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Content marketing isn’t just about creating content and publishing it on different social media platforms, but the most crucial part begins just after that - measuring and analyzing its success.

Although it is important to evaluate your content marketing activity, only 8% of marketers consider themselves ‘good enough’ at finding the right way to analyze and measure their content marketing success. If you’ve been finding it hard to track results, you desperately need to find a way to measure the impact of your efforts. Before we delve straight into it, let’s get our basics straight.

What is content marketing?

content marketing metrics

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

If you read the definition again, you would realize that the main purpose of content marketing is to get more conversions. Having a specific process does help you to achieve that.

Here are some basic content marketing metrics that will give you a starting point and an overview to form and analyze your strategy in the right way:

1. Unique visits (website traffic)

unique visitors

One of the easiest and most basic way to analyze your content is to track the number of visitors that viewed the content on your website within a specific time frame. The major part of measurement should revolve around website analytics because your content is web-based.

Having an analytics solution like Statly is a great way to keep track of website traffic, understand the game of keywords, crawl rate, bounce rate, and more. Collecting this information could be game-changing for you and ultimately, improve conversions in a big way.

However, if you're using Google Analytics, here's what you need to know:

To measure unique visitors in Google Analytics, click on Audience in the top left and then click on Overview. You will get a graph indicating the number of times a unique visitor has visited a site over the last 30 days.

Analyzing this information could be game-changing for you and it could, ultimately, improve conversions massively.

2. Social media metrics

Social Media Marketing

The content you share on various social media handles could often reveal your true standing in the market in the form of likes, comments, shares and an increase in followers.

Likes and comments: The number of likes and comments directly reflect if the content resonates and is able to evoke a reaction or not.

Shares: The high number of shares means the audience finds the content relatable and valuable.

Follower growth: The rise in the number of followers over a specific period of time is indicative whether your brand is headed in the right direction or not. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram following are some great platforms to check the total rise in your followers.

You don’t have to take the pain to find the analytics as there are a plenty of tools like HootSuite that are helpful in tracking shares and scheduling posts.

For instance, in HootSuite you get to see real-time results, insights into trends that can help you measure impact of your content across various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Apart from HootSuite, some other popular tools which you can use are Klout, Quintly, and SproutSocial to name the major ones.

3. Email and newsletter metrics

cold emailing

Email is used worldwide and according to Radicati’s Email statistics reports, emails will be used by more than 3 billion people by 2020. While there are many benefits of using email marketing, the one that is surely going to keep you in the business is the fact that email’s return on investment is massive.

With email metrics such as:

  • the number of opened emails
  • email click-throughs
  • conversions 
  • bounce rate
  • overall ROI,

you can easily gauge if your product is able to strike a chord with prospects or not.

Here is a look at how to calculate each of them.

To calculate the click-through rate:

(Total clicks / Number of delivered emails) * 100

To calculate the conversion rate:

(Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

To calculate bounce rate:

(Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) * 100

To calculate the overall ROI:

[($ in additional sales made minus $ invested in the campaign) ÷ $ invested in the campaign] * 100

It is worth mentioning here that the statistics you need to track in order to measure your email marketing success may vary based on what you are trying to achieve with your content. Therefore the list mentioned here is not strictly exclusive of these metrics.

These metrics give you an overall idea whether the efforts you are putting are going in the right direction or not? Based on the results you can either plan to change the entire strategy or make amends in the existing one and crack the code of successful content marketing.

4. Lead generation

The ultimate aim and top organizational goals for content marketers are generating leads. Needless to say, one should definitely track these metrics and observe how they can be incorporated into your strategy. Don’t just stick to blogging - explore other avenues, like that of ebooks, which could massively boost your leads. 

Using content for lead generation is one of the oldest and most dependable methods. However, to measure the success of your content marketing lead generation campaign, make yourself well-aware with lead generation metrics such as:

Click-through rate (CTR)

(Total number of clicks / Total number of visitors) X 100

Conversion time

Total time spent by all visitors / total number of leads

ROI

But before you do that you need to be well versed with the basic lead generation funnel. Here’s a pictorial representation that might help you understand it better:

Source: Singlegrain.com

Lead scoring is the best way to identify high quality leads which is a process of ranking and identification of leads in terms of their chances to convert into sales.

Apart from these basic metrics, it is always a smart idea to keep a check on the cost you are spending on the campaigns. Hence you must also track metrics such as Cost-per-click (CPC), Cost per lead, etc.

