Content is king, there’s no denying, but how do you assess its relevance and pertinence for your brand? Are you producing good content, or content that converts? That’s where KPIs come in.
With the right measurements in place, your brand will benefit from the most productive content creation that will engage with your users, make them curious and get them to perform an action. These types of content are more complex than most people think, and a real strategy in place goes a long way. With the right measurements in place, your brand will be able to experiment and develop a reliable strategy.
In this article, we look at the different content marketing ways available to the creators and define the major KPIs that will future-proof your plan of action.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing effort to produce and share materials online such as articles, podcasts, video, infographics, social posts, etc. This marketing exercise aims at informing, educating, engaging and converting targeted audiences.
It’s about producing high-quality content that speaks to the audience and makes them want to learn more. The type of content that’s so good, people can’t help but share it with their family, friends and colleagues.
The 3 P’s of content marketing
There are many ways to approach content marketing and little guidance to make it pertinent to your brand and industry. Because content marketing is so versatile and can become your most creative asset, there are only a few “rules” to observe. These “rules” are guidelines to keep your head above the water, staying informed when to move on to the next stage or reassess your strategy.
Here are the 3P’s of content marketing:
By presence, it is established your brand has an online presence and appears organically to your target audience. Search Engine Optimisation, aka SEO, in this instance, is important to keep on top of. Being correctly indexed, facilitating spider crawling, offering a user-friendly interface are amongst other factors that keep your online website as healthy and trustworthy as possible.
Your brand should also be seen as an expert brand within its field or being known for its offering. Having a strong presence in the community is also an important factor for successful content creation.
Search engines will seek fresh, trendy and relevant content to show results to their users – check out EEAT Google’s ranking rule for content. This is where your brand should stick to a schedule when publishing content. No matter the frequency, it will show your brand is still active and relevant to the market.
Publishing content should follow a strategy and shouldn’t confuse your audience. Following a calendar or observing seasonal trends are a great way to publish in timely fashion that your audience will find relevant to follow.
With the right strategy, messaging and targeting, your content needs to be seen by your audience. Depending on your industry and where your audience consumes content, you will want to raise your brand profile and awareness online consistently. Social media and forums are one the few pertinent platforms to go about sharing your content online.
Promoting needs to be smart and efficient. Your audience are seeking information or entertainment, two very different ways to engage with the users.
4 main types of content marketing
Content marketing normally comes with a strategy. This strategy revolves around 4 different types of content that directs the creation and publication of these materials.
A list of the main goals of content marketing:
- Branding & Expertise content
- Informational / Customer’s educational journey
- Case studies / Real-life experiences
- Conversion content
Branding & Expertise content
Content created to teach more about the brand, the product and or service to position the brand as an authority within its industry.
Particularly useful for top-of-funnel users who never heard of the company before. The brand can also explore external factors affecting its industry and offer an opinion from its angle. A great way to show your audience your unique point-of-view of the industry (e.g. going green for the environment).
Information & Customer’s educational journey
Content created to inform and educate the users tailored to where they are in the top-level of the conversion funnel (top or middle).
This type of content marketing is designed to bring insights to the users about the industry and/or about the product positioning in the market.
Case studies / Real-life experiences
Content created to showcase to the user how a company handles a particular situation surrounding its industry and offering.
It delivers insights about how the company is doing and what they stand by. It also brings an angle to the story that is unique to the brand.
Content created with the intention to get a meaningful action from the users.
This can be either buying a product, requesting a service or contacting the company for information. This content is useful for bottom-of-the-funnel users for that last convincing bit of information about the offering or sharing a valuable update.
KPIs for content marketing
It can be a tricky business when measuring organic efforts compared to paid channels. With a marketing strategy, you should be able to align your expectations against KPIs to evaluate content creation efforts.
Depending on each end goal, your KPIs will help shape your future decisions and understand which content or format works best for your brand.
