have a good grasp on measuring all of your KPI, you’re going to want to measure changes in each KPI when you change the frequency of publishing.

By this I mean, if your articles are getting 15 likes per day now, and you’re publishing one article a week, see what happens when you start publishing one article a day. Having more articles may mean more visitors, thus more views for all of your articles. Your 15 likes a day may go up to 20 likes a day as a result of publishing more content.


First measure, then build

The same theory applies to paid advertising. Like I mentioned in the previous tip, if you advertise in one location, you may get one click per day. If you advertise in 10 places, you’ll then get 10 clicks per day. But, to circle back to the beginning here, would those 10 clicks a day be worth the investment in 10 different advertising outlets, or would you be better off with one well-tailored advertising outlet that led to you getting 20 clicks a day?

If you measure metrics of your commercial marketing strategies, you’ll be able to hone them as successfully and efficiently as possible, and that’s a sure way to achieve long-lasting brand awareness and ever-increasing sales.