Content Marketing Metrics to Supercharge Your ROI
A great aspect of marketing these days is that you can track almost every single detail on the platforms you use. You can immediately see if your pretzel ad is successful or if its results say “try next time” instead. But yet, many don’t know they can track their results and become increasingly tired.
Are you tired of shooting in the dark with your content marketing efforts, unsure of whether they are truly impacting your business’s bottom line? It’s time to bring out the secret weapon that will take your content strategy to new heights: content marketing metrics.
Based on a HubSpot report, sales, web traffic, and social engagement are vital metrics for measuring content marketing effectiveness. But these are not the only metrics, and they are certainly not key metrics for every type of content marketing.
These powerful tools help you understand your content’s effectiveness and turbocharge your return on investment (ROI).
So, in this article, we will dive headfirst into content marketing metrics that will revolutionize your approach.
What are Content Metrics?
Content marketing metrics are measurable indicators that provide insights into the effectiveness and impact of a content strategy, regardless of the nature of the content strategy (social media, blog, video, and others).
These metrics encompass a range of data points, allowing us to gauge content performance across different platforms, measure brand awareness, track website traffic, and assess lead generation and sales conversions.
Analyzing these metrics lets you understand how well your content resonates with your target audience and make data-driven decisions to optimize your content creation efforts, whether you create B2B or B2C content marketing.
Importance of Setting Content Marketing Metrics
Metrics in content marketing are like having a secret weapon that separates the “winging it” business from the all-star pro team. Picture this: in one corner, you have the boss who thinks they know every inch of the business universe. And in the other corner, you’ve got the metrics-savvy specialists who are all about results like boosting brand awareness and fostering customer loyalty and efficiency that smack you in the face with hard numbers.
And if you think the know-it-all boss example is just a joke, well, it’s not.
According to a study conducted by Semrush, a mere 54% of businesses incorporate the practice of implementing metrics for their content. This low adoption rate can be attributed to inadequate management and reliance on instinct rather than data-driven decision-making.
Metrics provide tangible goals and benchmarks to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. It can supercharge your ROI; it brings clarity to the chaos. They show you what’s working, what’s not, and where the real magic happens. No more blindly stumbling around. With metrics, you can track your progress, celebrate the wins, and fine-tune your strategies for maximum awesomeness.
So, forget about the guessing game. Content marketing metrics must be embraced and let them guide you on a journey to business success that’s backed by hard evidence and a touch of metric-driven wizardry. It’s time to level up and leave the “ear business” in the dust!
And if you don’t know what metrics to set based on your content type, no problem. We come to you with some (among the best) ideas of metrics that you can set in your content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Metrics to Track for Success
Organic & Social Traffic
Organic traffic metric refers to the measurement and analysis of the number of visitors who land on a website or specific web pages through unpaid, SEO-based natural search engine results.
And now that you understand what organic traffic is, you can probably intuit that social traffic is that traffic coming to a website or landing pages through social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or others.
Investing in organic and social traffic is crucial for any strategy due to its significant reach potential and cost-effectiveness (exactly, it won’t cost you a dime). To accomplish this, it is essential to master SEO.
You still don’t understand why? Well, traffic is like the pulsating life force of online content. If your website presents a happening party, but nobody shows up, your epic blog posts are left hanging in the air, with no one to groove to their awesomeness.
That’s why measuring traffic is a must when we strip it down to the basics. It’s a solid metric that shows how strong your brand really is, but with a tangible value, unlike the vague and elusive concept of “brand” itself.
Besides, it’s easy to track through integration with Google Analytics 4.
Time on Page
Because we mentioned Google and SEO, you must know that Google considers the time spent on a page as an important factor for ranking. That’s why it’s crucial to measure the time visitors spend on your pages.
This content marketing metric helps determine if your content is genuinely engaging. The longer visitors stay on a page, the better the acceptance and engagement.
This metric can also be observed through Google Analytics 4 (under the name of “Average session duration”).
If you find pages with a low average time on page, investigate why. Possible causes could be unappealing content, unsatisfactory user experience design, or slow page loading.
To understand the root cause of poor performance, compare successful pages with those underperforming. Analyze what successful pages have that the others lack.
Several reasons can contribute to a low average time on page:
- Difficult-to-read content;
- Lack of easy scanning;
- Lengthy texts;
- Poor user experience;
- Poor content quality;
- Uninteresting topics.
Conversion & Generated Leads
Conversion rate measures the percentage of users who engage with the content by taking action.
What does taking action mean? Well, leaving comments, subscribing to newsletters or forms, downloading content, or other things like this.
The specific action depends on the content type and the sales funnel stage. For instance, at the top of the funnel, leaving comments can be considered a conversion, while towards the end, it’s more common to request contact information.
To calculate the conversion rate, divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors. This metric helps evaluate the strategy’s effectiveness in driving user engagement and achieving desired actions.