The most important reason behind keeping track on the metrics is well explained in these words by Peter Drucker, “If you can track and measure something, you can also manage and improve it.”

5. SEO metrics

Search Engine Optimization

If you see a considerable rise in page visits, website rankings, and conversions, then SEO had a big role to play. Knowledge of the right keywords and advising writers on how and where to use them in the content and title are some surefire ways to increase traffic and generate increased click-throughs from search results.

Here are the basic elements of successful SEO strategy:

Keywords: To target what people are searching for when discovering their business in a search engine. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool that can help you in this.

Meta tags: To help Google look at your page title as a signal of relevance.

Content: Creating quality content is the best way to create a great user experience and Google agrees to it. when it comes to creating and curating the most impactful content on the web, Curtely is a tool that can be of great help.

Backlinks: If content is the king, backlinks are the queen and quality matters a lot here.

Social media: To send signals of authority to the search engines.

It is essential to leverage the importance of SEO and incorporate the elements mentioned here with content which is crisp, out-of-the-box, engaging, and actionable.

In order to help you perform the analysis of your SEO strategies better, there are tools such as BuzzSumo and SEMRush that are very useful to discover the most shared content and relevant keywords in just few seconds. You can use them to good effect and see how they can be the game changers.

6. Subscribers

Subscribers

Your subscription-list could be a direct indicator of the value and impact you leave on your audience. After all, you haven’t made your business blog only to get a huge list of followers, right?

Having a large and loyal fan-base is an effective way to get more views, reads, and visits on your blog. The larger the list of subscribers, the more chances of getting them converted. If the number of subscribers is nose-diving or becoming stagnant, it could be a hint to produce more engaging content to get more traffic, which would further become your subscribers.

What are the metrics that matter to you the most?

The most successful content marketing strategies are those that smartly tick off most of the above methods to track and analyze results. It is advisable to make use of capable social media tools to gain more insights and get more leads.

What are your key content marketing metrics for measuring content marketing success? Are there any other ways or metrics that you would like included on the list?

Video Transcript:

Hey, what's up, this is Jason Drohn. Welcome to today's presentation. Today we are going to be talking about how to measure content marketing success, as we have been. The topic of today's presentation is going to be, how to measure content marketing success results or measuring performance. This entire week we have been talking about how to create content, how to do keyword research, what kind of content to create, how to split test subject lines for your blog posts, all kinds of different how to measure content marketing success related things. Because at the end of the day, that is really what is going to drive the success of your business, the success of how well that content is going to perform. We've talked about advertorials, we've talked about a lot of different stuff.

Today we're just going to dig into the stats side, the numbers side of content, so that you can start to take a look at how to know if what you're doing is actually working, which is difficult to tell sometimes because you put a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of money into creating content, and we kick this whole thing off with the idea that there's no free traffic. You are either going to pay for traffic in time or in money. And if you want quick traffic, then the quickest way to do it is to pay for traffic in money, is to do Facebook ads or Google ads or any of those other things. But if you are okay investing time and knowing that it's going to take a little bit longer to get results, then you can absolutely write content, have content written for you that then ends up ranking on Google, or ends up bonding with your clients, or you end up being able to use it as advertorial content, that kind of thing.

At the end of the day, it's really just about figuring out what people want to read, what people want to learn about, what people are coming to you for in terms of problems, and then putting content together that is posed as solutions for those things. That's really going to be what ends up moving the needle for your business. Now, we have a blog post that we're going to cover today. So I'm going to grab that here real quick. Let's see. Okay, here it is. And then we're also going to go through some stats and some of the stuff that I look for our content, for our business. So here is the link. Let me just share this inside the comments section here. This is going to be the post, that's every morning post, there we go. That's the post that we're going to start riffing on today. Then let me just share this screen here real quick. You should be able to see that now.

Okay, cool. So, how to measure content marketing success. For those of you who have not subscribed yet, if you mouse over the little DFY logo, the little subscription box is going to pop up, you can go ahead and subscribe to that. That way you know when we're doing these and you can tune in whenever you want. So we've already talked about what content marketing is. Probably the biggest number one driver that your content marketing is working is going to be unique visitors. How many unique visitors is your content serving up for your business? How many people are coming into your, or hitting your website or reading your content on a unique user standpoint? That is one person, one set of eyeballs that come to your website within one month. How many users, how many individual people are you bringing in?

