No business can survive without customers. While customer retention is incredibly important, attracting new customers is essential to growing your business. Because of this, customer acquisition should be a top priority for business owners. This begs the question, how do you get new customers or clients in the literal or figurative door?
Traditionally, your sales team will engage with your potential customers, sending emails, making phone calls, and visiting them in person depending on the nature of your business. Though this approach is often effective, is it the most efficient use of your employees’ time?
Many successful businesses have decided that it would be better for the customers to come to them, rather than them go to the customers. One of the ways to do this is to take an inbound approach and implement a content marketing strategy.
This is a great move for most businesses, however, when you incorporate a content marketing campaign into your overall strategy, you’ll want to ensure you’re seeing a return on your investment.
Content marketing is a type of marketing where you create and share online content in order to spread awareness about what you do and create interest in working with or purchasing from your company.
Earlier, we mentioned how salespeople will interact with potential customers multiple times. Why do they do this? These multiple contacts are so that when your potential customer is ready to be an actual customer, your business is top-of-mind.
Content marketing seeks to do the same thing, but more efficiently. By creating content in the form of blogs, videos, or social media posts, you can position your business as the "go-to expert" in your field. Essentially, you become the brand people find and think of when they are having a problem.
As important as this is, content marketing works in another important way. As a consumer, what do you do when you have a problem? If you’re like millions of other people, you ask Google how to fix that problem. You may not even know how to communicate what’s wrong, but Google magically knows and directs you to the answers you need.
When you engage in content marketing, you become the answer that your potential customer is searching for.
Does it work? According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing leaders experience nearly eight times more site traffic than non-leaders.
Need more convincing? Demand Metric says that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, and generates three times as many leads.
What are content marketing metrics?
Is content marketing a good strategy to incorporate into your business? Probably. But, it takes time and energy to plan and resources to execute. Just like any other strategy, you would think to include, you’ll want to make sure that you’re seeing a healthy return on investment (ROI) for your effort.
In order to do that, you’ll need to become familiar with content marketing metrics. With these numbers, you’ll be able to determine if what you’re doing is making an impact as is, if you’ll need to tweak your approach, or if you’ll need to abandon it altogether in exchange for something else.
Content Marketing Success Metrics
While there are hundreds of specific metrics out there you could use to determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are making enough of an impact to justify their costs, there are a handful of metrics that are essential. Incorporating the following numbers into your content marketing metrics dashboard will give you a great understanding of your performance and effectiveness.
1. Traffic Sources
It’s wonderful to discover that people are consuming your content. But, how did they find out about it? A truly successful content marketing plan will attract new potential customers through engaging content. On the other hand, you may also be creating more engagement with past customers or on-the-fence potential customers. This is still good as it can create repeat business and help you stay top-of-mind.
Either way, it’s important to know how readers have made their way to your content. To find traffic sources to your blog or website, you can use a platform such as Google Analytics.
How is your content doing? Does Google recognize that you are an "answer" to the searcher’s problems? Using Google Search Console, you can determine how many impressions your content has received. The more impressions, the more people you’ve reached.
3. Click-through-rate (CTR)
Impressions or views of your content is important, however, without acknowledging your CTR or click-through rate, you won’t be able to fully understand whether or not your content is effective.
More people may be viewing or consuming your content, but is it moving them to action? Are they visiting your website? Are they learning more about your products? Understanding your click-through rate provides this insight.
4. Content Shares and Backlinks
You’re putting out good content (hopefully!), but is it good enough to share? The true test of your content is whether or not people find it useful or interesting enough to share with their own audiences.
Bonus, the more your content is shared, the more Google sees it as the "solution" and shows it to more people. If you’re posting on social media, shares are easy to determine. If you’re looking at blog content, you can use a tool such as BuzzSumo or Ahrefs.
5. Email Opt-in Rates
Click-through rates are important to know if your readers are taking action on your content by visiting your website. However, if they don’t buy right away, are they giving you the opportunity to capture their information and connect with them in the future?
When your content marketing is performing well and truly doing its job, readers will be comfortable sharing their contact information with you and eager to hear more of what you have to say, and potentially purchase your product or service in the future. Your email marketing software can give you this metric.
6. Bounce Rate
Ideally, once people land on your website, they’ll take the time to explore, digest some of your content, and buy. Sometimes though, you’ll see a high bounce rate because people have navigated away from your website immediately after they were directed there. This could be due to slow-loading, a poor user experience, or different content than they expected.
It’s important to know your bounce rate and then understand what’s causing it. This helps you avoid putting all the time and effort into creating quality content, only to find that something on your website is turning off potential customers.
7. Keyword Rankings
A big part of content marketing is selecting the right keywords for your desired audience. Ultimately, the question is "what are your potential customers searching for on Google?" Once you’ve figured that out, you can incorporate those words into your content and ideally, be found more easily.
However, keywords change over time and you’ll need to make sure that you are being successful in your endeavors. Review the keyword rankings using SEMRush or Google Search Console and tweak your keywords or your content when it’s not performing well.
Content Marketing Dashboard
If you’re looking to keep your metrics and data organized, consider creating a content marketing dashboard with up-to-date visuals of the key metrics you want your team to track. When content marketers are clear on their goals, they are in a better position to meet and exceed them.
The ideal content marketing metrics for you to use will be determined by what your goals are with your content marketing strategy. If you are looking to increase brand awareness, you will utilize different metrics than if your primary goal is to increase sales of a specific product or increase turnout for your next event.