How people interact with content today isn’t going to be the same tomorrow. If you want your content strategy to be effective, you need to stay up-to-date with how people interact with your content in real-time. How? By monitoring important content marketing metrics.
In this post, we'll share a process for tracking content KPIs based on client goals, see what metrics to measure, and recommend tools you can use. Then, we’ll share some ways to use the collected data to enhance your content marketing strategy.
FYI: With StoryChief, reporting and analytics are seamlessly integrated into one powerful tool, making it easier than ever to track and optimize your content performance. Create a free account and start optimizing content today. 🙌
But first, let’s see why you should be tracking content analytics in the first place.
Importance of tracking content marketing metrics
If you want your content strategy to be successful, you need to track content marketing metrics.
It’s similar to why a coach reviews game tapes — analyzing data provides insights to improve your strategy and performance over time.
Here are some key reasons why tracking content marketing metrics is crucial:
1. Understand content performance
Analytics allow you to evaluate how individual pieces of content are performing, as well as your overall content strategy.
You can identify high-performing content to replicate and lower-performing areas needing improvement.
Without measurement, you're just guessing what's working. And guesswork hardly works in this industry.
2. Informed content strategy
But with content analytics, you’re not guessing. It reveals what type of content resonates best with your client’s audience.
When you have these insights at your disposal, you can continuously refine the content formats and styles for your clients to generate the best results.
3. Align content with business goals
Choose content KPIs that align with the overall business goals of your clients, whether that's brand awareness, leads, or sales.
Then, by tracking content performance tied to those goals, you can ensure the content strategy ladders up to broader objectives.
4. ROI calculation
There’s a quote by marketing pioneer John Wanamaker — “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.”
And when clients don’t know what their money is doing for them — it can be daunting. Therefore, it's crucial to calculate your content marketing ROI for your clients.
You can measure relevant metrics to see the value delivered across website traffic, brand visibility, leads, and sales. Then, by tracking the overall performance of these metrics, you can also quantify content's impact and make the case for continued investment.
4-step process for measuring content marketing success for your clients
Tracking content performance doesn't have to feel like homework. With the right approach, analytics can become an enlightening tool rather than a dreary chore.
Think of it this way - analytics transform guesswork into a strategic advantage. The correct data points can illuminate the path to resonating content that converts, engages, and achieves your client's goals.
Follow these four steps to measure and optimize content in a way that drives results:
1. Set content marketing goals for clients
First, have in-depth conversations with your client to understand their objectives for each content campaign or asset. Is the primary goal to increase brand awareness? Generate more leads? Drive sales? Your measurement approach needs to align with their desired outcomes. Set specific, measurable goals that tie to business impact.
2. Decide on content KPIs for each goal
Once you know the goals, determine relevant key performance indicators to track progress for each one. If the goal is the brand lift, key content marketing metrics may include impressions, reach, shares, and search volume for brand terms.
For lead generation, however, you should track conversions, form submissions, and new email sign-ups. E-commerce goals can track revenue directly attributed to content. The metrics you pick should show how your content helps you progress toward your goals.
3. Determine how content marketing metrics will be measured
Determine any gaps where you may need additional tracking. Use the right tools to monitor your content KPIs effectively across websites, social media, and lead gen forms.
4. Measure progress and optimize
Analyze performance data regularly to identify what content is working well and what is underperforming. Look at trends over time.
If a piece is falling short, explore why and how you can optimize — maybe by replicating high-performing pieces. Then, you should also refine content types, formats, and topics consistently based on data-driven insights.
11 content marketing metrics to measure based on client goals
Not everyone using content marketing knows it’s properly executed. And many execution errors can be avoided by measuring the right content marketing metrics.
The choice of metrics depends on your client's specific goals. Let's see five key categories of metrics you should be tracking based on your client's goals:
Brand awareness metrics
For brand awareness, you want your clients’ content to be discovered by their audience organically. You want potential customers to find your clients without them having to spend on costly ad campaigns.
1. Organic search traffic
Organic website traffic represents visitors who find your agency naturally, without paid ads. Measuring it with tools like Google Analytics is essential because it reveals how well your content attracts potential customers.
You get an accurate picture by tracking organic traffic and SEO performance because nothing represents brand awareness better than the target audience discovering your clients on their own.
2. Page views
Page views indicate how many people explore your specific pages. More views mean higher engagement. Tracking page views lets you know what people read about your clients.
Its guides can help your agency in directing potential customers to specific pages of your clients’ websites, like product offerings or lead generation forms, enhancing brand awareness.
3. Number of brand query searches
Brand query searches occur when people search for your agency's name directly. Tracking these searches demonstrates the effectiveness of the content you write for clients in spreading brand recognition.
This metric is vital for agencies as it indicates how well their content educates the audience about the brand.
Engagement metrics are the pulse of your content's impact. They help capture how effectively your content answers your clients’ audience questions and keeps them captivated.
4. Click-through rates (CTR)
CTR measures how many users click on your links, whether on your website, social media, or email campaigns. It tells agencies which content resonates with clients’ audiences and which call-to-actions are most effective. By optimizing CTR, agencies ensure their content drives action.