That is metric number one. But oftentimes it doesn't really start there. One of the things that we track a lot is impressions, SEO impressions, organic impressions. And the reason we track that so much really is because before you get a sale, you got to get somebody to opt-in, or you got to get them to raise their hand and say, yes, I have a problem. Content is the same thing. Before you get a unique visitor, you have to get ranked in the search engines. You are not going to write a piece of content and then, well not anymore, and then two days later you're going to get ranked on the first page of Google and get a flock of traffic. It is a gradual process. You are going to write a piece of content and then it's going to rank on the fifth page of Google. Then you need to be aware that it ranks on the fifth page of Google so that you can then optimize the content so that it ranks to the third page and the second page and the first page of Google. That is when you start getting traffic.

But you have to be aware that it's ranking before you can start optimizing for it. Do you know what I mean? It all follows this kind of content optimization process. Now, you might get lucky. You might write a blog post, put a video out, do a podcast, or whatever, and it's just a freaking barn burner and it gets shared. The likelihood of that is, you're probably better off being struck by lightning before that actually happens. So you can take the analytic and procedural approach and watch rankings, watch traffic, see where your opportunities are and then influence those opportunities. But unique visitors is the primary number one metric before you can start digging into everything else.

There are social media metrics too, page likes, shares. We don't do a lot with social media marketing, with social media virality. Of course, building an audience is building an audience. But like I said, posting a piece of content and then having it be awesome is a rare occurrence. But you can use a tool like Hootsuite, which we use Hootsuite for our social media posts. We don't have great engagement with our stuff. But for us, it's more about being present and being on, being seen in the social media spheres and then we augment that through paid traffic.

There's also email and newsletter metrics. If somebody is coming in because of your content, they are opting in for your reports, buying your products, all of that kind of stuff. Then, of course, there are metrics there. So you're looking at new leads, you're looking at sales, you're looking at the number of opened emails or the email click-throughs, the bounce rate of the pages. Basically, overall like ROI, return on ad spend kind of stuff. Then there are some useful little nuggets here, little equations to help you calculate that stuff.

Lead generation is a big one. So much of our content, we try to generate leads from, whether it's an exit pop or whether it's a native ad or something like that. But generating the ROI from the content is... The content itself doesn't generate ROI. Content frames the sales piece that generates the ROI. Content is always a piece of the funnel, it isn't the funnel. So you have to just be diligent in understanding that whenever you're putting your own campaigns together.

The last one is SEO metrics. We have what pages are you ranked for? What keywords are you ranked for? How many impressions does that particular keyword phrase get? Those are all the big questions when it comes to organics. And we're going to walk through some of the things that I look through in stats. Then we have subscribers, subscribers to your YouTube channel, subscribers, followers, views, time watched is a big one on YouTube. All of that stuff, useful metrics to take a look at. I would say pick three that are important to you.

My own personal three that I look at all the time and I actually have a little dashboard set up for myself are users, so organic users, organic SERPs. The ranking, search engine ranking, the rankings inside the search engines. Users, SERP rankings, and then the third one is daily leading. How many leads you are signing up. When those three things are in line, then the business is doing really well. None of them have to do with revenue on the outset, but they're all correlated in some way. More leads, more search traffic. More search traffic means less money we're spending on ads to acquire new customers, that's a good number. More leads, the more leads we have, the more people in the email sequences, the more people get emails and open up stuff inside sales funnels, also a good thing. So anything we do to drive those metrics makes a lot of sense.

Now we're going to kick over to, there are three things that we're going to dig into. One of them is Google Analytics. Let me just open it up here, analytics.google. We're going to dig into Google Webmaster Tools, and then we're also going to dig into SEMrush. All right. We're going to start with Analytics. I'm just going to walk you through what I look at when I'm digging into Analytics. So we're going to go here. All right. When I'm looking at Google Analytics... I'm just going to make this big so you can see it here. All right, I don't know that that's quite big, but let me widen this out a little bit. Yeah, I think that helps a little bit. Okay.

