31 Content Marketing KPIs You Should be Measuring

Posted by John McTigue on Jun 11, 2013 7:17:00 AM

You already know you should be offering content marketing services to your clients, as well as heavily producing your own ebooks, guides and blogs. Content marketing increases brand awareness, generates new leads and nurtures those leads into customers. But something we have not quite figured out yet is how to gauge its effectiveness. Wouldn't it be smart to measure the type, frequency and interactivity of our content to measure its effectiveness as a function of outcomes and to keep ourselves on track for achieving performance goals? We think so.

Here, we discuss several content marketing KPIs you should be measuring to do just that. 

Output KPIs

Let's keep track of how often we publish content, our authorship (a new key for Google), and what kind of content we publish on a regular basis. Consider these content marketing KPIs:

  • Number of blog posts published (per month)
  • Number of distinct authors (per month)
  • Number of guest bloggers (per month)
  • Number of syndicated blog posts (per month)
  • Number of blog comments (by us - per month)
  • Number of social media posts (per month)
  • Number of downloads published (ebooks/whitepapers) per quarter
  • Number of videos published (per quarter)
  • Number of webinars hosted (per quarter)
  • Number of press releases (per month)

Interactive KPIs

Now let's measure how good (and conversation-inspiring) our content really is, as indicated by searches, views, likes, shares, comments and links:

  • Blog post views (per month)
  • Blog subscriptions (per month)
  • Blog post comments (other than ours - per month)
  • Blog post inbound links (per month)
  • Blog post visits from organic search (per month)
  • Social media shares (other than ours - per month)
  • Social media likes (per month)
  • Social media +1s (per month)
  • Social media comments (per month)

Conversion KPIs

Finally, let's specifically measure the impact of our content marketing on lead generation (and ultimately on revenue generation):

  • Leads from blog post CTAs (per month)
  • Leads from blog post links (per month)
  • Leads from blog page CTAs (per month)
  • Leads from social media posts (not ads - per month)
  • Leads from press releases (per month)
  • Leads from all downloads (per month)
  • Leads from webinars (per month)
  • Number of lead nurturing downloads (per month)
  • Conversion rates on all types of landing pages (blog CTAs, social media, etc.)
  • Number of customers whose first touch was content (per month)
  • Number of customers whose last touch (before purchase) was content
  • Revenue sourced from all content marketing activities (per month)

How to Measure Content Marketing KPIs

Some of these are straightforward to measure if you have marketing automation in place or even basic blogging tools, such as Wordpress plug-ins. Others will require some digging, for example isolating the number of customers whose first or last touch was content. Some tools are better than others for putting this data together, and in a future post, we will examine specific methods for tracking these metrics. Ideally, every digital marketing department should have one or more data analysts whose mission (and passion) is figuring out how to glean KPIs from all of the marketing big data you collect.

For now, I would recommend starting with measuring your own output. How often do you blog and create offers for lead generation? Staying accountable for regular production and publication is one of the bastions of inbound marketing success. Tracking those efforts keeps you moving forward and lets your management team know that you are spending those content marketing dollars consistently and following your plan. Measuring the interactivity of your content and some of the conversion KPIs will give them at least some idea of how effective your content marketing program is becoming and help to justify your budget.

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With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via TwitterLinkedIn or Google Plus.


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Topics: john mctigue, content marketing kpis, marketing kpis, content marketing

The Age-Old Content Marketing Conundrum: Quality vs. Quantity

Posted by John McTigue on Dec 17, 2012 8:06:00 AM

content marketing balanceWe all know the benefits of writing at least five blog posts per week (higher traffic and leads), but what happens when we don’t have enough time to write them for every client, as well as ourselves? What happens if we outsource them to “blog farms”? Most likely, we will see a decline in readership and shares. Then how do we find a good balance between quality and quantity that sustains our growth without diluting our content? Here are some things to think about.

Let's consider the root cause of the problem using a continuous improvement exercise: the 5 Why's. 

Perceived problem: We don't have the internal resources to write a sufficient number of high-quality blog posts on a consistent basis to increase traffic and leads.

Why? Because we don't have good writers on staff who have the bandwidth for blogging.

Why? Because we don't hire people with those skills in mind and make content a part of their job descriptions.

Why? Because we are just now recognizing the value of content marketing in our overall marketing strategy.

Why? Because we adopted a 'wait and see' policy until the economy recovers and marketing trends become clearer.

Why? Because we have always taken a conservative approach to new directions, and that has always been successful for us.

