How to Track Content Marketing Goals and KPIs - VQ Success

How to Track Content Marketing Goals and KPIs

How to Track and Improve Your Content Marketing KPIs

Content Marketing KPI (Key Performance Indicator): a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving a key content marketing goal or how well a piece of content is performing. Companies use content marketing KPIs to make small-scale and large-scale evaluations of content engagement and ROI.

I have a simple saying that applies to content marketing as much as it does to business and to human performance…

“What gets measured, gets better.”

If you want to know whether your content marketing strategy is working, you need to measure the performance of EVERY piece of content you publish. By tracking your content marketing KPIs, you’ll quickly discover what’s working, and what isn’t. You’ll have the data to do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not. You’ll have the clarity to strengthen your weak points and become faster and more efficient at hitting your content marketing goals. This is how you maximize every marketing dollar by increasing your profits and decreasing your cost per customer acquisition.

Since this takes considerable diligence, let me show you why this is essential. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the measurement of key content marketing KPIs is the single most crucial factor to the success of your content marketing strategy…

Top 3 Success Factors in B2B Content Marketing

  • Uses metrics to measure content performance: 95%.
  • Rates their ability to demonstrate ROI as excellent/very good: 84%.
  • Has KPIs to measure content initiatives: 83%.

Top 3 Success Factors in B2C Content Marketing

  • Uses metrics to measure content performance: 93%.
  • Prioritizes delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it: 84%.
  • Prioritizes their audience’s informational needs over the organization’s sales/promotional message: 73%.
Content Marketing Strategy KPIs

The Six Content Marketing KPI Groups

We’ll now look at the most important content marketing KPIs you should be tracking. I’ll define each one and explain how to track them and why they’re important for optimizing your content marketing strategy. I arrange content marketing KPIs into six groups, each group containing their own set of specific KPIs.

  • Visibility KPIs.
  • Engagement KPIs.
  • Lead Capture KPIs.
  • Conversion KPIs.
  • Promotional KPIs.
  • Production Cost KPIs.

Your Content Marketing KPI Review Schedule

The best way to track and improve your content marketing KPIs is to make them a part of your documented content marketing strategy. Here’s an example of what your KPI Review Schedule might look like…

  • MONTHLY: Review KPIs for all content and compare them to the previous month AND the same month in the previous year. Use analysis to plan what content to update or replace.
  • WEEKLY: Review KPIs for content published this month. Use analysis to make tweaks where needed and to plan next month’s content.
  • DAILY: Review KPIs for content features being split tested. Use analysis to direct split testing efforts (see explanation below).
Content Marketing KPI Schedule

How to Supercharge Your Content Marketing KPIs

The most powerful way to use content marketing KPIs is to inform your split testing experiments. Since this is a complex topic and beyond the scope of this article, we’ll cover the basics and leave the details for another article. Split testing is when you take one key feature (your headline, call to action button, etc.) of your content, create two versions of it, and track the KPIs to see which version is more effective. For example, let’s assume you’re split-testing these two headlines for one of your SEO articles…

  • Headline Version A: Content Marketing Strategy – All You Need to Know.
  • Headline Version B: Content Marketing Strategy – Your Start to Finish Guide.

There are multiple ways you can test these two headlines. Some advertising platforms allow you to set up split tests that rotate headlines and other ad features out and show you which version has the higher click rate. You can also have your webmaster create a code that rotates the two headline versions. This way, 50% of your visitors will see one headline, and the other 50% will see the other. We’ll leave it to you to work out the technical details.

Getting back to our example, let’s assume that while reviewing your Visibility and Engagement KPIs, you realize that Version A is getting more clicks and that people who see that headline are scrolling farther down into the article OR spending more time on the page. After running this test with a sufficient number of visitors, you’ve determined that version A is your most effective headline. This is a simple example of using split testing to improve your content marketing KPIs.

You can also use split testing to learn more about your buyer’s persona AND which of the five content marketing stages your visitors are likely to be in. For example, let’s assume that you create an ad with two headlines—one headline targeting Stage #2 Prospects and another targeting Stage #3 Prospects. After split testing these headlines, you learn that the Stage #2 headline is getting better engagement. This tells you that the people seeing that ad are more likely to be in Stage #2. This gives you the insight to tweak your landing page, lead capture offers, your message, and other features of your content to target Stage #2 Prospects.

This is when split testing becomes a powerful tool for directing your content marketing efforts and accelerating your results. By combining content marketing KPIs and split testing with the other insights we’ve covered in this article, you can create a content marketing strategy that rewards you with a steady flow of inbound leads. More importantly, it arms you with invaluable data for executing the final piece in your content marketing strategy puzzle…

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