Content marketing has become a key to cultivating the relationship between businesses and their audience, increasing brand awareness and steadfast customer loyalty for quite a while.
Creating engaging content allows you to position yourself as a thought leader and a trusted authority within your niche. High-quality content provides valuable insight into your target audience, which in turn helps you sell your brand more persuasively. According to Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands study, 84% of people expect brands to create content.
However, being a savvy content marketer, you must consider whether it gives you the proper investment return to pump out content after content. It is only possible to create content by first setting objectives. You have to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Whether it is increasing brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention or upselling, you eventually need to know if your content marketing is a success or a failure.
This is where content marketing metrics are vital in measuring and evaluating your content marketing goals. Measuring these metrics is extremely important for the success of your marketing campaign, as they provide you with the necessary information so you can make better decisions.
Here are the most critical content marketing metrics that you should measure:
Social sharing is crucial in improving website traffic and increasing social visibility. According to a Shareaholic report, social media drives 31% of all referral traffic to websites. Social media has become a crucial platform where online users communicate. Keeping track of your total social shares will help you determine what level of traction your content is getting on social media channels. It will give you an understanding of how well, or lack of it, your business is taking advantage of this traffic.
To get started, you need to measure the overall shares your content receives. Track how different social networks perform and see who shares your content. Figure out how these shares convert into traffic, new users, and sales. Doing so will show you what type of content to focus on in the future and give you a fair idea of which platforms you should allocate your time and resources to. With that, you will discover your content’s social media reach and interactions, such as likes, shares, and comments.
You can also use tools to effectively measure your social shares metric. For example, “BuzzSumo” helps you identify which topics and articles are most shared. In contrast, Brand24 will help you keep track of the mentions of a given keyword or phrase on the internet.
Traffic is crucial to making your site work, so bringing a lot of traffic to your website is an essential success factor in planning. Your web presence shows your prospects who you are as a brand and how your business operates. Therefore, your website will be where your prospects will first interact with your brand. You need to find ways and bring them in to make that happen. Traffic results from providing the right content and experience to your visitors. However, clearly defined marketing goals only can you measure the quality of your traffic?
Measuring the overall traffic will show how many people visited or engaged with your site. You need to determine your primary traffic source and any possible improvements that could be brought about by content marketing. Loaded with this vital information, you will understand the habits and behaviours of your users.
Many tools are at your disposal to measure your traffic and its sources. For example, Google Analytics is an excellent free tool that will give you great insight into the traffic your website is receiving.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who visit and leave your website without interacting with it in some way. Measuring your website’s bounce rate provides information on your visitors’ behaviour and, in turn, how well the website engages them. Many “bounces” indicate that people aren’t interested in what you offer and your website is not performing as required. This metric helps you raise red flags that are needed to be addressed.
Bounce rate is easy to calculate – the number of visitors who leave your website without interacting, divided by the total number of visitors. There are specific ways in which visitors may bounce, such as: clicking a link to another website, going to the previous page, entering a new URL on the address bar, or closing the web browser.
Google Analytics > Audience Overview will give you the entire website’s bounce rate or individual pages. Click the bounce rate metric for the website, providing a graph for the defined period. Thus, improving your content and enhancing its readability is an excellent way to reduce the bounce rate.
Natural Inbound Links
Natural inbound links are the critical drivers of inbound marketing. They help increase traffic and improve SEO. A website with many inbound links will naturally rank better in search engines. So the more links are spread out there, the more visibility your brand will get. However, links from trusted sources or high-authority websites are the real deal for your business. According to your content, links from relevant sites will hold more weight.
Measuring the state of your inbound links will help you keep an eye on the popularity of your content within your community. More inbound links on other web pages will direct customers and search engines to your webpage. This will make sure that your content is worth citing in the future. HubSpot’s “Link Grader” tool tells you when your websites receive a new inbound link and grade it based on its value.
