You spend your time feeling like a marketing rock star. You have content routinely rolling out, traffic growth is on point, and businesses are reading your email newsletters. Then you sit in a meeting and the VP of Finance asks if all the spending is necessary. The CEO questions the time spent on these endeavors. The only way to answer these questions are with content marketing metrics.
Tracking, Something Everyone Should Do
Tracking the ROI is important and sadly, not all marketers perform this vital task. You need to show the numbers to those who don’t understand marketing the way you do. Tracking your content in Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) levels is the best way to show the success of your efforts. Each of these levels have different goals within themselves and you must find the right metrics for each. We recommend you build a metrics dashboard with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Facebook Pixel.
Content Marketing Metrics – ToFu
There are two goals with ToFu, branding initiatives and awareness. Branding initiatives is the focus of spreading the word about the company and its mission. This is easily achieved with recognizable branding that lends to your authority in your niche. Awareness is the understanding that you must consistently find new audiences who will become a steady stream of visitors to your company. You can have other goals but that will be dependent on your business and historical data. Even after you achieve these two goals, you still need a focus on your persona. If you are focused only on gaining new sets of eyes, you will not be able to convert them into buying customers.
To see how well you are doing with ToFu, these are the metrics you want to track.
- New visits
- Your percentage of new visitors – you should over around 68%
- New direct visits – measuring the people who already know your brand and looking for you is important. They are the most organic, and profitable, traffic source.
- Branded searches – truly defining if your marketing efforts are working. While the visitors didn’t look for your brand, they found you through a search related to your brand.
- Pixeled marketing – building an audience for remarketing objectives.
These five metrics can be compared to historical data to relay how well you have grown in your goals. If you aren’t achieving your goals, then you know it’s time to try some new methods. This should all be visited on a weekly basis. You can add a few more metrics to dive deeper, but you can space them out monthly or quarterly. Consider content bounce rate, average session rates, and page visits to see what your people are responding to.
Content Marketing Metrics – MoFu
There are also two goals at this level, driving visitors back to your site and converting visitors to leads. It is easily one of the more challenging metric levels to deal with. To nurture your campaigns, you need to get leads. To be the most effective marketers can generate 50% more sales with a 33% decrease in cost, at this level. Here are the metrics to use in Google Analytics to see if you are as successful.
- Visitor recency – the length of time between visits a visitor makes in a given time frame. Since the focus is getting your visitors to come back, this number is very important. A high number indicates you are doing excellent. A low number means you need to improve the quality of your content and build up links for a better SERP rating.
- Returning direct visitors – those who know your brand well and continue to come back. You are successfully fulfilling a need and they trust you to do so. Using that information to transform newcomers to returning direct visitors is key.
- Leads generated – a bit complicated but necessary. You must set up goal tracking in Google Analytics to help measure this metric. You also need to have a written plan on how you are achieving your leads.
There are a few other metrics you can add for more insight and stay on top of your marketing game. Number of social shares, blog banner clicks percentage, and growth of retargeting lists are some of the best ones to add.
Content Marketing Metrics – BoFu
There is only one goal of BoFu, to transition your earliest leads into your loyal customer. While it does happen, it is rare for a visitor to turn into a buyer after reading one article. This level is about understanding the journey through the entire funnel. From the first website visit to conversions. Here are the metrics to measure:
- Number of visitors leaving your offer/demo page. The offer/demo page has to be updated frequently to keep the interest alive. If your percentage is high, optimizing the page will increase your conversion rate and sales.
- Conversions – the number that is the top priority out of all your metrics
- Content that results in customers. Not a metric but it is important to know. You can apply that knowledge to future content to maintain the flow of customers. Your PPC team can also work to bring more traffic to those areas.
From here, you take the time to build your report. Two to three month’s worth of data is enough to analyze and prove your efforts are worth the time and money. Seeing the patterns not only give you insight on what is working, it reinforces your success. It will also show you the shift in trends that you will need to shift with. While some older methods still work well, the face of business to business marketing needs to be fluid. Stay true to your brand and the mission, that part will never fail you.