Conversions can be closely related to generating leads, so we have classified them under the same content marketing metric.
Generated leads measure the number of leads and signify how many users have willingly shared information from your article while consuming the content.
Leads can be acquired through various channels such as CTAs, landing pages, contact forms, newsletter subscriptions, mailing list sign-ups, or budget requests.
A substantial number of leads indicates that the strategy effectively engages users. Quality content can elicit information sharing, regardless of whether the consumer intends to convert immediately or in the future.
However, it is important to view the number of leads as an indication of interest and potential sales. Conversions depend on consistently delivering good content throughout the final stages of the marketing funnel.
SERP stands for the Search Engine Results Page. It’s where the magic happens when someone searches for a specific keyword, and your ranking determines where you show up in that list.
Check this out when we search for “Patagonia” on Google. We see the results for Patagonia (brand) herself.
Or let’s use another example, more specific to our website. If you search on Google for “Ad Exchange vs DSP,” you will see that our article titled “Ad Network vs. Ad Exchange vs. DSP” ranks 7 in the SERP (at the time of writing). Pretty cool, right?
Now, your SERP ranking isn’t exactly a content marketing metric you calculate, but it’s a crystal-clear indicator of how well your content is performing.
If Google digs your content and gives it a high reference, you know you’re hitting the nail on the head. So, try different searches to see which of your posts or pages pop up.
Oh, and here’s a pro tip: if your content is top-notch, you might even snag the coveted “position zero” spot. It’s like being the show’s star with a featured snippet at the top of the SERP.
With time and some SEO mojo, you’ll witness your SERP rankings climbing higher. Build those backlinks, boost your site’s authority, and watch the magic happen.
If you just spend 10 minutes scrolling through TikTok, you’ll remark that there come across all sorts of crazy videos, from outrageous content to total nonsense. But here’s the scoop: those videos aren’t randomly thrown out there. They’re posted with a purpose – to attract views.
Those creators aim to grab your attention, reel you in, and rack up those lovely views.
The views represent the overall number of individuals who have watched your video. It’s worth noting that the measurement methods for view count can vary across different platforms.
Here’s how the view count is determined on the most popular platforms:
- Facebook – A view is counted when someone watches the first three seconds of any video length;
- Instagram – Views are counted after three seconds of viewing;
- YouTube – A view is registered when someone intentionally watches your video for at least 30 seconds;
- TikTok – The view count starts when your video begins playing in the feed;
- Twitter – A view is recorded when someone watches your video for at least 2 seconds with at least 50% of the video player visible on their screen;
- LinkedIn – Similar to Twitter, a view is counted when someone watches your video for at least 2 seconds with at least half of the video in view.
Going back to the above, views are important because they give you a broader idea of a creator’s reach and exposure, popularity and virality, audience interest, social proof, performance benchmarking, and more.
Of course, content is extremely important, and how those views are made matters, so make sure that your strategy includes content that is as enjoyable as possible, doesn’t offend, but attracts an audience simultaneously, like a puppy video.
Watch time is the amount of minutes or seconds people have spent watching the video.
Now, here’s why watch time is a crucial content marketing metric for you. A longer watch time indicates that viewers genuinely enjoy the video, whereas a shorter one suggests that you may have missed the mark in capturing their interest. By analyzing watch time, you can gauge the level of engagement and satisfaction among the viewers.
To calculate the average watch time, divide the total watch time of your video, including replays, by the total number of video plays.
Clicks and Click Through Rates (CTR)
This content marketing metric is a gold mine when running a video ad campaign with a call-to-action button. In that case, tracking the number of clicks and calculating the click-through rate (CTR) becomes crucial.
The primary objective of such campaigns is to encourage as many viewers as possible to click on the call-to-action button and visit your landing page for further information about your business, product, or service.
To optimize your campaign, it’s crucial to test various call-to-action options (eventually through A/B Testing) and determine which yields the best results.
Also, ensure the video content is captivating enough to attract viewers to click on the call-to-action.
To measure the click-through rate, divide the number of clicks your ad receives by the total number of times your ad is displayed. This metric provides valuable insights into the engagement and effectiveness of your video ad campaign, helping you make data-driven decisions to improve its performance.
Engagement (Likes, Comments, Shares).
When it comes to measuring your video success, engagement is the name of the game, just like on any other platform. And guess what? It’s not just about counting likes and comments but also diving deep into the details.
Tracking the number of people who take action on your video, like leaving comments, sharing, and “hitting that like button,” is a smart move. It gives you a glimpse into how your audience is interacting with the content.
However, don’t just stop just at the numbers. Take a closer look at the types of comments you’re getting. The feedback is pure gold. It holds the key to improving the next campaign or even giving you a sneak peek into what your audience craves from you.
Use it to fine-tune your strategies, spark new ideas, and deliver content that truly resonates.
