“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
If you are a sports enthusiast of any kind, then you know the importance of choosing specific performance points to focus on. When you watch basketball, no points are given to the fastest player. When you watch track, they aren’t thinking about keeping their head down to prepare for impact, because they are solely focused on speed. Focusing on specific indicators means improving that aspect of your performance. Not every metric is equally important and the important metrics are going to vary based on the goals of the individual, team or sport.
Brands use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to focus on very specific parts of their brand that are going to be important to their overall goals. These indicators will give them an idea of if they are succeeding or struggling to perform well in ways that is important to company success. Not every metric is going to be equally important to a brand. The KPIs are going to single out indicators of performance in the light of specific goals.
Geckoboard has put out research that found nearly half of small and medium sized businesses do not identify KPIs.
Use KPIs to Supercharge Your Content Marketing
If your company is already using KPIs, then you are off to a great start. But, content marketing has a slightly different angle that requires its own set of performance indicators. Here are the KPIs that will help pump up your 2019 content marketing strategy:
1. Search Position of Unbranded Terms – Know what your average position is when a user types a relevant, but not branded, term into Google (so, nothing with your brand name). You want to shoot for as low of an average number as possible. You can use the search console in Google Analytics to calculate this KPI.
2. MQLs by Content/Platform/Campaign – While measuring the overall reach of various strategies is important, it is more important to see which ones are driving the leads that are ready to purchase. A Marketing Qualified Lead is likely to become a customer and means more to your company than the overall number of new leads acquired. A marketing automation program should be able to show new leads and then MQLs can be further defined based on behavior after their initial visit.
3. Resolving Audience Needs – If the goal of your content is to be relevant and helpful to your audience, then it should be a KPI. You can measure your success by looking at how often onsite search queries brought up the right content and kept users browsing. If your search queries aren’t bringing up anything, or are bringing up hundreds of items without discretion, then you need to adjust your onsite search to be more helpful. If you don’t have topics covered that your visitors are searching for, then you need to publish content providing those solutions. And, if a lot of users are bouncing even after getting results, you may need to revisit your content and improve the quality.
4. Content Impact – Even though engagement and click-thru rates are technically vanity metrics, they can tell you a lot about how much your content is resonating with your audience. You can get a good idea of how much impact your content is having when you see how the audience is responding. As you build your content marketing strategy, work to increase content that gets more attention. Remember, social media algorithms are going to place importance on engagement, so responding to customers is an important way to keep the ball rolling towards more views. Also, make sure you are setting up your content for social success by tracking the days or times that get highest engagement and posting according to the sharing trends for that platform.
5. Customer Experience – According to the CEB, nearly all customers say they will repurchase (94%) if they had an easy experience with a company, while customers that had harder experiences went on to speak badly about the company to others (81%). A customer is only going to give you seconds before deciding if your message is what they want. If you are using heavy blocks of content, generic stock images and heavy-handed sales lingo, they probably are going to bounce. If your site is complicated to navigate or lacking important elements, they are likely going to leave after a short visit of searches and clicks.
Look at metrics like bounce rate, pages viewed per session, on-site search results and average time on page to get a better insight into your customer’s experience. If a customer is getting all the way to checkout before bouncing, you may not be making all of the costs clear enough from the start. If a customer is getting stuck in the middle, you may not have enough information to help them work through the Awareness and Decision stages of the buyer’s journey. Getting the customer through the site without a hitch means helping them make a decision purchase and increase trust in your brand.
Do you have other KPIs you measure for better content marketing?
Alethea M graduated from the University of Saint Francis in 2009 with a B.A., double-majoring in Communication Arts and Graphic Design and double-focusing in Illustration and Computer Arts. She photographed the Saint Francis football team for a paid work study all four years she spent at the school. Immediately after graduating, she got a job at a non-profit company teaching art to young children and running their art program. She moved on to work as a copywriter and graphic designer for another non-profit company in Indiana as a Marketing Assistant for two years. She now spends her time as a wife, mother, freelance writer, and photographer.