Content marketing is a powerful strategy for contract manufacturers to engage and attract potential customers. But how do you know if your content is resonating with your target audience? And whether it's helping you progress towards your marketing goals?
This is where measuring content marketing performance comes in.
In this blog post, we explore why it's important to track your content marketing performance, how to measure it, and how to adjust your strategy for success. By measuring your content marketing performance, you can optimise your content for better results, generate more qualified leads and sales, and ultimately drive ROI.
Why is it important to monitor your content marketing performance?
Measuring the performance of your content is a crucial part of a successful content marketing strategy. It helps you determine which pieces of content are resonating with your target audience and which are falling short. With this insight, you can adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly, making data-driven decisions that will lead to more effective content creation and progress towards your goals.
For example, measuring your content performance can help you identify which blog posts are driving the most leads and use that information to create more content on a similar topic. This not only helps to improve engagement and brand awareness, but it also drives potential customers and visitors to your site.
Regularly tracking performance validates the effectiveness of your content marketing and helps in making informed decisions on how to allocate resources and adjust strategies to get a better ROI.
How to measure content marketing performance in 5 steps
In four simple steps, you can measure your content marketing performance and track your progress towards achieving your marketing goals:
- Step 1: Define your content marketing goals
- Step 2: Identify which content metrics to track
- Step 3: Set benchmarks
- Step 4: Analyse your content marketing efforts
- Step 5: Optimise your content marketing strategy for success
Step 1: Define your content marketing goals
Before you can measure your content marketing performance, you need to determine what you want to achieve with your content. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive sales, or retain customers?
Step 2: Identify which content metrics to track
Your content marketing goals will help you determine which key metrics or KPIs to track that will help you measure your progress. These may include:
Traffic refers to the number of visitors to a page on your website, such as a blog post. There are three parts to measuring page traffic:
- Users - The total number of unique visitors to the page
- Pageviews - The total number of times the page has been viewed
- Unique pageviews - When a single user may visit your page multiple times, these visits are combined into one pageview to calculate this metric. It gives you an understanding of how many people are viewing your content.
If you're number one goal is to increase brand awarness, this will be the most important method to track. But on it's own, it won't give you a full picture of how your content is performing overall.
Impresions refer to the number of times a piece of content has been viewed, whether through social media, search engines, or other channels. Impressions can provide important insights into overall reach and brand visibility. By monitoring the number of impressions, you can determine how many people have potentially seen your content, and how effective your distribution strategy is.
However, while impressions may provide valuable information, they don't necessarily indicate engagement or conversion. For example, a social media post with a high number of impressions doesn't necessarily mean that people clicked on the post or engaged with the content. Impressions should therefore be looked at as part of a bigger picture, not on it's own.
Time spent on page
Time spent on page is just that - how long your users spend on a given page of your website. The duration of their visit provides insight into how well they engage with the content. A longer time spent on page can indicate that content is compelling, relevant and informative. It also means they are likely to have consumed it in detail, which could make them more likely to take the desired action, such as filling out a form.
On the other hand, a shorter time spent on page indicates that the content wasn't very useful or that visitors skimmed or left the page without reading at all. This could indicate a need to revise the content or to improve the user experience of the page.
Again, it's important to measure this in conjunction with other metrics to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how the content is performing.
Click-through-rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of people who click on a specific link or call-to-action within a piece of content. A useful engagement metric, a higher CTR generally indicates more engaged and interested audiences and that they find the call-to-action (CTA) compelling and relevant to their needs. Meanwhile a lower CTR suggests the content and/or the CTA aren't resonating with them.
Content shares and backlinks
Content shares and backlinks are important content marketing KPIs that provide insights into the perceived value and quality of your content.
Content shares refer to the number of times a piece of content is shared on social media or other online platforms. A higher number of shares indicates that the content has resonated with the audience and that they found it informative, interesting, or entertaining. This can lead to increased brand awareness and referral traffic to your website.
Backlinks, on the other hand, refer to the number of links that point to your content from other websites. This is a valuable metric because it indicates that other websites view your content as high-quality and relevant to their own audiences. Backlinks also have a positive impact on search engine rankings, as they indicate to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy.
By analysing content shares and backlinks, you can gain insights into the effectiveness of your content in attracting and engaging your target audience. You can also identify which pieces of content are performing well and which may require improvement. Additionally, you can use this information to refine your content strategy and to optimize your content for greater visibility, engagement, and conversions.
It's great that people are visiting your site, but what are they doing next? Are they signing up for a service or downloading an ebook? Conversions indicate the effectiveness of your content and help identify which pieces resonate most with your target audience.
