blog overview
Marketing
Frans Riemersma, 21 Sep '16

7 KPI Lists to Supercharge Your Content Marketing Strategy

Do you know how effective your content really is? Make every piece of content hit the bulls eye. Craft the best Content Marketing Strategy by using the right Content KPIs.

38% of marketers say ‘measuring content effectiveness’ is in their top 5 of content marketing challenges. And for bloggers, creating a strategy and measuring the impact of content on company success are their greatest priorities. What’s more, for 55% of the companies is isn’t even clear what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like.

And although content effectiveness is hard to prove, we keep on cranking out more of it. 70% to 73% of B2B marketers are creating more content than one year ago.

How about you? Do you know how effective your content is? Do you know if your content marketing efforts actually contribute to company success?

Many marketers ask us how to craft the perfect Content Marketing Strategy. Building an effective strategy starts with using the right content marketing KPIs. We did the research for you. All you have to do is follow our lead.

Introducing the undisputed marketing KPI mark

We first want to explain you what the marketing mark is.

We’ve served you a 6 course dish of KPI libraries before, including our own Marketing KPI Library. Use it to stroll through 65.000 KPIs in total. If you are the “all you can eat” type, bon appetite!

If you’re looking for a more gourmet dining experience though, I’d suggest you use as a marketing mark: The Periodic Table of Marketing Signals by Origami Logic. It’s brilliant! And every other superlative compliment we can think of applies as well.

It is a skillfully categorized yet quite complete overview of Marketing KPIs. This is what it looks like. Click on the image to open a larger image in a new tab.

marketing_signals_origami_logicOrigami Logic distinguishes between five objectives: Awareness, Engagement, Conversion, Loyalty and Advocacy. They’ve taken into account 17 different channels. And they’ve differentiated between four signal types: Volume, Quality, Efficiency and Share.

This results in 261 rock solid KPIs in total, which are all perfectly suitable for measuring the performance of your content marketing strategy.

This is a good point of reference for your Content Marketing Strategy plan. Time to zoom in.

Make your content strategy hit the marketing KPI mark

Every company is unique. Every Content Marketing Plan is unique. So which KPIs to pick from the Periodic Table of marketing KPIs?

We’ve collected what the experts in the market suggest. We have created an overview of the content marketing goals and objectives that matter most.

It is a quick and simple list of KPIs stacks to help you measure content effectiveness and the impact of content on company success. Handpicked for you.

You’ll have an impressive overview of how you should be measuring content marketing effectiveness in no time. Simply copy and paste your favorites into your Content Marketing Strategy. Make every content piece count toward achieving company goals in just three minutes

Ready…? Start the clock!

Expert lists of Content Marketing KPIs

1. Content Marketing Institute: "2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends"

Here’s a survey based overview of how often B2B marketers place a certain metric in the top three most important metrics…

  1. Sales Lead Quality (87%)
  2. Sales (84%)
  3. Conversion Rates (82%)
  4. Sales Lead Quantity (71%)
  5. Website Traffic (71%)
  6. Brand Lift (69%)
  7. SEO Ranking (67%)
  8. Customer Renewal Rates (66%)
  9. Purchase Intent (64%)
  10. Subscriber Growth (62%)

2. Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn: "B2B Content Marketing Report"

And here’s which metrics marketers most often use to measure the impact of content marketing…

  1. Web traffic/ visits (63%)
  2. Views/downloads (59%)
  3. Lead quantity (42%)
  4. Lead quality (39%)
  5. Social media Sharing (36%)
  6. SEO/ Search engine ranking (31%)
  7. Opportunities (30%)
  8. Subscriber growth (26%)
  9. Customer Feedback (25%)
  10. Revenue (21%)
  11. Inbound links (19%)
  12. Share of conversation (15%)

3. Content Marketing Institute: "A Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics"

Consumption metrics

  1. Page views
  2. Video views
  3. Document views
  4. Downloads
  5. Social chatter

Sharing metics

  1. Likes, shares, tweets, +1s and pins
  2. Forwards
  3. Inbound links

Lead-gen metrics

  1. Form completions & downloads
  2. Email subscriptions
  3. Blog subscriptions
  4. Blog comments
  5. Conversion rate

Sales metrics

  1. Online sales
  2. Offline sales
  3. Manual reporting and anecdotes

This template does indeed list KPIs but does not underestimate the significance of old-school on location sales talks. Try to describe that gut feeling you can only really acquire when meeting eye to eye under "Manual reporting and anecdotes".

4. Digital Marketing Institute: "A Practical Guide to Content Marketing Metrics"

Consumption metrics

  1. Users
  2. Pageviews
  3. Unique Pageviews
  4. Email open rates
  5. Email clicks

Engagement

  1. Average time on page
  2. Pages/Session
  3. News vs. Returning
  4. Referral traffic
  5. Social Shares
  6. Social Comments
  7. Social Follower growth
  8. Email subscriber growth
  9. Email unsubscribes/opt-outs
  10. Email forwards

Conversation

  1. Lead gen Goal Completions
  2. Lead gen Goal Conversion Rate
  3. Transactions
  4. Time to purchase
  5. Assisted Conversions
  6. Lead capture forms
  7. Blog/newsletter subscriptions

This template is nothing special, but in a good way. Ah! Well-rounded is the term I was looking for.

5. Pardot: "Content Marketing KPIs You Should be Tracking"

  1. Unique page visits
  2. Downloads
  3. Time on page
  4. Inbound links
  5. Shares
  6. Comments and interactions
  7. Cost Per Click (CPC)
  8. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  9. Lead generation
  10. Annual Contract Value (ACV)
  11. Influence
  12. Conversion rates
  13. Followers and/or subscribers
  14. Growth

This template is the only one specifically listing 'growth', in general. Measuring growth should be done for  pretty much all of the KPIs listed earlier in that list. All other lists only mention growth of email subscribers. Strange, really. I wouldn't call 'average time on page' at all irrelevant.

6. NewsCred: "The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing ROI"

Reach

  1. Impressions
  2. Traffic
  3. Subscriber / Audience size
  4. Share of voice
  5. Audience penetration across org

Engagement

  1. Time on site
  2. Bounce rate
  3. Page views
  4. Return visits
  5. Referrals
  6. Social sharing and interactions

Conversions

  1. Brand lift
  2. Perception / attitudinal change
  3. Behavioral conversions
  4. Lead generation
  5. Sales lift

This template mentions "Audience penetration across org" to indicate how customer engagement with your product/service is growing across the workflow chain of the client's organization. Nice touch!

7. CirclesStudio: "Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Content"

Consumption Metrics

  1. Page/Post Views
  2. Video Views
  3. Document Views
  4. Downloads
  5. Podcast Plays
  6. Email Opens/Click-trough’s
  7. % Non-Branded Traffic

Engagement Metrics

  1. Shares / Mentions / Likes / Pins
  2. Email Forwards
  3. Blog Comments
  4. Inbound Links
  5. Bounce Rate
  6. Average Pages Per Visit
  7. Average Time on Site

Conversion Metrics

  1. Form Fills/Downloads
  2. Registrations
  3. Blog Subscriptions
  4. Email Subscriptions
  5. New Leads Generated
  6. Opportunities Generated
  7. Deals Generated
  8. Conversion Rate

This template mentions 'non-branded traffic'. If it's high, it means people who probably didn't even know your specific company existed still ended up on your doorstep. Your SEO guy has done a great job describing what you're selling.

* After writing this blog post, we were super inspired to create our own Marketing KPI library. Take a quick look to find you favorite KPI.