The purpose of content marketing is clear: lead generation and/or sales. Every content marketer will be uniform in their response if you ever ask them what their content is for. The same specificity, however, tends to escape marketers if you ask them how they measure the success of their content marketing initiatives.

Consider this scenario: A prospect stumbles upon your Twitter post and manages to end up on your website. However, he/she doesn’t make any purchase or becomes a lead until some time later when he searches for your company name on Google and clicks on your ad. In this case, marketers might be divided on the issue, did the conversion come from the PPC or the first click on social?

Even worse is that some marketers, about 33 percent for B2B and 41 percent for B2C, are unable to measure how well their content is doing. These scenarios only underscore the need to establish more consistency and put more value in terms of measuring your content marketing’s success, so you could focus more on optimizing your content and gaining maximum results.

Ways to Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing

To accurately measure the performance of your blog, you need to determine where your content is in the life cycle, which includes traffic generation, engagement, and conversion. When you know which stage your content is in, you can then use the right metrics for content marketing measurement.

The following outlines how the content lifecycle matches with specific metrics:

  1. For traffic generation, the metrics you should be looking at are unique visitors, page views, total backlinks, and source of traffic.

When you have new content, you can’t expect to have a lot of traffic instantly, but obviously, you want people to come to your site. To measure if you’re generating enough traffic, look at the following:

  • Unique visitors – This is the hallmark of the traffic generation phase, so the higher number you get, the better.
  • Page views – It’s always good to know how many total pages people visit on your site, although this metric is considered less important than unique visitors.
  • Total backlinks – Track how many sites are linking to your site. The more sites link to you, the higher Google will put you in its search rankings.
  • Source of traffic – Is the bulk of your traffic coming from search or social? The answer to this question should then become your basis whether to create content that attracts social users or whoever is coming from your top source/s.
  1. To measure engagement, your metrics in focus can be bounce rate, visitor type (new vs. returning), time on your website, shares by content type, and number of comments.

Once you’re past the first stage, your goal should focus on engaging your users, which means turning your visitors into readers. At this point, you should monitor the following:

  • Bounce rate – You want to keep this down, as this refers to the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site on a single page view.
  • New or returning visitors – Here, you’d want to see people coming back to your site as returning visitors, signaling that they’re finding your content useful and engaging.
  • Time on your website – Keep track of where people are lingering on your site and put more of your content on that page type.
  • Shares by content type – Good content gets shared more often and easily. Whether it’s short or long content or infographics, if it’s getting more shares, publish more of that content type.
  • Number of comments – Comments in droves are an indication that your content is more worthy of just getting likes or shares since readers are taking the time to share what they think of your content.
  1. When measuring conversions, your most valuable metrics will be opt-in and click-through rates, leads, and ROI.

At this stage, you should be able to turn your readers into leads or customers. The following metrics that will help you measure content marketing include:

  • Opt-in rates – As soon as users oblige to fill out your opt-in forms, you now have a good lead who may also be a potential customer in the future.
  • Click-through rates – This refers to the percentage of your website visitors who follow your hypertext links, which include your CTAs.
  • Leads – The number of your leads and their quality are on the top of your content marketing funnel, so this should never skip your measurement process.
  • ROI – Measuring your ROI requires that you have a CRM system with which you could track your customers’ journey to help you pinpoint which among your content made that precious sale happen.

In closing, measuring your content’s success should form a vital part of your content marketing strategy. The numbers you get will help you decide what content to push out more and where.

Bonus: Here’s an infographic about the lead generation metrics you should be aware of.

lead generation metrics infographic