Remember, it’s not just about the likes and comments; it’s about building meaningful connections and giving your audience what they crave.
Impressions represent the total instances your content is displayed to users.
What you need to remember about impressions is that one user can be counted for multiple impressions.
For instance, if your company has 5,000 followers on.. let’s say, Facebook, and each of them sees your content twice, you would accumulate 10,000 impressions.
Impressions are crucial as they gauge your capability to reach and expose your content to your target audience. Building brand awareness often requires repeated exposure, so it takes a bit of exposure dance for your brand to become a familiar face online.
By tracking impressions, you can assess the effectiveness of your content distribution and measure the extent to which you are reaching your intended audience.
Reach represents the total count of unique users who have encountered your content, regardless of how many times they may have seen it.
We’ll use the same example on the Facebook platform to make it easier for you to understand. So, if you have 5,000 followers and each views your content twice, your reach remains at 5,000 since it focuses on the number of distinct individuals reached.
Measuring reach is vital because it signifies the extent of new user exposure to your brand. Each time you reach a new user, it represents their initial interaction with your brand, potentially creating brand awareness and engagement opportunities.
If you observe a low reach in your content marketing metrics, it may be beneficial to strategize methods for expanding your content’s visibility to new users. By targeting efforts towards reaching a wider audience, you can enhance brand recognition and attract new interest in your offerings.
Engagement (Likes, Comments, Shares)
The engagement thing from video content is a similar metric in social media, except it comes with a few little extras, like text and graphic content, in addition to video.
So, like video content, tracking and analyzing engagement goes beyond simply tallying likes and comments—it requires delving deeper into the nuances.
All of those aspects of video content must also have a place here, but they exist in a more diverse and (usually) broader content niche.
The level of engagement directly reflects the active involvement of your audience. When your audience is actively engaged, it becomes easier to convert them into customers.
Audience Growth Rate
The audience growth rate represents the pace at which your follower count is increasing. Unlike a static follower count, this metric offers more value as it enables you to establish specific objectives.
But here’s the kicker: this metric is more than just a plain old follower count. It’s your compass, helping you navigate towards clear goals and targets.
For instance, setting a goal to increase your follower count by a smashing 25% over the next three months is way cooler than simply aiming for an indefinite increase. Clear, specific, and motivating.
Tracking this metric is crucial because it provides insights into the effectiveness of your content in attracting and engaging potential followers. If you’re generating a substantial number of impressions and reaching a wide audience, but your follower counts remain stagnant, it may be necessary to reevaluate the content you’re using to introduce them to your brand.
Just like we spill the beans in our article about the crème de la crème of best KPIs for Email Marketing, open rate is the gatekeeper of your email marketing success.
The open rate is a metric that refers to the percentage of recipients who open a specific email among the total number of email receivers.
For instance, if you have a list of 500,000 email addresses and 125,000 recipients open the email, your open rate would be 25%. Mailchimp states that the average open rate across industries is 21.33%.
It’s important to note that the open rate can be deceptive. Different platforms have varying criteria for counting an email as opened. While some platforms consider an email opened when it is viewed, others require the recipient to enable image display or click on a link within the email.
Moreover, to enhance your open rate, factors such as the sender’s name, subject line, offer, or the initial paragraph of the email play a crucial role, as recipients tend to open emails that pique their curiosity or interest.
Click Through Rates (CTR)
Consequently, even in the case of open rate, marketers should consider the click-through rate (CTR) when assessing that email marketing metric.
In email marketing, click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of email subscribers who click on a link within a specific email.
When aiming to improve the email CTR, businesses must prioritize the content within the email. The email click-through rate can be increased by ensuring relevance and offering valuable information or incentives. Additionally, marketers can enhance CTR by personalizing the emails they send. A report by Bluecore highlight that personalization can potentially boost CTR by an impressive 139%.
Once the email recipient takes that enticing click-through action, the next big win is to lead them toward conversion. Simply put, it’s all about getting them to do exactly what your email asked them to do.
The definition of conversion is tied directly to the call-to-action in the email. And that call-to-action should align perfectly with the ultimate goal of your email marketing efforts. So, when gauging your success, the conversion rate takes center stage because it tells you how well you’re hitting those conversion milestones and reaching your goals.
To measure conversion rate effectively, you must weave together your email platform and web analytics like two peas in a pod by crafting unique tracking URLs for your email links that cleverly identify the source of the click as a specific email campaign.
The bounce rate represents the percentage of total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. This should not be confused with delivery rate, which is the number of emails that are accepted by the receiving server.
To calculate the bounce rate, divide the total number of bounced emails by the number of emails sent and then multiply by 100.
There are two types of bounces to consider: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.
- Soft bounces occur when there is a temporary issue with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or problems with the recipient’s server. These emails may be held for delivery once the issue is resolved, or you can attempt to resend them.
