How to Choose the Right KPIs to Design an Effective Content Marketing Strategy?

Updated on :June 18, 2024
By :Elena Walters

From social media to search engines, the content you create is the most important part of your digital marketing efforts. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.

However, creating, publishing, and sharing content isn’t the end - you need to take the time to develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy to ensure your content works for you and your customers. Most businesses use content management software to follow a systematic approach to managing and structuring the content on their website, but content marketing is also significant as it helps in measuring the performance of that content.

Quantifying your content performance through relevant metrics will give you a framework to assess your progress. But how do you select the right KPIs to design an effective content marketing strategy? While there is no hard-and-fast rule for deciding content KPIs, there are certain things you need to take into account.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through some of the factors that affect which metrics you should choose and help you hone in on the KPIs that matter the most for your content marketing strategies. Let’s get started by having a brief overview of why it is the right time to invest in content marketing and its significance for businesses.

Why Is This The Right Time To Amplify Your Content Marketing Strategy?

In today’s online marketplace, standing out from the crowd is more difficult than ever. And this is exactly where content marketing can help: by getting your business seen and guiding your audience through the sales funnel. The fact that 82% of marketers are investing actively in content curation and content management software speaks volumes about its potency.

The rise of content marketing is a result of changes in the way consumers interact with brands online, as well as rising expectations for digital experiences. You might already have an online presence, but it is no longer sufficient. The competition is fierce and engaging your target audience with consistent social media updates, blog posts, and websites is highly significant to win the race these days. 

You might perceive implementing a robust content marketing strategy to be highly expensive and time consuming. On the contrary if you use the right technology and tactics content marketing strategy can prove to be yielding more returns on investment in less time.

In brief, it is the right time to invest in content marketing as it-

  • Is an opportunity to reach the target audience and convert them into customers.
  • Drives more results and ROI as compared to traditional marketing tactics.
  • Is a method that allows you to build relationships that enhance brand trust.
  • Focuses on increasing brand awareness.
  • Bridges the gap between the organizations and their relevant audience.
  • Enhances the quality of leads generated.
  • Delivers results over a long period of time.

Why is Content Marketing Significant for a Business?

Benefits of Content Marketing

What distinguishes content marketing from traditional promotional content is that it allows businesses to showcase their expertise, as well as their products, without appearing overly promotional. Below are some reasons why content marketing is significant for a business:

  • Helps attract new customers: When written well, your content will work as a giant magnet and begin attracting potential customers. However, the content should be relevant to your audience in order to make them interested in your business.
  • Increases followers on social media: Social media sites and content marketing are a match made in heaven. Using social media to distribute your content will help attract new people to your profiles and make them engage with your content.
  • Optimized Content Can Improve Search Engine Rankings: Search engine optimization relies heavily on content marketing. By creating content relevant to your industry, you increase the likelihood of a search engine showing your content to searchers.
  • Enhances Visibility: Using content marketing, businesses can drive more people to their website and product pages. Relevant and high-quality content develops domain authority on the keywords your organization wants to rank for in search engines, which in turn builds brand awareness.
  • Boosts sales: Your content helps your audience to connect with you and provides them with the information needed to make educated purchases. A well-executed content marketing strategy can increase a business’ sales along with building long-term and healthy relationships with customers.
  • More efficacious than traditional marketing: Content marketing is more detailed, targeted, and can be used to present your brand's message in front of your customers in a way that helps them. As compared to traditional forms of marketing, content marketing helps build customer relationships and generates significantly more leads.

According to a content marketing survey conducted by Goodfirms -

GoodFirms Research

Now that you understand the importance of content marketing let’s have a look at the elements that will help you craft a successful content marketing strategy for your business. 

Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy is essentially your “why, who, and how.” It's about why you are creating content, who will benefit from it, and how it will help readers in a way no one else can. Thus, while creating a content marketing plan, the following elements should be kept in mind: 

  1. Brand identity guidelines: Creating and using a unique brand book will help build a consistent voice and tone across multiple channels and assets that your business uses.
  2. Marketing objectives: in order to reach your marketing goals, you need to define objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  3. Target audience profiles and journey: Understand your audience and develop customer personas to align your content strategy to the addressable needs of your target market.
  4. Content curation process: An optimized content production process produces more content effectively and efficiently from less input. Define team responsibilities and resource allocation, organize content assets in a library, and creatively repurpose content to make the most out of your content marketing efforts.
  5. Content calendar: A content calendar will help you plan and stick to a consistent content publishing schedule. It can include data information about the content format, time of posting, channels, etc.
  6. Different types of content: Decide upon the types of content that you’ll be creating for your marketing strategy. These can include blogs, videos, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, newsletters, and many more.
  7. Data collection and analysis: The content that you publish across multiple platforms collects data and information that can prove useful for analyzing performance in the process of developing an effective content marketing strategy. There are many analytical tools available that help in measuring the performance and success of the content published online enabling you to improve your content marketing efforts.

What are the Popular Types of Content Used to Promote a Business?

Content Types

Now let’s suppose that you’ve created an outstanding content marketing strategy and have decided upon the best forms of content to create for your business. But what’s next? How are you going to measure the success of your content marketing efforts? Through Content Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Let’s dive deeper into what content marketing KPIs are and why it is important to choose the right content KPIs for your business.

What Are Content Marketing KPIs And Why Do They Matter?

What is a KPI?

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that is used to measure and track your progress toward meeting a specific business goal. It is a way of measuring the effectiveness of an organization and represents a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge a company's overall long-term performance.

Content KPIs can make or break your content marketing efforts. It’s crucial to determine your content marketing KPIs early on, as well as how you’ll measure and report on them. Choosing and tracking content marketing KPIs will help content marketers produce reports that show numbers. 

Sure, you can stick to the basics and use Google Analytics to see how many people visit your website and which countries they’re from. However, what you really need are more detailed methods of measuring the performance of your content. There are numerous content marketing KPIs that are simple to track. 

With the knowledge that you get from these KPIs, you can modify your strategy to meet the expectations of your customers and create content that they will consume just the way you want them to. What’s more, by measuring the right KPIs, you’ll be able to identify the points that will set your content apart from competitors.

Before you select your content marketing KPIs and start tracking them, you need to keep the below factors in mind.

Things to Consider Before Selecting Content Marketing KPIs

Let's understand the above factors in detail.

  1. Map specific business goals to content KPIs and metrics. Determine how a particular metric or content KPI ties into a direct business goal and vice versa. 
  1. Be fluid in establishing content KPIs. To match business goals, assess data, seek and find insights, explore new parts of an ongoing project, and uncover new stories within your data.
  1. Connect your on-site metrics (website or blog) and off-site metrics (areas where you interact but don’t control at the domain level, such as social media platforms).
  1. Be creative in converting your data into actionable business insights. Encourage yourself to think differently about your data and how you can make use of data insights in new ways.
  1. Data, KPIs, and metrics are useful only when you take action on them. Your insights will show you where a problem or opportunity might exist, and you can achieve your goals only when you take action accordingly.
  1. Don’t forget to examine macro trends and small data. Evaluating your data down to the URL level can reveal how well your content efforts are performing, particularly when those page-level metrics are extrapolated to larger sections and themes of your digital assets.
  1. Don’t chase the wrong KPIs and metrics. As you prioritize your metrics, keep a realistic balance in mind between the outcomes you are likely to achieve and the efforts you need to put in for that purpose.
  2. Work smart - Using the best analytical software would be the smart step toward achieving business goals, execution, and data and can be the key link in interpreting data into actionable insights.

Now that you’ve prepared yourself for selecting the best KPIs for your content marketing efforts, let’s jump right into the list of the most important KPIs that you can track.