For example, a video created on YouTube with the goal to raise brand awareness might involve impressions and channel subscriptions. While a video with a goal of generating product awareness would involve traffic to a web page and time spent on that page.
Defining which KPIs reflect performance for each campaign is crucial to analysing your content marketing efforts, the next stage strategy and, sometimes, even your workforce needs.
A quick overview of the recommended KPIs:
- Traffic to website / sessions
- Returning visitors to your website
- Time spent on page
- Inbound links
- Brand mentions
- Social Engagements
- Newsletter Signups
- Events & Conversion Tracked
- CTR for paid spaces
Traffic to website / Sessions
When publishing content external to your website, it aims at bringing your audience to your website. This is a good measurement to understanding impact of your content, relevancy and need of your users.
When pushing content within your website, you’ll measure impressions and reach of your audience coming from the search engines or other sources. It will indicate relevancy and need from these users. Your brand should appear against most user demands, queries and questions they seek online. A good tool to use is Google Search Engine that gives you indicators of impressions, clicks and average position of your domain on Google search engine.
Returning visitors to your website
Within your analytics platform, you should be able to segment your audience and build a remarketing list, or at least, observe returning sessions. This indicator helps understand how much effort must be put in to get visitors coming back or how to take them further with the brand.
If your website generates more new visitors than returning, maybe you need to understand what your new users are truly after. You might not answer their query or be the right fit to them.
If your website generates more returning visitors than new, you should look into creating content that’s new, on-trend and relevant. Maybe you are not aligning with the new demand if you fail to retain users.
Time spent on page
This indicator helps understand how long your users are staying on your web pages. This should motivate your content creation by keeping these users as engaged as possible with your content as it would indicate its usefulness.
If on the other hand, your users leave the page within few seconds, it might be a problem with User Experience (UX) or the content itself.
With the right analytics and tools in place, you should be able to tell if other websites are referring to your content. If people like your content, they could link it on their website or refer to it on their social media. These inbound links show interest from your community and build trust amongst themselves.
Like inbound links, brand mentions are tags or mentions of the brand within a post or article. Some would call it social listening, but brand mentions go beyond social media platforms.
There are great tools to keep track of content that mention your brand name without a link. An opportunity to start engaging with the authors. A great KPI to understand the impact of your brand within the community.
For all content created for social platforms, engagement is one of the fundamental KPI to improve your reach and generate brand interest. Engagement includes page likes, follows, reactions, comments and shares.
If you create content that doesn’t generate engagement, you should rethink its strategy to better appeal to your target audience.
Enticing people to subscribe to a newsletter is a unique way to build your own audience. Finding ways to increase signups and limiting unsubscribes are important indicators of success.
The benefits of a newsletter are vast, including building your first-party data that can be used to retarget for paid channels.
Events & Conversions tracked
In your analytics, you should be able to measure your own events and conversion actions that are your success metrics.
An event could equal to a phone click or clicking “add to cart”, a minor stepping stone that will help understand how your users interact with the brand.
A conversion action is the final touch point with your users such as “success orders” or “success contact form submitted”, a major last step that define success to your business.
CTR (click-through-rate) for paid spaces
For all your paid activities, one of the major KPI to watch out for is CTR.
This metric helps you understand how pertinent your content is, if it reflects the promises you put out there or aligns with your users’ queries.
If your ads generate impressions but few clicks, your message could be misleading or inefficient (amongst other PPC metrics).
Create, Measure, Experiment, Repeat
Content creation is a vital marketing strategy for any online businesses. With vast possibilities come challenges, which can be controlled with strong reporting.
These KPIs will guide your on-going content efforts and help make decisions for your future endeavours. Observing the right KPIs for each end goal is crucial as you don’t want to negatively impact content that works for a specific marketing user touchpoint.
But remember, KPIs are just metrics. These shouldn’t replace creating content that’s valuable to your audience. If you do create content your audience loves, those KPIs will take care of themselves.
Now get out there and start creating high-quality content that’s setup for success!