It’s a well-known cliche that content is king; it can include everything from simple product descriptions to social media posts to lengthy technical blogs. But all your content has one thing in common; you want it to engage existing and potential customers, and you want it to perform well. Bland, boring content is likely to have a negative effect and send that important demographic base scurrying to one of your competitors. You want content that is both marketable and interesting.
So, it is essential that you monitor how your content performs so that you can not only make informed decisions based on good performance but also identify weaknesses that need some adjustments. This can be especially true when you run campaigns. After all, those campaigns are designed to drive traffic to your website or to increase sales. What performance metrics should you be monitoring to ensure that your campaigns are effective?
10 Content Performance Metrics to monitor
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- Conversion rates
This is one of your most important metrics to monitor. More conversions mean more sales means more revenue, so you know that if you see an increase in your conversion rates, then you’re doing something right. What’s also important is that you do separate analyses of your content for each campaign you run and also where you run it. A piece of content in a social media post may lead to good conversion rates, but that same piece of content may not work as well in another setting.
You also need to consider that your content may be two-tiered sometimes. The initial content, say a social media post, may be designed to drive customers to a blog or a landing page, and then the content there is the hook that should—hopefully—deliver conversions. Even though you may view these as two separate pieces of content, they are still linked in the same campaign, so they should be analyzed together.
You also want to take into account your sales team and whether the techniques they use build on your marketing content. If you find that the two teams are working independently from each other it might be worth adopting a different sales coaching style that is more aligned with your goals.
Although closely linked to conversions, you should also be tracking any increases (or decreases) in your total revenue. While conversion rates on a specific campaign may show that campaign is working well, there is also the chance that customers may buy additional products not linked to that campaign. For example, you may run a campaign promoting your new VoIP calling app that provides reasonable conversion rates, but customers may also look at buying other services that affect your total revenue figures,
This is why it is important to keep a close eye on both conversions and revenue. While you may trace any improvements in both metrics back to a single piece of content, monitoring both metrics can give you clearer insights into how other content on your blogs or site is performing.
- ROI (return on investment)
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Another crucial metric you should be keeping an eye on. Okay, your content may be performing well and producing higher conversion rates and an increase in revenue. But how much are you spending to achieve those improvements? It should also be noted that sales may not always be instantaneous, so ROI may not always be obvious in the initial stages
A customer may engage with your content and go through all the motions but could then delay a final purchasing decision until later. Any actions, such as submitting a contact form or phoning your IVR number, can count towards positive ROI. You should look at the ROI of a particular campaign over an extended period. The results it provides in a week, a month, or even over the lifetime of a campaign are important, but it can be worth revisiting later too.
- Total engagement
It would be wonderful if every time a customer engaged with content, they moved straight to a purchase. Sadly, for many reasons, that’s simply not the case. It doesn’t mean your content is poor or underperforming; it just means they’re not ready to buy. That’s why it’s essential to think not only about “monetary” metrics but engagement ones too. If customers engage well with content, then there is a good chance they will become future customers.
Say you publish a piece of content that may answer common questions potential customers have. It may lead to them looking at other pages on your site to answer more of their questions. The time a customer spends on your site, and the number of pages they look at on each visit, can be two indicators that you are publishing quality content.
- Social media shares
The power of social media in modern marketing is indisputable. However, depending on how and where you post, your audience has limitations. Tracking how many shares any campaign post receives on social media can show you that your content is informative and engaging. If someone feels your article or post has information that their friends and peers may want to read, they will share it, thus extending your organic reach.
You may already be using testimonial ads to validate your products and services. This is similar to that tactic as someone sharing a post shows they think the content is engaging and that they ‘approve’ of the message or information contained therein.
Luckily, these days you don’t have to be glued to your social media channels to monitor how engaged your followers are. Instead you can use marketing automation to gain insights into your campaigns.
- Bounce rates
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If people like your content and engage with it, your bounce rate should be fairly low. If they don’t like it, then it will rise. Straightforward, isn’t it? Although simple, this is a crucial metric as it can quickly show you when content is or isn’t working. If potential customers (or existing ones) are leaving your website after seeing poor content, then other engagement metrics will also suffer.
As with other metrics, this is one that you should monitor regularly. In fact, it should be checked in the days after publishing any new content, particularly important campaign content or long-form content. Keeping your bounce rate low means customers are more likely to look at other pages or even heed a CTA (call to action) and move straight to a purchase.
Once you have published new content, you want to monitor how well it ranks when it comes to SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). You want the content to be as unique and SEO-friendly as possible (avoiding keyword stuffing) while being aware of localized variations in SEO trends. When content achieves those goals, it not only improves the rank of that particular content, but it can also help increase your overall authority.
Before you even create content, you should research your target audience to see what they want, what they expect, and what keywords or phrases they use in searches. Now, don’t expect any new content to rank at the top of results immediately, but being in the first few results pages can show you’re heading in the right direction.
- Open rate (emails)
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Part of your campaign content is likely to center around email marketing. You will probably have an existing list of subscribers who are either previous customers or who have expressed interest in your products and services and have agreed to receive emails from you. While the content in the body of your mail is important, the subject line can often be the deciding factor in people opening your emails.
By monitoring your open rate, you can gauge whether that subject line catches people’s attention and leads to them opening the actual mail rather than consigning it to the trash can. This metric can help you improve future subject lines so you see a better open rate.
- Retention rate
You already know the importance of a good customer retention rate; it means lower CACs (customer acquisition costs) and higher CLVs (customer lifetime values). Although factors such as good customer service and quality products can be major contributors to good retention rates, consistent quality content can also play a major role.
Content creation is not a static creature; it needs to change to reflect market trends and customer tastes. If there is a significant drop in the quality of your content, then customers may look elsewhere for both information and services. Keeping your content relevant and informative will better engage consumers and encourage them towards brand loyalty.
- Time spent on site
Now, it would obviously be wonderful if someone read some content and then went and bought your service. In reality, you want not only sales but retained and loyal customers. When a customer spends a lot of time on your site, it means they find your content interesting and want to learn more about your brand and your products or services.
If you publish a blog piece on visual voicemail informing people of the various benefits, then they may choose to go on and read other related pieces. The longer a customer spends on site, the better the indication that your content is engaging them and that they will likely make a purchase at some point.
Free to use image sourced from Pixabay
Good content marketing involves multiple tactics, such as measuring and using how good your customer service is. At the heart of any marketing strategy, and particularly with specific campaigns, lies quality content that attracts a consumer’s attention and engages with them. That means you need to be aware of how every piece of content you publish is performing.
As with other business-related tasks, such as lead time forecasting, this is an ongoing task. Content that worked well for you in February may not perform as well come October. That can also include reviewing and revising older content, such as blog posts, to reflect any changes in SEO patterns or customer & market trends.