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12 Content Marketing KPIs for Strategic Marketing

Lucas Stewart

A key part of building a marketing analytics strategy that drives your business forward is setting enough of the right KPIs for every part of your marketing organization. With its focus on creativity, and pressure to deliver volumes of content, content marketing can often be neglected in top-level marketing analytics reports for lack of robust, bottom of the funnel reporting. But there is so much to measure.

With the right content marketing KPIs, you can learn how to steer content in the future, better understand your audience, and optimize already existing content to drive more of your core marketing targets like leads, conversions, and followers.

That’s right– setting KPIs and then analyzing them actually makes your life as a content marketer easier. In the long run, it will better help you hit your targets by designing a content marketing machine that’s optimized to engage.

Here are 12 Content Marketing KPIs you don’t want to miss:

Lead Gen KPIs

Use content to drive high-quality leads for your business, and build your audience.

1) Website Visitors

How much viewership is your content actually getting? Content is a great way to drive visitors to your website, thereby introducing them to all your awesome products and services. Overall website visitors can be a good way to rank your most popular content. Make sure you also break it down by acquisition channel (covered below), so you know where all that traffic came from.

2) Conversions

Whether you use a gated landing page for a webinar, or include a form to sign up for your blog, make sure your content comes with some kind of call to action for your viewer. Then, you can measure how many people converted on your content page. For more in-depth analysis, you can use different types of attribution models– like including conversions where your content was the user’s landing page, or they grazed it somewhere in the middle of their journey.

3) Followers

Found in the social media channels themselves, determine what types of thought leadership generates the most followers for you. This can indicate the best fit content for your brand to use to build credibility and engage your audience. Explore new followers gained from different content types and headlines.

Demographics KPIs

Better understand who your audience is, and optimize content for them.

4) Devices

No matter how skilled you are as a writer, bad UX can ruin a piece of content. Sort the top devices people are consuming your content on, and ensure your content is legible in all. Browser developer tools often come with device simulators that are great for this. Examine conversion rates and clickthroughs for buttons on your landing pages across devices to look for disparities.

5) Geography & Language

Make sure you’re staying sensitive to the particulars of your geographic audience. Mix geographic and language data to better understand where you can find new audiences. For example, if a piece of content is in English, explore if there are non-English speaking countries where a sizable group of users is viewing your content in an English language browser. This could signal an opportunity for you to expand your audience internationally.

6) % New Users

% New Users can be a litmus test of how you should be writing your content. Has your audience heard of you, or is it their first time viewing? This should heavily influence what type of language you’re using when talking about your company, product or industry. (Rethink the universality of your acronyms!)

Engagement KPIs

Tailor your content so it engages users, and keeps them coming back.

7) Dwell Time

Highly engaged users indicate high levels of interest. Measure the average time users are spending on your content pages. If it’s long content but short dwell times, you may want to consider shortening your content– or at least make the beginning a little more interesting. Additionally, very low dwell times might indicate users are not getting what they expected to. Examine your email subjects lines and social media copy to ensure your boiling down the essence of your message– while still, of course, enticing the reader. Strive for an equilibrium between high clickthrough and high dwell times.

8) Clicks

Links are the gateway to conversions– and conversations. Ensure you have click tracking set up on your site, so you can measure how your content is contributing to what CMOs care about most. Are people clicking to subscribe to your blog? Demo your product? Lots of clicks can indicate that a particular type of content has formed that elusive bridge between user interest in a topic and interest in your company’s offering.

9) Scroll Tracking

Similar to dwell time, set up scroll tracking on your site to understand which content beginnings are actually keeping users going. Typical benchmarks are baseline, 25%, 50%, 75%, and a complete scroll.

Acquisition KPIs

Which channels were the most effective in getting people to your content?

10) % of Total Traffic by Channel

Which marketing channels generate the most traffic to your content? Find the places where your content is already performing well, and encourage more viewership by doubling down promotion efforts in those channels. This is where analysis in content marketing can seriously help marketing ROI overall, by driving down CPC or CPL. Chances are, positive reception to your content in a particular channel can indicate one of your target audiences is living there.

11) Referral paths

The referral path is the actual URL of a site that shared your content– and included a link back to your site. While this is not a metric, accumulating high-quality referral traffic is crucial for SEO link building, and can be a place to look for potential partnerships or byline placement. If a website shared your content before, chances are they like what you have to say.

12) SEO – Ranking keywords

What keywords does your content rank for? It can be difficult to reverse-engineer SEO, but if you create content that’s targeted around certain keywords, and then track these keywords in a tool like Moz, Brightedge, or Hubspot, you can watch for rankings improvements. In my opinion, SEO is the most effective when it’s a function of the Content Marketing team.

Content Marketing can be a powerful marketing tool to drive leads, tailor your brand, and build your audience. Content is unique in the degree of finesse it allows your brand, and its reliance on heightened creativity instead of just heightened spend. Once you have the right people for the job, tracking these KPIs can magnify the performance of your content immeasurably.


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