Call-to-Action – Click Through Rate
A call-to-action (CTA) is an engaging button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to convert to leads through landing page forms. Effective CTAs give your visitors good reasons that compel them to make buying decisions. Measuring CTA click-through rate helps you locate weaknesses in your lead-close rates, showing you whether problems are with your content or sales process.
You can see the number of clicks and views of your CTA, also the percentage of views that lead to clicks. Measuring the success of your CTAs, along with A/B testing different versions of them, will help you improve response rates and increase lead generation.
Time on Page
The time spent by visitors on your page is also indicative of how long it captures their attention. You can effectively refurbish your content marketing efforts when you know how long users spend on a specific page. For instance, if you have content that doesn’t seem to gain the traction you had expected, you can revisit it and see if anything can be done to improve it. On the other hand, if you have a page where visitors have stayed for a significant amount of time, you will likely have killer content in motion.
Time on the page can also indicate the success of a campaign or other promotional activity that brings visitors to your site. The time a visitor spends on the site is calculated as the difference between the recorded time of their last page (or file) request and their first.
Unique visitors are those who have accessed your site. This metric is determined by the IP address of the computer or device that users are browsing from. It doesn’t matter how many visits a visitor makes; if he/she is on the same device, only one unique visitor is counted. So it tells you whether your audience base is increasing or decreasing. In other words, whether your website is gaining or losing valuable traffic.
Where is your growth if you keep getting the same people returning to your site? After all, every business needs new viewers for their products/services daily to grow the list.
Thus, by measuring this metric, you can determine whether or not your marketing campaigns are working. It also helps you find the perfect balance between customer retention and user growth.
The Rate of Returning Visitors (RRV)
Although unique visitors might indicate your business’s growing visibility, repeating visitors are your asset. A decent rate of returning visitors (RRV) is the most significant indicator that your business is healthy and growing. It shows your content is being well-received by your audience.
The RRV metric reveals how effective your content marketing strategies are. Repeat visitors have a greater potential to refer more visitors to your site. In fact, this type of traffic is much easier to convert than all new prospects. “Marketers who leverage their returning customers can drive 15 times more acquisition” (source).
To improve your RRV, you need to leverage the retention side of your website. Your visitors will continue to return if you are friendly, attentive, engaging, and informative in a relevant way. The RRV metric is easily accessible, understood, and actionable for you.
Your content marketing efforts also aim to achieve a successful SEO. SEO success is another metric that tells you how well your content performs in the search. More people click on top search results, which means more traffic, potential leads, and sales.
Your SEO success ensures your content ranks well for your target keywords, your domain authority remains high, and you get more inbound links. If all these things are true, your content will reach more people.
However, your content should be unique and provide value for your visitors’ time and efforts. In light of this, marketers often confront the issue of duplicate content that doesn’t go down well with search engines, thereby hampering your rankings. For that, you can add extensions like SEO Suite Ultimate for Magento that solve duplicate content problems when multiple URLs on the website contain identical or similar content. This extension helps add canonical tags on the web pages so that search engines can index your preferred URL. And if your website is developed on WordPress, you can use the RankMath Plugin to avoid duplicate issues.
Total Leads Generated
For most marketers, lead generation is the ultimate goal of their content marketing campaigns. In today’s buyer landscape, your content is at the core of engaging your prospects. To do so, your content must educate, inspire, and beg to be shared. It should help leads overcome challenges and achieve their aspirations.
Generating quality leads means approaching your prospects with personalized, industry-specific messaging. As a thriving marketer, your content should not only be engaging but also acts as a lead magnet for your business. Hence, measuring the total leads generated will help you determine which leads come directly from your content. It will also help you put more effort into creating content that will generate more information in the future.
Content marketing metrics can be an effective weapon in your marketing arsenal. But the only thing is how and when to use them to test your marketing campaigns. You need to track your campaign’s performance with these metrics at the right time to ensure your efforts won’t go to waste.