Developing KPIs for Your Content Marketing Plan

At this point we’ve been discussing content marketing for a while now and I hope you’ve gotten some good insight into how to develop a content marketing team and build and execute on your strategy. The last post in this series on content marketing will focus on your KPIs. Last week, we discussed the importance of tracking your content marketing efforts as more of a general topic so this week we’re going to get a bit more specific and dive a bit deeper into the list of key performance indicators that will help you determine if your content marketing plan is actually helping you grow your footprint or if you’re simply spinning your wheels.

So which KPIs are worth monitoring? Facebook alone provides more data than I care to read and I’m a bit of an analytics junkie – I love this stuff and it’s still overwhelming. So here are the big ones that I monitor for my clients and for our internal marketing efforts.

New Website or Landing Page Visitors

I’m a firm believer that the ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy should be to drive people back to your website or landing page because, let’s face it, the percentage of truly valuable conversions that come off of Facebook or LinkedIn is so small in comparison that it’s almost not worth talking about. That said, the number of new people your content marketing efforts drive to your website or landing page should definitely be on an upward trend month over month, year over year, or it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Average Page Views per Visit

This is a big one that I’ve been working on lately since I’ve been working on an online magazine called Love the Backcountry. Since advertisers probably aren’t going to pay for ad space on a site that has people only looking at one page per visit, increasing page depth per visit is incredibly important because it’ll allow us to show potential advertisers that when people come to the site, they explore it a bit, which will ultimately lead to multiple ad impressions per visit. Similarly, page depth is important in other business and consumer websites for the simple reason that the more time they spend on your site, the more likely they are to contact you and the deeper into your site they explore, the more qualified they’ll be before the do.

Call to Action Conversion

This is obviously a big one because it’s where the “lead generation” aspect of content marketing comes into play. If you’re driving 5000 new visitors to your site or landing page each month but only 5 people are responding to your call to action then you really need to work on your landing page. An average conversion rate is somewhere between 2% and 5% so that’s the number that you should look for as a minimum. Once you’re there, you can start A/B testing to drive that conversion rate up but work with someone who’s versed in conversion rate optimization to at least get your conversion rates up to the low side of average. If no one’s converting from your call to action you’re just wasting your money.

Traffic Sources

Any analytics platform worth its salt should tell you where your traffic is coming from and knowing which traffic source is your strongest will help you focus your attention and resources on the platforms that matter. If LinkedIn is dominating Facebook and Paid Search is flailing against the strength of your Organic Search placements, where do you think you should be spending your money?

Social Media Interactions

I’m not talking about likes and favorites – those are vanity metrics that don’t actually mean much of anything. There’s a slight chance that they may lead to a small increase in brand awareness but don’t count on it – they really don’t matter. What you want to focus on are post clicks, shares and comments. This is real interaction and, while I have a difficult time seeing it as any serious engagement, it’s a good indicator that your content is working and being responded to.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Build yourself a spreadsheet and monitor these metrics once per month to make sure that you’re seeing an upward trend over time. Don’t panic if you see your metrics drop one month and them pop up again the next, there are seasonal considerations to take into account. Ultimately, you want two years of data so that you can measure your KPIs month over month and year over year – that’ll give you a much better look into how your content marketing campaign is performing.

I hope you’ve found this series helpful. If there’s anything else you’d like to see on our blog or have any questions about how we can help you with your content marketing, fill out our form here.

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