When I'm looking at Google Analytics, basically what I'm looking at is, of course, we have us, this is users within a week. What I tend to dig down into is I'm looking at acquisition and then I'm looking at search console and I'm looking at mostly queries. What I want to know when I'm looking at queries is what are we ranking for and where is our traffic coming from? Where is our opportunity? When we're looking at this number here, let me get back here, here we go. So when we're looking at our query information, then what it's going to do is right now it's organized based on clicks. So the number of clicks we received for these particular keyword phrases. Really, really good information, but this isn't necessarily where I always start. This is good to know. Done For You, we get a lot of traffic for done for your agency, done for your service, done for your marketing agency, webinar creator. But oftentimes, what I do is I sorted a little bit differently.

I sorted based on impressions because when I sorted based on impressions, then what I'm seeing is we have 21,000 impressions for keyword phrases and only 229 clicks. So there's a lot of opportunities there that we can play with. So I'm going to drop this down to a hundred queries here, and we see that one of our biggest opportunities is the keyword phrase business consultant, Done For You showed up and got 763 impressions for the keyword phrase done for you or for the keyword phrase business consultant. But we got zero clicks. So where did that happen? Our average position is 74, which means it's on the eighth page of Google, eighth page, seventh page. And it's way deep in Google, but still 763 impressions. Marketing automation agency, 529 impressions. We're 41 in Google. What is a flash sale? 255 impressions. We got 10, average position tens, we are at the bottom on the front page.

When I'm looking at results, I'm like, okay, where can I exploit some of these things? Can we have a lead magnet blog post about business consulting or how to become a business consultant, which we do? How do I continue growing the traffic with these particular keyword phrases? So this is the question that I'm asking myself. Like Done For You services, 142 visitors. We got 18 clicks and we were in spot three for that. So how do we get to spot two? How did we get to spot one? These are just some of the things that I look at when I'm looking at data and saying, okay, how do we exploit this stuff? How do we get in here and rank for these keyword phrases a little bit better? Now, you can do the reverse of this. Like if we go in and we're looking at business consultants, we can go into the pages and say, what are our best, what are our top pages? So it's going to list all of our top pages and then our impressions, and then we have the number of clicks.

Here we see that the top 15 fastest ways to increase online sales have got 967 impressions, but yet it only got three clicks. Why is that? And the click-through rate is 0.31. Our average position is spot 44, which means it's on the fifth page of Google. We, of course, can click here or we can go visit the page. So let's go visit the page. We're just going to take a look at it. Actually, it opens in another window, which you cannot see. So let me just copy this. Here you go. This is the other window.

This is the blog post. There was a podcast episode 17. So this video is quite old. I made that video last year sometime. When you have a lot of content, this is one of those things that happens. Some shit gets old. Here, we have a podcast, we have some stuff, whatever. But from a blog standpoint, there's an opportunity there. Top 15 fastest way to increase online sales, we got 967 impressions. So let's click this URL. When we click this URL, what it's going to do is it's going to give us the search queries that we're ranking for. So these, it looks like 86 keyword phrases. If you look way down here, this is the first 10 of 86 keyword phrases.

What we're going to do is we're going to expand this to a hundred and then we're going to run a similar little thing. To increase online sales, that particular keyword phrase, we are spot 41 and there were 168 impressions, but zero clicks. Now, how to increase online sales, 50 impressions, spot 32? Boost website sales, 39 impressions, spot 31. Basically, what I'm doing is if I can rank for any one of these keyword phrases on the blog post that is already there, if I can push the phrases up so I'm ranking in on the first page, second page, third page, whatever, then I'm able to increase my traffic without having to do a whole lot of work. So I'm seeing how I can generate more free traffic for these particular keyword phrases to a blog post.

These are just all things that I look for in quantifying how to measure content marketing success. This is just one little area, we can dig in. We've done some dailies on content optimization. It's probably going to take a little bit longer to put together a content optimization. Maybe I'll do a content optimization week at some point. So these are just some of the stuff that we look at. Now, Google Webmaster Tools, actually, this search console tool, this is what we're looking at inside here. This gives you some good, solid analytic data. I tend to find some different opportunities if I go look at the same type of data, but from inside, let's see, I have too many accounts. There we go.

So here inside the search console, we see different kinds of stats. So if we go to a performance, then what we can do is we can open up. We have in the last, so we've got 7,000 total clicks, 361,000 total impressions. Then we have our average position site-wide, it's spot 42. Then we have our keyword phrases down below. We have all of our ones and we can resort from impressions. Now, notice how this gives us a little bit of different information. So when we did this over inside Google Analytics, the business consultants came up first and the number was smaller. Then a marketing automation agency came up below that. But marketing automation agency, it's huge, it would be a huge win for Done For You to rank for. That's what we're trying to rank for.

