Content Marketing Analytics Confusion Resolved: Top Metrics Guide

Content marketing is much more than a buzz phrase. For many companies, it’s key to how they pay their bills. 62% of B2B marketers have recently stated that they were more successful with content marketing this year than they were last year. Yet too many companies look at case studies and feel overwhelmed by everything that goes into content marketing analytics. They don’t know which metrics really move the needle. They don’t know how to make these metrics work.

To help you out, we’ve created this guide to the most important content marketing metrics. We’ll tell you why they matter. We’ll tell you what you to pay attention to. Then we’ll provide you with links to free resources that will make it easier for you to succeed.

At the end, we’ll explain how to choose the most important metrics for your specific situation.

Ready to get started?

Here we go:

Content Marketing Analytics that Matter: Lead Generation

The results of Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends were very clear. While content marketing metrics vary, the #1 goal marketers have for content marketing is lead generation.

Source:Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

In other words, marketers want targeted, qualified prospective customers.

Lead generation sometimes refers to appointment or consultation scheduling forms. That’s where prospects show interest and ask you to get back to them and tell them about your product. But in most cases, when marketers talk about generating leads, they talk about growing their email lists.

In fact, 91% of research participants told Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs that email is the most important content distribution channel, and the #2 most critical content marketing tactic (after blogs).

Source: Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

Getting a prospect on your email list can be the difference between a repeat reader that gives you the chance to build trust, and a one-time visitor that forgets to come back to your site. Email is more personal because it reaches the prospect directly. Many email software products even let you configure prospect names into the emails.

Your email list, unlike your social media channels, is an asset you own. No one can change the rules on you tomorrow and cause you to only reach a fraction of the audience you built.

And email, despite all the communication progress we’ve experienced online, is still the #1 most profitable channel. In fact, marketers earn $44.25 on average for every $1 they invest in email marketing, reports Fortune.

Pay Attention to These Content Marketing Analytics to Stay on Top of Your Lead Generation

If you want to benefit from lead generation, it’s important you stay on top of your content’s performance.

You need to analyze which types of content bring you the most leads – or the best quality leads – and produce more of that. Similarly, pay attention to the types of content that aren’t performing well, and try to figure out if there are ways to improve them, or if it’s best to stop producing them.

Remember, it’s all about creating targeted content that your audience loves. If you love it and your audience doesn’t, it could be hurting your lead generation efforts.

Analyze your marketing channels, too. If your blog is producing more or better-qualified leads than your podcast, prioritize blogging. If your audience converts on LinkedIn but not so much on Snapchat, invest more resources in LinkedIn.

To do this, create different landing pages and opt-in forms for each platform, or each type of content. Make sure subscribers are tagged differently in your email software.

But don’t stop there. If you have advanced tools, analyze how many content pieces an audience member consumes – or how long she or he engages with you on social media – before converting into a lead.

Great Resources: How to Improve Your Lead Generation

·How to Create a Killer Email List from Thin Air – Crazy Egg

·How You Can Build an Email Marketing List as Quickly as Possible – Kissmetrics

·85 Ways to Build Your Email List: A Sumo-Sized Guide – SumoMe

Content Marketing Analytics that Matter: Content Consumption

Audience head-count is one of the most popular content metrics on the Internet. Everyone who has any significant following shares it with the world.

Metrics-Guide

Source:Unbounce

Even we do it here at Native Ads. Check out these article view counts from our blog:

But most companies don’t show off their traffic or follower numbers just to brag. These numbers are social proof.

Social proof matters because it instantly gives site visitors a reason to trust you. Our thinking as visitors goes something like this: “If a few hundred people already read this article, then it must be good. Maybe it is a good idea that I make the time to read it too.”

Or: “If 69,000 people follow this company on Twitter, its product and content must be good. They won’t just add to the noise. Maybe I’ll actually benefit from following it too.”

The more people willing to give you a chance, the more chances you’ll have to build relationships with potential customers and convert them into leads (or even into customers).

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how many people consume your content. That means how much traffic you get to your posts, how many podcast downloads you get, and how many social media followers you have.

Source:Later

But be careful not to let consumption metrics distract you. While very popular, they’re also called vanity metrics for a reason. It’s easy to get swept away in high traffic numbers – and it’s important to celebrate your success. But you also need to make sure that your audience is the right audience, and that it’s behaving the way you’d like it to behave. That means to make sure your audience engages with your content, converts into leads, and buys your product.

If you can increase the number of qualified followers who do that, you’re in for some sweet content marketing success.

Pay Attention to These Content Marketing Analytics to Stay on Top of Your Audience’s Content Consumption

Now you know what to watch out for. Let’s talk about which consumption metrics you want to track.

First, as we said, you want to know how many people consume your content on different platforms. That means knowing how many blog readers you have, how many followers you have on each social media platform, and how many people visit the landing page with the email “bribe” you created.

It’s important to analyze which content types perform best, and which sources drive the best traffic. If you guest post on several blogs, for example, you usually won’t know how many people read your content. But you can see how many visitors your bylines sent you. Over time, write more for websites that send you the best traffic.

In addition, analyze how many pages an average visitor to your site checks out, and how much time an average visitor spends on your site. Figure out if it changes based on how she or he found your site, and put more effort into your best traffic sources.

Great Resources: How to Improve Content Consumption

Google Analytics has a wealth of information about these exact content metrics. Here’s an in-depth tutorial about it:

Source:HyperVlog via YouTube

Plus:

·17 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Website Traffic – Entrepreneur

·11 Traffic Techniques that are a Waste of Time for Beginners – Smart Blogger (Formerly Boost Blog Traffic)

·Are You Getting Embarrassing Click Through Rates? 5 Strategies to Make You a Headline Superstar – Native Ads

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Written by Ayelet Weisz

Ayelet Weisz is a copywriter who starts every day by dancing, before going on to help companies from four continents increase ROI and make a difference with content.