The Most Important KPIs to Track by Content Types 

There are a plethora of different metrics that digital marketing managers can track. To make it easier to sort through, the list has been broken down into categories below:

Website/Blog KPIs

Website/Blog KPIs

  • Referral Traffic: Referred traffic to your website through other sources like search engines, email, social media, etc.
  • Organic Traffic: Unpaid traffic generated by search engines.
  • Total Visits: The total number of visits over a given time period.
  • New and Returning Visits: The first time when a new potential customer lands on your website and all visits from people who visited your site before.
  • Traffic Sources: Sources that divert traffic to your website or blog.
  • Click-Through Rate: The rate of search engine queries that result in a click to your website.
  • Time on Page: The time people spend on a webpage before moving to another page.
  • Bounce Rate: Rate of visitors who only view one page on your site before leaving.
  • Downloads: The number of times downloadable elements and freebies, like ebooks, templates, and other gated content, are downloaded.
  • Page Views Per Session: The number of pages viewed by a visitor before leaving your site.
  • Unique Visitors: The number of unique users that visit your website.
  • Sessions By Device Type: The number of visits your website receives, broken down by the type of device used to access it, for example, Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, Android, etc.
  • Top Pages: The pages that are delivering the best performance, either by traffic or conversion rate.
  • Pageviews: The aggregate number of pages that have been viewed on your site.

SEO KPIs

SEO KPIs

  • Keyword Rankings: The position of a page in search engines for a given keyword.
  • Search Traffic: The amount of referral traffic directed to your website by a search engine.
  • Total Backlinks: The number of links from other websites pointing to a web page.
  • Domain Authority: It is the measure of how authoritative search engines perceive an entire website.
  • Page Authority: This metric measures how authoritative search engines perceive a single webpage.
  • Organic Click Through Rate: How often visitors click a given page when it appears in search engine results. 
  • Page Load Speed: Measure of how quickly a website loads.

Social Media Marketing KPIs

Social Media Marketing KPIs

  • Likes: The number of likes that a post receives. 
  • Comments: The number of comments made by users on your posts.
  • Shares: The total number of times a post has been shared by users. Also known as retweets on Twitter and Repins on Pinterest.
  • Engagement Rate: The amount of interaction that occurs between a social media profile and its audience.
  • New Followers: The total number of new fans or followers gained over a specific time period.
  • Follower Growth Rate: The rate at which a profile is obtaining new followers.
  • Sentiment: Assessment of how social media users feel about your brand.
  • Social Media Traffic: Website or blog traffic generated by social media sites.
  • Social Media Conversions: Website or blog conversions received through social media referral traffic.
  • Page Demographics: Demographic data based on a profile’s followers, broken down by age, gender, location, occupation, etc.

Email Marketing KPIs

Email Marketing KPIs

  • Newsletter Signups: The total number of people who have subscribed to your newsletter. 
  • Traffic: Website or blog traffic gained through email marketing.
  • Subscribers: Total number of people who have signed up for your mailing list.
  • Opens: The percentage of people who opened your email when it arrived in their inbox.
  • Clicks: The number of times a link or CTA button in your email was clicked.
  • Forwards: The number of times an email was forwarded to another user.
  • Bounce Rate: The ratio of emails that were unable to be delivered.

PPC KPIs

PPC KPIs

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The cost of receiving one click on an advertisement.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The total number of people who clicked an ad, based on how many times it appeared in the search results.
  • Quality Score: Used to assess the relevance of an ad based on keywords, search intent, and the quality of the landing page.
  • Impression Share: The total number of impressions ads receive in comparison to the total number of impressions they were eligible for.
  • Total Conversion Value: The aggregate monetary value of all conversions over a specific time period.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The amount of revenue received as compared to the amount spent on campaigns.
  • Call Tracking: The number of calls made by users after clicking an ad.

Video KPIs

Video KPIs

  • Number of Clicks: The measure of number of clicks received on a video. The higher the number, the wider the reach.
  • Video Engagement and Bounce Rates: It’s the measure of how long the viewers watch your videos.
  • View-Through Rates: It is the number of completed views of a skippable ad over the number of initial impressions.
  • Social Media Shares: The number of times people share your videos through social media.
  • Video Conversion Rates: It is the measure of how often your video views lead to conversion in the form of clicks on an element inside the video.
  • Impressions: The total number of times a user comes across your video through search results or recommendations.
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): CPL measures how much it costs to procure a lead through video marketing.

Podcast KPIs

Podcast KPIs

  • Number of Unique Downloads: The total number of downloads made by unique users.
  • Downloads Per Episode: It measures the number of times each episode in a podcast is downloaded.
  • Number of Downloads Month Over Month: Measures the change in the number of listeners month-by-month.
  • Change in Subscribers: The total number of subscribers gained or lost in a particular period of time.
  • Number of Subscribers Month Over Month: Measures the change in the number of subscribers month-by-month.
  • Social Shares: The number of times your podcast gets shared through social media platforms.

Now, let's have a look at all the KPIs based on the content types at a glance:

KPIs by Content Types

So, these were the different KPIs based on the content types you must be using in your content marketing strategy. But, which KPIs should be focused on for the best results? Let's have a look at some tips for choosing the right key performance indicators as given below -

Tips for Selecting Appropriate KPIs

#1 Consider the User, Business, and Product Goals

To choose the best key performance indicators, you must first understand the user and business goals that your product serves. The product goals are measurable benefits or outcomes that your product should achieve. For instance, if your product directly generates revenue, then revenue/net profit is a key indicator. 

#2 Use Ratios and Ranges

Use ratios and ranges instead of numbers to specify your goals. For instance, rather than saying that a product should create revenue of X amount in a year, say that the product should increase the company’s revenue by 10-15%. 

#3 Utilize Qualitative and Quantitative KPIs

Quantitative KPIs, such as the revenue generated, number of users in a month, or number of newsletter signups received in a quarter are meant to measure the quantity of something rather than the quality. Whereas, qualitative KPIs help you understand why something has happened, for example, user feedback received for a particular product. 

#4 Leverage Trends

Compare the information you provide to other time periods, user groups, or competitors, for example, profit increase in the last 6 months or cancellation rates from quarter to quarter. This enables you to identify trends. For instance it helps you in determining whether the revenue is increasing, stagnant, or declining. 

What to Avoid When Working With Content KPIs?

#1 Not Linking KPIs To Your Strategy

KPIs are only useful when they are aligned with your strategy and help you make key business decisions. Anything else is merely window dressing. If your KPIs are not linked to your strategy, you’ll simply be wasting your time and money collecting data that will not help the business.

#2 Focusing On Vanity Metrics

Metrics like the number of posts or likes received on a post, page views, etc are just numbers. Higher numbers in the form of likes, comments, or retweets might seem lucrative, but they don’t make any sense in the long run. They’ll just take your focus away from the important metrics that are necessary to make informed product decisions.

#3 Failing To Act On KPI Results

KPIs can shape strategy and provide fact-based decision-making within organizations - but only if businesses act on them. In the end, it doesn’t matter how well you’ve aligned your KPIs with your strategy or how well you present the relevant KPIs if they aren’t used as intended.

#4 Be Realistic in Setting the Targets

A lot of industry-specific metrics and target benchmarks are available on the internet. Use these benchmarks to orientate yourself, but then set the targets that are realistic and achievable for your team, especially when it comes to setting goals for content marketing for small businesses.

Conclusion

For every business, growth is the ultimate goal. Content KPIs help you measure and track your progress and scale progressively to grow in a way that matters to your company. Selecting KPIs for your content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be intimidating or ambiguous. Make well-thought-out decisions using the data at your disposal, and always use a strategy. Match your KPIs to your activity and consider what you can truly accomplish!

Having the right stack of tech tools and software will allow you to better manage and track your KPIs. From content ideation to production to promotion on social media channels - there are hundreds of CMS software available to get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently. Check out these lists of software curated by experts at GoodFirms for  Social media management software, web analytical software, SEO Software, and email marketing software, which will help you scan through an abundance of tools and find out the ones that are best for your business. 

Elena Walters
Elena Walters

Elena Walters, a writer at Goodfirms, is a professional content writer holding more than 4 years of experience in curating varied content pieces for multiple niches. Whether it is web copy, social media posts, or blogs, she has worked on all aspects of writing. You can get in touch with her on [email protected].

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