What gets measured gets managed. Marketing is all arts and crafts. If you haven’t heard these statements as a content marketer at least once, you’re a part of a minority. What’s more, presenting an argument against the idea behind these statements was only possible until the digital age. Today, content marketers swear by them with a long list of ROI and KPIs.
However, in the smaller silo of the world of content marketing, the “what KPIs do I use to measure my content” question is yet to be briefly answered. Too often site owners find themselves publishing content blog post after blog post without ever once determining what KPIs they’re going to use.
In an ideal world, you should ask yourself the following questions before starting the production journey:
- What goal will I achieve with this content and how will it help the brand grow?
- Who is my target audience for this piece of content?
- Is it my demographic?
- Will they care enough to engage?
- What will be the benchmark of success for this content?
- What scale will I measure?
- What’s the most cost-effective way to create this content?
- In-house, agency, or freelance?
Once you have answered these questions check if your they align with the company’s goal, budget and strategies. If the answers are even a tad bit different then you must alter your content accordingly.
Up to 88% of the marketers try to integrate their content in their strategies, however, more than 50% struggle with measuring the impact of the content. So how would a site owner know if the content is even effective? Listed below are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of different varieties of content, including the articles you post on your blog, podcast episodes, case studies, and webinar series.
Metrics for Blog Posts
1. Time Spent
The amount of time spent is directly variable with the length of your blog posts. As per Google, top-ranking content has a word count of 1140 to 1285. Immediately, lengthier content translates into visitors spending more time reading the content (moving them from “seconds” to “minutes” when it comes to staying on the webpage). It’s easy to test this strategy. Track the time you spend on carefully reading (or even skimming through) a blog post of two different lengths. You’ll find that you’re automatically spending more time on blog posts of a higher length. Even if a reader is skimming through a blog, average reading time should be 40-50 seconds. This time frame is essential for the reader to grasp the headlines, keywords and comments.
2. Analysis of the Traffic on Website
It is vital to know where the traffic comes from. Is it direct traffic or are people arriving on your site by clicking on links hosted on social platforms?
The source of traffic is an essential scale to measure as it lets you know what kind of traffic you’re attracting such as:
- If you’re gaining backlinks and if they have elevated domain authority
- If the keywords on your page and in your headline are appropriate to what people are searching for
- If related brands or similar blogs are connecting to you and if it’s time to initiate a new content sharing relationship
- How much traffic is being driven through referrals, organically, by new visitors, and/or returning users
Metrics for Podcasts
1. New Subscribers
One of the biggest achievements for podcasts is to get a new subscriber. This indicates that you have done something correctly and that you have attracted people who like to listen to you and plan to stick around for future episodes. Also, some people tend to become loyal followers after they subscribe to a podcast. On average, a podcast listener tunes in to five shows per week and subscribes to just six. Once a listener has discovered a podcast they take pleasure in enough to subscribe, they stay around.
These are a few reasons why it makes sense to measure success by tracking new subscribers. This list of subscribers can be easily accessed through iTunes or through your website’s analytics. The list should be checked every time you air new content, as well as on a monthly and quarterly basis to gauge how often you’re attracting new subscribers and if particular episodes create more interest.
Another important success KPI for podcast hosts is the download. There is a high chance that those who subscribe are not as committed as those who download a podcast so that they can listen to it in offline mode. Additionally, Podcast producers can utilize download metrics to get new advertisers to shore up the show, which is immense for building revenue. These metrics will also notify producers which podcast episodes produced most downloads.
You can access such metrics through Blubrry Media Statistics and similar software.
3. For How Long Are Listeners Tuning in?
If people aren’t listening to the complete podcast or if they’re listening to only the first few minutes, then you podcast content isn’t up to the mark. A high number of people listening some of your podcasts for a few minutes indicate that either you are not covering interesting subject matters or what you’re talking about is not enticing enough to hook listeners to it.
Earlier in the year, Apple announced modification in the Apple Podcasts app which lets creators track cumulative data about when listeners start, stop, and skip a podcast episode. Use technologies like these to stay on top of the time people spend listening your episodes, and tweak some of them if necessary.
Case Study Metrics
1. Number of Shares
You must notice if your case study is being talked about on social media and if it’s creating a buzz. Its ROI can be anticipated from the amount of shares it generates. By implanting social sharing tools to your case study results page, you can analyze how many shares it has received after publication and whether sharing is likely to continue after a few months.
2. Brand Mentions
A major metric is the amount of brand mentions that your brand receives through the case study. If a case study is appreciated, then the brand would benefit greatly from it as well.
Tools like Buzzsumo make it easy to track brand mentions. Their analytics will allow you to be on top of the conversation created by your case study and compute how much your brand is mentioned from this portion of content.
3. Time Spent and Traffic driven
Just as for blog posts, traffic generated and time spent determine how well a case study is performing. Use Google Analytics to see how people react to your case studies in terms of the time they spend on the landing page. Additionally, you can compare the time spent on case studies in contrast to the time spent on blog posts to see which content is giving you a better ROI.
Registrations are directly proportional to webinar success. If only 5 to 10 people sign up to attend your webinar and your goal was to get at least 100 attendees, the webinar topic might not be the right fit for your demographic. A low registration count could also be the result of a weak promotional strategy. At the same time, several thousand pageviews and a low number of registrations is a big indicator that the landing page isn’t doing its job.
2. Number of Attendees
It is not necessary that if a webinar has high number of registrations, the number of attendees would be high too. 30-40 % is the industry average when it comes to webinar registrations. There are various reasons as to why less attendees show up: some people fail to recall that they signed up, some sign up to multiple webinars, and some face conflicting timetables which forces them to choose one webinar or another.
Nevertheless, the number of attendees is one of the top KPIs to track for the measuring webinar success.
3. Drop Offs
Assessing at what point people left the webinar will help you produce the next webinar accordingly, and will also inform on how well the webinar topics are working.
Attendees that stay for the first few minutes and leave tell producers that the introduction was not appealing or the content doesn’t match the reason for which they signed up. If they’re staying around to the half-way point, then the drop off metrics make clear that the webinar is lengthy, boring, or giving excessive information for one webinar episode.
The primary objective of content marketing is to improve a website’s reach and bottom line. Therefore, the main indictor of success is usually the quantity of leads generated by your content marketing methodologies. However, by not neglecting these KPIs along the way to a sale or a lead, you’ll be in a better position to get more out of your content.