High conversion rates indicate that your content is compelling, relevant, and valuable to your audience, and that visitors are willing to take the desired action as a result. Conversely, low conversion rates may indicate that your content is not resonating with your audience, or that the CTA is unclear or ineffective.
Email opt-in rates
Email opt-in rates measure the percentage of visitors who choose to sign up to receive emails from your business. This can provide helpful insights into audience interest and engagement, as well as potentially driving future sales or conversions.
A high email opt-in rate indicates that your content is resonating with your audience and that they find your brand valuable and trustworthy. It also means that visitors are interested in learning more about your products, services, or content and are willing to share their contact information to receive updates from you.
A low email opt-in rate may indicate that your content is not compelling enough to capture visitors' interest, or that the opt-in process is too complex or confusing. It may require revising your content strategy or optimising the opt-in process to improve engagement and conversion rates.
Bounce rates refer to the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a website or landing page after only viewing a single page. High bounce rates may indicate poor content engagement or relevancy, and can provide insight into areas for improvement. For example, you may benefit from adding more internal links or CTAs to your content to encourage them to stay on your site.
However, there may be other reasons for a high bounce rate. They may have found what they were looking for or may have bookmarked the page to revisit later. So it's important to analyse the context of the page and visitor behaviour to determine the reason for the high bounce rate.
Keyword rankings refer to the position in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases related to your company or your content. Higher keyword rankings generally result in increased visibility and traffic to your site, and can be an important measure of content performance over time.
Measuring keyword rankings over time can also provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your overall content marketing strategy. By tracking changes in keyword rankings, you can identify areas for improvement in your content strategy, such as optimising your website for search engines or creating more targeted and relevant content.
Step 3: Set benchmarks
To understand how well your content marketing efforts are performing, it's important to set benchmarks for each metric. This will help you track progress over time and identify areas where you need to improve. You'll be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different content formats, channels, and tactics, and make data-driven decisions that can help you achieve better results from your content marketing endeavors.
But when setting benchmarks, make sure you're realistic. Don't compare your results to industry averages or ‘best-in-class’ examples without considering the specifics of your audience.
Step 4: Analyse your content marketing efforts
Now you can analyse how your content is performing, using tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and HubSpot. Look for trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that helps you track website visitors' behavior and engagement with your content. Some of the top content marketing metrics that Google Analytics can help with are traffic, engagment metrics, conversion rates and search engine optimisation (SEO).
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that provides insights into how your content is performing in search results. It shows you data such as which pages on your site are receiving the most views and how long they are staying on each page.
HubSpot offers numerous tools and features that can help you track content performance effectively. For example, the HubSpot Content Analytics tool provides a comprehensive view of your content's performance. It shows you how many views, contacts, and conversions your content has generated. You can further refine your analysis by segmenting data by content type, campaigns, and channels.
Other tools help you take a closer look at how marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, CTAs, and landing pages are performing, and allow you to optimise your strategy to get the best results.
By analysing this data, you can adjust your content marketing efforts to match your target audience's preferences and increase your potential customer engagement, ultimately leading to more leads and sales.
Step 5: Optimise your content marketing strategy for success
Based on your analysis, you'll need to adjust your content marketing strategy as required to improve performance and achieve your goals. Continually monitoring and adjusting your strategy is key to long-term success in content marketing.
Here are some examples of the ways you may choose to adjust your content marketing strategy based on your analysis:
- Focus on high-performing content formats - Identify which content types are driving the most traffic, engaging and conversions, and double down on those formats. If your video content is generating a lot of engagement on social media, consider creating more videos to build on that success.
- Optimise underperforming content - Take a detailed look at content that is not performing well and identify ways to improve it. For example, this may involve updating outdated content, optimising for search engines, or adding more visual elements.
- Revisit older high-performing content - It's not just your underperforming content that could benefit from a refresh. Updating and republishing older high-performing blog posts can have several benefits, including improved SEO, better conversion rates and increased authority.
- Choosing your timing - Pay attention to any patterns that may impact your content performance, such as the day of the week or time of day they are shared. It may be that you get more traffic when blog posts are shared on a Tuesday morning as opposed to a Friday afternoon.
Remember, measuring content marketing performance is an ongoing process, and you should always be tesing and experimenting with new approaches to optimise your results. Try new content formats, distrubutuon channels and targeting strategies to see what works for your audience.
Measuring your content's performance is crucial for ensuring the success of your content marketing strategy and maximising your ROI. By measuring your content marketing performance, you can identify which pieces of content are resonating with your target audience and which are falling short. With this insight, you can adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly, making data-driven decisions that will lead to more effective content creation and progress towards your goals.