5. Social comments, shares, and mentions
When it comes to content marketing metrics and social media engagements, comments, shares, and brand mentions on social media are gold nuggets.
They indicate your content's ability to spark conversations. Agencies can learn what topics and formats connect most with clients’ audiences, which helps fine-tune social media results.
What type of content performs best on the different social media channels? Is there a difference between organic social media and paid ad performance?
6. Bounce rate
A bounce rate means visitors are quickly leaving your page after arrival. Agencies must focus on reducing this rate by enhancing user experience, optimizing content navigation, and ensuring readability. A lower bounce rate indicates content that holds visitors' interest. High bounce rates may indicate that your website is not providing the information or user experience that visitors are looking for.
7. Average time on site
This metric measures the time users spend on a specific page. Agencies should aim for a longer average time on site, as it reflects content quality and audience engagement. It signifies that your content is valuable, informative, or entertaining enough to engage visitors.
Tracking engagement metrics empowers agencies to create content that not only answers questions but also creates a meaningful connection with the audience.
There are two significant metrics agencies should measure to keep track of SEO content performance for clients — Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA).
8. Page Authority
PA is the digital report card for individual web pages. It determines how well a specific page will rank in search engine results. The higher the PA, the greater the chances of securing a top spot in search results.
Agencies should closely monitor PA to identify the clients’ strongest pages and optimize others for improved rankings. Elevating PA ensures that each piece of content cuts through the noise.
9. Domain authority
DA takes a broader view, assessing your entire website's relevance and credibility within a specific subject or industry. A high DA implies that your website is a reliable source of information.
Agencies should aim to enhance DA as it contributes to better search engine rankings for all pages on their site. A high DA establishes your agency as an authoritative figure, boosting trust among both users and search engines.
Lead generation metrics
For agencies looking to push clients’ website visitors through the buyer's journey, lead generation metrics are the compass that keeps them on track. These can be metrics like:
10. Click-through rates (CTR)
CTR measures the effectiveness of your content in encouraging users to take action. It reflects how well your CTAs resonate with the client’s audience. Whether enticing them to download valuable content or luring them towards freemium offerings, CTR provides insights into what captures your audience's attention.
Conversions are the heart of lead generation. While they often involve turning leads into buyers, they encompass various micro-conversions. These can range from users subscribing to newsletters, completing forms, or downloading resources.
By tracking conversions, agencies gain a comprehensive view of their content's ability to nurture leads. It allows them to fine-tune their strategies and maximize the impact of their content marketing efforts.
Note: The metrics we have mentioned give you a good picture of your content efforts. But if you want to fine-tune strategies for your clients, you should track as many metrics as possible - as long as they are relevant to the goals.
5 tools for tracking content marketing metrics
These five content marketing metrics tools allow agencies to measure, analyze, and optimize their content strategies for clients.
Best for: Seamless integration with other Google tools and comprehensive content performance insights.
Google Analytics offers a user-friendly interface for tracking content across various platforms. It provides valuable metrics for traffic, navigation, conversions, and organic search. This tool also enables user-level interaction tracking, shedding light on audience engagement. The easy integration with Google's suite of business software makes it a good choice.
Best for: Precise data collection and ROI measurement through centralized reporting.
StoryChief is a centralized content marketing platform that offers in-depth content performance analysis. Custom tags for campaigns, funnel stages, or awareness levels allow you to track specific categories and measure their success. This tool automates content distribution, data collection, streamlining the process and enabling data-driven decision-making for improved ROI.
Best for: Visualizing website sessions with heat maps and real-time user behavior tracking.
Hotjar stands out with how it visualizes website sessions through heat maps. It provides insights into where and how visitors spend their time on your site. Real-time videos capture user navigation, helping identify engaging content. Hotjar also tracks conversions, enabling agencies to understand user interactions throughout the buyer's journey.
Best for: Measuring marketing campaign performance and integrating data with marketing software and CRM platforms.
HubSpot's Marketing Analytics and Dashboard Software offer a centralized hub for accessing data and insights. It enables the tracking of custom interactions unique to your business and maps customer interactions to associated records and revenue. Pre-built and customizable dashboards facilitate data visualization and analysis.
Best for: Detailed channel performance insights and customizable reporting.
Buffer's social media analytics tool allows agencies to build customizable social media analytics reports tailored to their goals. It offers the flexibility to add or remove custom metrics for multiple social media accounts.
Daily updates ensure access to timely data, and the tool provides detailed channel performance insights on a single dashboard. Engagement metrics, demographics, and hashtag performance add depth to your analytics.
Let’s wrap it up
Measuring content marketing metrics serves as the guiding star for agencies that want to deliver outstanding results for their clients.
By tracking the metrics using tools mentioned in this post, agencies can make their content marketing more effective with precision and purpose.
Start tracking content marketing metrics today. Your clients need it!
FYI: StoryChief eliminates the need for various tools such as social media tools, automation tools, AI tools, SEO tools, and analytics tools. Create a free account and start publishing today.