Continuous improvement is good at uncovering bigger problems that plague the rest of the organization or even hold it back. In this case, because the company is worried about hiring new people and doesn't recognize the value of talented content writers, it is prepared to surrender that advantage to more aggressive competitors. So what's the solution? Higher ups at the organization think, "Let's try some experiments by outsourcing a few blogs a month to some (relatively) cheap bloggers and see what impact that has on our inbound metrics." But there are troubles that come with that:  

  • The inexpensive, outsourced writers don't know you and don't care
  • You're not committed to consistent, high-quality content, and it shows
  • Your most valuable assets, your people, have no voice
  • Your leadership in your market has no voice, and no audience
  • This strategy won't work, so the initiative will die on the vine
     

Is there a better solution?

Take the leap. Hire someone with excellent writing skills. Make blogging an important part of his or her job, and empower them to become an important voice of the company. Get leaders and staffers involved in the process. Your content person can help them express themselves through blogs and social media channels. If you're going to outsource, make sure it's with a firm or freelancer who commits to getting to know everything about your company, your people and your business.

Fear is the No. 1 public enemy of progress. This quality content thing is long past being a trend. It's a reality that isn't going away. Get on board before it is too late.



john mctigue blogAbout the Author: With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John McTigue loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via TwitterLinkedIn or Google Plus.
 


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photo credit: Carolyn_Sewell

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Topics: john mctigue, quality versus quantity, outsourcing content, content marketing, kuno creative

Going Lean: 10 Ways Your Inbound Agency Can Strive for Excellence

Posted by John McTigue on Nov 14, 2012 8:59:00 PM

strive for excellence

To create successful inbound marketing campaigns, it's important to create processes to ensure that multiple lead nurturing efforts can be launched in the most efficient way. Furthermore, it's crucial to embrace continuous improvement so these campaigns bring in the greatest number of sales qualified leads possible. These practices help make your marketing agency, or any company, run more efficiently while attracting more clients and more talent.

As we continue to implement these standards and practices, we wondered what some specific things we—and you— could do to enhance these processes on a daily basis. First, let's identify some simple goals your team can rally around to make your shop a better place to work.

Goals to Help Us Strive for Excellence on a Daily Basis

  • Our team and clients understand what we are saying
  • We can clearly see the relationship between effort and success
  • Every day we seem to be getting better at what we do
  • We see ourselves as winners, and our customers do too
  • When we have problems, we fix them right away and move on

Here, we brainstorm easy steps each of us can take to achieve these goals:

  1. Resist the temptation to speak right away when asked a question. Think about your response and how to say it clearly.
  2. Create a plan, just a simple to-do list, for every day. Execute the plan and review your progress before you go home. Then create tomorrow's plan.
  3. When you run into a roadblock, add a to-do item to your list to solve it. You don't necessarily have to drop what you're doing now. Just commit to solving it later.
  4. Prioritize your to-do list, and don't let things slide more than a day or two at the most.
  5. Discuss your challenges and successes with your peers and bosses. Ask for their opinions and recommendations.
  6. Set aside time every day during work to think. Yes, think. Take your most challenging to-do item and go somewhere quiet and think. Let your work neighbor know that's what you're doing in case you're needed. Let your boss know that's what you want to do and negotiate a reasonable amount of time.
  7. Identify what's holding you back from becoming a genuine rockstar at your job. Talk to your peers and your boss about it and figure out a plan to get there. Work those steps into your daily plan.
  8. Blur the lines between work and play. If your job is challenging and rewarding, both personally and professionally, why worry about how much time you spend on each part? When work is stressful, play hard to balance it. When work is awesome, celebrate with your teammates.
  9. Own something. Strive to be a leader in your project, your field, your social network, your company. Leadership is hard to find and even harder to teach. You know what it means to be a leader, you just have remember to be one every day.
  10. Write a couple of blog posts every week. Your company definitely needs your help, so you'll make an immediate impact. The big benefit is personal. Expressing your ideas, getting published and getting feedback from outsiders is one of the most rewarding things you can do—and it's out there, on the record for everyone to see. Pretty cool.

Make Your Own Top 10 List

We wanted to let you know that continuous improvement isn't necessarily an organizational thing, nor is it simply a formula with statistical measurements. It starts with our own daily habits and attitudes. By working on just a few things each day, we can improve ourselves and be better team members, and those things have a profound impact on success at every level.

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About the Author: John McTigue is the Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of Kuno Creative, an industry-leading inbound marketing agency and certified Gold HubSpot partner.

photo credit: Pompeychuck

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Topics: john mctigue, lean strategies, lead nurturing, inbound marketing, kuno creative

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