Essential KPI’s To Measure Content Marketing Success

Content KPI’s. If they confuse or bore you - you’re doing it wrong; if you’ve got 50 “key” indicators - you’re doing it wrong; if it takes you days to pull the numbers together to find out where you are - you’re doing it wrong; if you’re not measuring your content at all - you’re doing it wrong. So how do you do it right?

  1. Keep them simple - you need 5-10 maximum. Any more than this and they become irrelevant or take too long to track effectively
  2. Make sure they are brutally focussed on your marketing strategy (and therefore your business strategy)
  3. Ensure everybody knows them - from interns to CEO’s
  4. They all point to return on investment (ROI)
  5. You review them regularly


The Essentials

If you track nothing else - these four metrics are the ones that have a direct impact your bottom line. Track them and measure them. They are your sales funnel in it’s most basic form:

  1. Website traffic - your site visitors, get this from Google analytics
  2. Leads generated - you need at least 1 data-capture page on your site. The most effective content marketers will use value-added pieces of content - like ebooks or whitepapers - to incentivise the capture of lead contact information.
  3. Conversion rate
  4. Direct sales

Which KPI you value the most depends on your stage in content marketing. 

Startups and early-stage content marketers: focus on traffic KPI’s

If you’re just starting out, you want to focus on web traffic. Without significant volume of traffic, your other metrics aren’t reliable. For example, say you’re getting  500 views on a blog post and you calculate a 10% conversion rate, this could drop to 1% at 10,000 visitors. It’s just not enough data with which to make decisions. You should need to track this data, though, because a) you’re going to need it later and b) it can give you a heads-up on which topics and marketing channels are working for your blog. You track them but don’t pull this data into your KPI dashboard until it makes sense to.


SME’s + established content marketers: focus on conversion KPI’s

Once you do have a significant amount of traffic coming in (the number can vary, but a take 10,000 site visit per month as a rough guide), then you can move on to the other metrics – like leads, conversion rate, and revenue. Until then, put your efforts into promoting your content to bring in traffic.


How Does Content Drive ROI?

We’ve covered the basics, but there are other ways to link content marketing to bottom line ROI

  • Better customer retention - the right comms are the right time with the right offer (to the right customers) will retain your 
  • Increased customer lifetime value - identify and upset your customers with content designed to break through trust barriers, or provide a compelling incentive to spend more with you.
  • Brand awareness - enhance your wider brand marketing campaigns with targeted content support
  • Links from large publications
  • Stronger relationships with influencers and thought leaders
  • Higher search rankings - better quality, and better-linked content will make you easier to find when your audience searches for information, help and advice

Your content will almost always provide a greater ROI than the number you’ll come up from tracking pure sales, regardless of the KPIs you use. Here are some other metrics you can use to measure content: