3 Ways to Turn Your Content Marketing Goals Into KPIs

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Everyone wants to get into content marketing these days, especially B2B firms. You tend to start and end your efforts with a business blog and scheduled tweets. But you can fall short because you write and write and write, but never measure your efforts. You have no idea if you’re making an impact on your audience.

Content marketing isn’t a case of “if you build it, they will come.” It’s more of a long-term strategy that involves output, but also measurement and course correction. There’s no easy way to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you “should” be measuring. Content marketing goals are highly specific and unique to each company, and even each marketing campaign you’re running.

To get the most out of your content marketing strategy, you’ll need to determine your specific goals, and then tie them to the right KPIs.

Your content marketing goals

Remember: The goal isn’t to be good at content marketing. The goal is to be good at business because of content marketing.” – Jay Baer, New York Times best-selling author, global keynote speaker, and digital media entrepreneur. President of Convince and Convert.

The first rule of content marketing is to never create content just for the sake of creating it. The second rule is to always understand what it is you want your content to do or solve. This will help you create your overall strategy, because you’ll understand the end result you’re looking for.

Jay Baer calls this Youtility, or discovering your “one thing”.

Here are a few content marketing goals to consider:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Drive more traffic to your website.
  • Generate sales leads.
  • Educate prospects and convert them into leads.
  • Convert leads into customers.
  • Improve customer retention.
  • Drive upsell for existing customers.

Each of these goals uses a different strategy to achieve that goal, depending on different audiences, marketing channels, and targeted messages. That’s why it’s important to figure out your goals before deciding how to reach them with your content.

Now we can get into translating those goals into measurable KPIs. Let’s take a look at how to do that with the first three goals in our list.

1. Increase brand awareness

This type of content should catch the attention of your audience because it’s highly relevant and exciting.  It could be related to the topic, the format, or the content itself.

Types of content to create:

  • Co-branded content such as eBooks and webinars, created in partnership with another organization in your industry (obviously not one of your competitors!)
  • SlideShare presentations about a hot topic in your industry
  • A series of blog posts solving problems common to your industry

The content should:

  • Reflect your company mission and values.
  • Be noteworthy enough to draw attention to your brand.
  • Get people to share it with their audience.

KPIs for brand awareness

  • Number of social shares the content gets.
  • Number of views and shares from the partnership audiences (when producing co-branded content.)
  • Number of downloads, video views, etc.

2. Drive more traffic to your website

Your website is part of your overall marketing funnel, and specifically it’s for top-of-funnel content. It shows your audience the value your company offers them, and then leads them through the rest of the marketing funnel. Of course you have to get them to your site first before you can do anything else.

Types of content to create:

  • Social media posts that link to your website or blog
  • Blog posts with calls-to-action that lead them further into your website and content, such as an offer to download a case study from a landing page, or sign up to a future webinar.
  • Infographics that are shared with your audience that include a link to your website or blog for further information.

The content should:

  • Be optimized to drive readers to your website.
  • Let you easily integrate this optimization so it becomes part of your overall content production process.
  • Integrate tracking technology so you can easily measure the amount of traffic it’s generating, such as with Google Analytics CTMs and more.

KPIs for website traffic

  • Number of total visitors in a given time period
  • Number of new and returning visitors
  • Time spent on your site
  • Conversion rates for CTA content (signups to your webinar, downloads of a report, etc.)

3. Generate more leads

Lead generation is often the #1 goal for content marketing, as you’ll want to convert your website traffic into leads you can nurture. You do this through gated content that requires readers to complete a form to access the content, which is often found on a landing page.

Types of content to create:

  • eBooks (long- or short- form)
  • Checklists and one-page reference sheets
  • Lists of tools or resources relevant to your industry, such as a document template
  • Great blog content that readers will come back for on a regular basis

The content should:

  • Be valuable enough that readers will provide their information in exchange for it
  • Be placed on a landing page that provides and communicates the value of each content piece well enough to convert readers

KPIs for lead generation

  • Number of leads generated from each piece of content
  • Landing page conversion rates
  • Number of blog subscriptions
  • Number of comments being generated on your blog from prospects and leads

Your turn

So those are three examples of how to turn your content marketing goals into measurable KPIs. Now it’s your turn. Decide on your goals, decide on the content you’ll use to achieve those goals, and then figure out the KPIs that match them both. Do this on a regular basis, and you’ll gain the insight you’ll need to measure your content marketing efforts.

For more info on content marketing strategies, check out this post from Jay Baer and this one from HubSpot.

Flickr photo via Creative Commons license

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Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini is a technology writer, copywriter and consultant for B2B technology companies. She helps them connect with people and grow their business with helpful content and copy. Visit her website to see who she’s helping today: www.spacebarpress.com