Measuring the success of content marketing initiatives is often cited as a significant challenge in case studies.
In today’s world, everyone needs to prove their work effectiveness and worthiness. Then, why not gauge the worthiness of your content? Why not measure if it’s achieving the desired goals set while planning?
The following metrics can help determine your content marketing strategy’s contribution to the growth of your business.
- Returning visitors
- Blog exit rate
- The cost of content versus its performance
- Time spent by visitors reading content
- Leads driven by content
- Exposure and authority
1. Returning visitors
If the content on your site is superb, visitors will bookmark the blog and return within a day or so to read more stuff. Check the ratio between total visitors and returning ones. Evaluating the percentage of new sessions is convenient with Google Analytics.
Look at the below screenshot of LoyaltyXpert’s website analytics. In that, you can see the ratio of returning visitors. We update content regularly to sustain returning visitors.
One-and-done visitors indicate problems in the content strategy. For increasing traffic, at least some percentage of first-time visitors should be willing to come back.
Plus, analyzing the source of traffic is also crucial. Direct traffic (people who type the website URL) can be an excellent source to detect the blog’s performance. Regular visitors just type a few letters in the address bar, and the browser automatically gives URL suggestions based on past visits. Thus, these are returning visitors.
2. Blog exit rate
As the name indicates, the exit page is the last page visited by readers before leaving the site. The exit rate should not be linked to the bounce rate as exits happen when visitors browse more than one page.
Exit rates can be high for contact us, about us, and product description pages. It should not be high for blog posts, ad campaign landing pages, or checkout pages.
A high exit rate for landing pages indicates a possible mismatch between ad copy and landing page content. More exits from blog posts suggest visitors don’t feel compelled enough to click on calls-to-action.
3. The cost of content versus its performance
The cost of content production is one of the most significant parts of the marketing budget. Video content is much more expensive than text. It can impact the overall ROI equation. But at times, spending more can be worth it.
Making changes in the content production process can increase efficiency and save your sales team resources and time. Check the gaps. If the content is underperforming, it obviously needs to be changed with something engaging.
There’s always someone who charges less, but there’s no point in cutting costs and then losing out on leads. These days, readers can easily differentiate between text written by experts and interns. So, rope-in industry-experts for content development and get an advantage from their expertise.
4. Time spent by visitors reading content
Almost all reputed websites and blogs have counters that show the estimated time required for reading a post. The logic behind displaying the number of minutes needed for reading is simple. Audiences get a basic idea about the minimum time required for reading the content before they start.
Website visitors can decide if they can finish reading the piece within the available time or bookmark it to read it at the end of the day. If the headline and the first paragraph are compelling enough, they will stay longer and consume the content before leaving.
Put simply, comparing the session duration with the number of minutes required for reading the post can help get the number of visitors who read the entire article.
The average session duration is always less than the number of minutes required for reading the content. That’s because most readers skip a line or two in between. You can consider the content as a success if visitors read more than one post and subscribe to an email newsletter.
Remember, as per a study conducted by Brafton, visitors’ average time also depends on the type of site (B2C, B2B, Hybrid).
5. Leads driven by content
Your content strategy can have a considerable impact on the company’s bottom line. And the best way to measure its effectiveness is by tracking leads driven due to the content. There is a direct link between the content released by marketing teams and leads generated.
Leads discover brands via Twitter, Instagram, your website, or other marketing channels. They click a call-to-action (CTA) button for subscribing to a newsletter, retrieving a coupon code, or getting more info on an offer. The CTA button takes them to the landing page that directs them to share information for receiving the intended item. The shared data consists of a significant number of leads for the business.
The number of leads will be substantial only if the content on marketing channels and landing pages is engaging and tempting enough for prospects to share the information.
If you wish to assess your content’s contribution towards a company’s revenue within minimum time, tracking a single landing page leads can be a good idea.
But you must consider the fact that the conversion rate for landing pages is low in almost all industries. As pointed out by Neil Patel, only one visitor out of 50 on the landing page might complete the intended action.
6. Exposure and authority
Content marketing can help you gain exposure and authority online as well as offline.
If your content ranks well (appears in top results) for target keywords, it is indeed increasing your authority. More and more people will use your content as a reference and link their posts to your site. Such links increase your post’s exposure and improve your chances of getting leads, resulting in more sales.
Besides search engine rankings, high-quality citations can help in measuring your online authority.
Your content can help your company gain offline exposure as well. An increase in invitations for industry events, receiving more press releases, getting coverage on TV and radio highlight increased offline authority.
Focus on gauging useful metrics
Pageviews, shares, and likes are vanity metrics that are often considered as signs of success. However, it’s equally crucial to consider aspects like links pointing to content, conversions resulted due to a piece (CTA clicks), user-engagement, and time spent by readers on the content.
The number of views on the page does not mean the visitor has enjoyed the content. These figures don’t help understand what people think about the content. On the other hand, a quality backlink or conversion percentage can be considered robust indicators for engagement levels. Platforms like Buzzsumo, Majestic SEO, and Google Analytics can help track social shares, backlinks, and related metrics.