The Real Metrics of Content Marketing Measurement

Oh the woes of content marketing! Is it working? How can we measure? What do we measure? Are we measuring the right KPIs? The never ending questions of concern for every content marketer.

Recent CMI data shows that content marketers are struggling with measurement & ROI tracking with only 21% saying that are successful at tracking ROI, and measuring content effectiveness being the 3rd biggest challenge. Given that only 38% of marketers say their content marketing is effective, measurement clearly one of the biggest issues that needs to get tackled as a top priority.

So we’re here to assist in the tackle. We thought we’d help with a round up of some great advice from some of the best and most-well known content marketers.

Jodi Harris published an article with some notable quotes and great perspective from some content marketing gurus on measuring content marketing success. Everyone from Marcus Sheridan to Jay Baer had some input on it:

You’ve got to create a great atmosphere of measuring what’s right, rather than measuring what you can […] If we’re approaching our analytics and measurement programs with the right mindset—and using them as ways to improve our process to reach our ultimate goal—then we will have alleviated much of that concern to begin with.

— Robert Rose

Content marketing success takes time […] Content marketing is not a campaign with a start and stop date.

— Ardath Albee

There are four types of content marketing metrics: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales.

— Jay Baer

So you have to at least nail down the basis, and Neil Bhaskar gives us eight solid KPIs your content marketing measurement should include:

  1. Unique visits

  2. Geography

  3. Mobile Readership

  4. Bounce rates/time spent

  5. Heat maps and click patterns

  6. Page views


  8. Social sharing

Take a look at this article as well. Jay Baer breaks content marketing measurement down in an easy to understand framework. Simply put, you need to track consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead generation metrics, and sales metrics. With key questions for each, Jay gives you a real-world way to track measurement.

Content isn’t just about consumption, so don’t only track consumption. It’s also about sharing and leads and sales.

— Jay Baer

And he goes on even further into detail with his interview with Pamela Muldoon. In the interview, Jay shares his thoughts on why empowering the sales team is vital to your content strategy and the importance of understand the math at every single step of the sales process.

That’s the realist of the modern age, and so we use that fact—the idea that sales people are marketers whether they want to be or not—as a way to initiate training and social media and content policies and procedures, to make sure that people don’t go off the reservation to the degree that is a detriment to the brand.

— Jay Baer

We have to remember that the goal is not to be good at content. The goal is to be good at business because of content. So, make sure when you’re measuring, you’re measuring things that have inherent business value.

— Jay Baer

Want more ideas on what metrics to track? SumAll gives a good overview of measurement in this article with these seven metrics:

  1. Brand lift

  2. Increased traffic

  3. Social interactions

  4. On-site engagement

  5. Lead generation & subscriptions

  6. Thought leadership

  7. Conversions

And to round it all up, some great perspective comes from one of the queens of content marketing, Rebecca Lieb, with what to measure and some of the hurdles of each. Take a look at the article and her video here. Her parting advice?

Be patient and remember that content marketing is about developing a dialog between the marketer and the customer.

— Rebecca Lieb

Our thoughts on content marketing measurement? Pick your six to ten key metrics to track. And TRACK THEM! Focus your attention on content marketing insights and surfacing individual consumption insights to your sales team. That’s how content marketing becomes irrefutably irreplaceable—when the visitors’ path and engagement through your content is illuminated for your sales team.

So now it’s time to start measuring. But how can you ensure that your audience shares your content? What about improved engagement? Or Increased page views and mobile readership? Don’t be overwhelmed with improving your content marketing success. Take a look at our interactive guide to Cutting Through the Clutter by Activating your Content and find the inspiration to skyrocket your content marketing success!

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