Now, if we click on a marketing automation agency, it is then going to show us, it's just going to single it out. Then what we can do is if we add, if we just hit pages then, so we have pages, Oh, I'm sorry, we got queries. That's it. We have a marketing automation agency. Here, there's a way that we can see. Yeah, there we go. This is the page that we can optimize for marketing automation agencies. Now let's pull this back and if we can go into queries, or here, let's do this. We're going to look at doneforyou.com and see all the keyword phrases that we're ranked for the homepage. So we're just looking at Done For You, we got 27,000 total impressions, 2,100 total clicks. If we look at queries, you will see that we're ranking for 211 keyword phrases in total on the homepage. Done for you, done for your services, done for you, do for your agency, blah, blah, blah. Then there are all the keyword phrases that were ranked for in the top 10 pages of Google.

Some of them are like 10 and then other ones are like, there's a spot 75. Sales funnel development agency, we are spot 75 in Google. So anyone of these are great opportunities to rank for too. Of course, just tracking all of it tends to be one of the challenges, which is why there's a tool called SEMrush, which makes it somewhat easy. Maybe not totally, totally easy, but easy enough. So we're going to log into SEMrush. If I can remember my password here, I usually do this on my other computer. Here we go.

All right. Here, we have Done For You, and this is our main dashboard. Let's see, we're going to do position tracking here. What position tracking is going to do is going to tell us all of our position tracking in time. So our landscape is, over the last, we ended up getting a pretty good bump in position. If we go into overview here, we're going to see how our visibility has changed. And some of it is due to just algorithm updates, they always do an algorithm update checker, but here we have Done For You. Position one on July 16th, position one on July 22nd. Then we have a self-hosted landing page builder. We were spot 35 and now we're spot 32. We have our promote affiliate products. We were spot 99, but we fell out of the top 100.

There are lots of ways to track the keyword phrases here. But SEMrush tends to be one of the best ones that we have found. You can also do a lot of paid traffic stuff. You can do a lot of competitive intelligence. So whenever we are trying to put together with intelligence reports for competitors, like for our paid traffic clients, we'll jump into SEMrush and see how much traffic their competitors are spending. See if we can find some competitors that we maybe didn't know existed for that ad spend or for their Google ads or if somebody is ranking for a particular keyword phrase, or when we're looking at doing a site audit or investment or whatever, we'll come in here and see how much traffic their website is really getting. Before we have to do a deep dive into their analytics, we can get a good idea of what we're seeing just through SEMrush.

There's a lot of different ways you can cut up this tool, but bringing the whole thing back around, tracking metrics and tracking for your content marketing and for your search results and your organic views and all that stuff. It's really just spending 10, 15, 20 minutes a day looking at your traffic, seeing what you can do to better it, taking action on that and implementing those changes, and then moving forward the next day. It sounds easy and it is easy, but it just takes a little bit of time. You just have to be diligent and you have to write content. You have to track that content. You have to know what you're looking at. You have to optimize it. The only way to get good at it is really to do it. Just do it, get some experience in it, track it, see what influences your rankings, and go from there.

If you have any questions at all, any thoughts, just go to doneforyou.com/start, fill out the little application. We can jump on a call and we can go through and look at your content. Look at your traffic stats. We can go through, do a marketing audit, put together an action plan for your sales funnels or your paid traffic strategies, whatever, make sure you got the right sales to funnel in place. If you have any questions, if you just hit Done For You, just go to the Done For You main page, in the lower right-hand corner, there's a little chatbox. You can go in, you can search from the dropdown. You can ask the question here, it's going to get routed to our team. If there's anything we can do, just let us know. Doneforyou.com, and have a fantastic weekend.

Next week, I'm not real sure what we're going to talk about yet. It's episode 96. Next week is episode 96 to 100. And then the week after, is that it's going to be episode 101 when you're going to be, it's switching things up. We're still going to do dailies, but we're going to do them in different categories. I'm not real sure how it's going to look yet. It's going to be like just create, just the automation, scale and expand. I'm not sure if we're going to do weekly. If we're going to do them weekly, we're going to put them into their own podcast channels. I'm not sure yet, but we're still going to do them daily. So we'll still have those. But let me know if you have any questions, go to doneforyou.com/start and I'll talk to you soon. All right, thanks. Bye.


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