- Hard bounces happen when the email address is invalid, closed, or non-existent. These emails will never reach their intended recipients. It is crucial to promptly remove hard bounce addresses from your email list, as Internet Server Providers (ISPs) use bounce rates to evaluate an email sender’s reputation.
While bounce rate may not directly impact your goals, it is still essential to monitor it to ensure the health of your email campaigns. Many hard bounces can raise concerns and potentially label your company as a spammer in the eyes of ISPs.
One effective solution to address this problem is to implement a verification email system immediately after a user subscribes to the newsletter. Users are prompted to confirm their email address before being added to the email marketing list by sending a verification email. This ensures that only valid and verified email addresses are included in the list, reducing the chances of bounced or undeliverable emails.
By effectively managing bounce rates, you can maintain a positive sender reputation and enhance the deliverability of your emails.
Unsubscribe Rate and List Growth Rate
Unsubscribe rate and list growth rate are two crucial email marketing metrics that provide valuable insights into the success of your campaigns.
The unsubscribe rate, which indicates the percentage of email addresses that opt-out after opening a specific email, is a significant metric. Even if some users don’t unsubscribe when they lose interest in your brand, tracking this metric, CTR, and conversion rate provides a more comprehensive understanding of campaign performance.
To maintain a lower unsubscribe rate, marketers can take specific actions like:
- Request feedback from unsubscribers to identify areas for improvement;
- Send follow-up emails to recently unsubscribed users, as they may not be lost forever;
- Segment the email list based on user interests for targeted messaging;
- Review and enhance email copy to ensure its effectiveness.
Another essential metric (closely related to the unsubscribe rate) is the list growth rate, which measures how rapidly your email list expands, accounting for new subscribers and unsubscribers.
To boost the list growth rate, consider offering incentives, such as a discount for subscribing to the newsletter. Additionally, streamline the sign-up process and tailor the copy to resonate with the receiving user based on gender, age, and interests.
While a healthy list growth rate is crucial, keeping subscribers engaged is equally essential. By nurturing active engagement, you not only encourage list growth but also reduce the number of unsubscribers, ultimately contributing to the success of your email marketing campaign.
Subscriptions are the number of listeners who subscribe to a specific podcast or receive notifications when new podcast episodes are released.
While tracking the exact number of subscribers can be challenging due to varying counting methods across different apps, their significance to a podcast’s growth must be considered.
For advertisers, this metric indicates that more people are highly likely to engage with the ads they hear during the podcast. As a result, this metric not only serves as a measure of success but also enables you to secure lucrative advertising deals.
Listener per Episode
Listeners per episode is a metric that measures the average number of individuals who listen to each podcast episode. The listener per episode metric is essential for advertisers evaluating the potential of advertising on a specific podcast.
Also, you can consider this metric as your podcast’s insider lowdown. It reveals valuable insights about content performance, audience engagement, and the popularity of each episode. It’s like a mini compass that helps you navigate the podcasting terrain, comparing episodes and understanding what resonates with your listeners.
You don’t find that relevant? Well, picture this: every time an episode is downloaded to a mobile device or another device, it’s like a virtual high-five from your avid listeners. The number of downloads is critical to measuring growth and popularity in the podcasting realm.
But it’s not just a vanity metric. This performance indicator is a treasure trove of insights. It reveals if your content, titles, and format have that irresistible allure that keeps your audience returning for more.
And here’s the best part: podcast analytics platforms have your back. They serve up a buffet of information on download numbers, audience demographics, listener locations, preferred devices, and other nifty details. With this knowledge, you can attract more listeners and catch the attention of relevant sponsors dying to be part of the podcast.
In terms of download success, Podcast.co provides some context:
- If your episodes receive over 124 downloads in 30 days, you fall within the top 50% of podcasts.
- If your episodes receive over 1,000 downloads, you rank in the top 20%.
- If your episodes receive over 2,900 downloads, you place in the top 10%.
- If your episodes receive over 6,700 downloads, you reside in the top 3%.
However, it can be challenging to achieve these numbers within a month. Don’t be disheartened if building momentum for the show takes time.
Downloads are not just digits but a gateway to growth, popularity, and potential sponsorships.
And again, engagement. Just as it is essential in social media, video, and beyond, so it is essential in podcasts. So, the number of likes, comments, and shares is a metric that says a lot about the success or failure of a podcast.
Knowing these metrics will give you the power to see if your marketing strategy is crushing it or if it’s a total dud. You can quickly figure out if your approach is getting results and make changes if needed.
These metrics are top-notch in content marketing, and even if you’re not fully on board (or do not consider those are the best approaches for you), at least knowing what they are can be a game-changer.
However, if used, we’re stoked and sure that the metrics discussed in this article will help you level up your campaign and boost your ROI. And that being said, get ready to dominate!