Digital marketing experts focus on analytics to understand how content is performing, how the target audience is interacting with the content, and which content assets and tools are driving ROI.
Often referred to as content KPIs, these key performance indicators give digital marketing experts insight into which pieces of content are meeting goals, need improvement, and falling flat.
Trending industry buzzwords like big data, IoT, and machine learning sends marketing teams running toward high-end analytics software programs that deliver volumes of data (IBM Watson, Alchemy API, Tableau). Marketers don’t need sophisticated, expensive analytics software to develop the content KPIs necessary for B2B marketers to succeed. The success of content analytics focuses on defining goals and tracking the right metrics, and there are plenty of tools available that make visualization and analysis easy.
Content Analytics Metrics
Measuring the impact of content that drives website traffic, leads and sales is the foundation of a content analytics dashboard. The right metrics will help you identify the most effective marketing strategies to truly impact the business.
Website Content Consumption & Interaction Metrics
- Landing page views & bounce rates
- Time spent on page
- Lead magnet downloads
- Form completion
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Video metrics
- Inbound links
- Exit pages
Social Media Metrics
- Engagement (shares, likes, comments)
- Follower growth
- Click-through rate
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- Forward/share rate
Retention Rate Metrics
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Channel CLV
- Repeat order rate & timing
- Orders per active customer
Content Analytics Goals
Defining goals for visualization is a critical part of content analytics for B2B companies. The goals will be specific to your industry and department. The table below illustrates how each content marketing department uses different goals and measurements to identify performance rates.
When you break down content analytics, it’s a bunch of content assets (website landing pages, social media posts, videos, eBooks, etc.) broken down into performance metrics. The value of content analytics comes from the alignment of goals and the right metrics. Let’s dive into each section to learn how to effectively measure content performance and goals.
Website Content KPIs
There are at least a dozen ways to measure website content KPI. We’ll focus on Google Analytics and a few other tools to help you get started.
Content marketers should be able to identify the channel that delivers the most traffic to a website: Organic search? Social media? Paid advertising? As a Google Analytics user, you can customize the collection, processing, and reporting on traffic source dimensions, campaigns, custom reports, and more. Traffic source data can help marketing teams identify activities that drive the most traffic and help them focus and improve on those activities.
Google Analytics offers data reports for every part of your website. Landing page traffic, bounce rates, exit rates, conversions, downloads, form completion, device data, and more. Data analysis, visualization, and reporting features enable marketers to gain actionable insights from learning which content assets drive the most traffic and engagement, and which content assets are falling short.
Learn more at the Google Analytics blog.
What if you’ve been working hard to increase traffic to the website, visitor numbers are up, but conversions have dropped or flatlined? It’s time to measure bounce rate. A high bounce rate on one of your most popular pages indicates several problem areas; poor design, poor conversion optimization, slow page speed, etc.
Before you start investigating, be sure to examine the bounce rate from several reports: The Audience Overview, The Channels report, the All Traffic report, and the All Pages report. A site-wide high bounce rate can indicate a technical or development issue, while a high bounce rate that is specific to one channel signals a marketing problem.
Conversion Rates & Funnels
Tracking conversions with goal tracking and goal flow will produce data that shows marketers where website visitors are most likely to complete a goal or most likely to exit the process.
Don’t have time to set up all of the custom tracking features that will help deliver valuable KPI data? Browse Google Analytics Solutions Gallery and import a custom reporting solution.
Social Media KPIs
Since social media can be used for a variety of marketing initiatives, it’s important to define specific goals before putting metrics in place.
Are you driving brand awareness and thought leadership? Engagement metrics will point you in the right direction.
Are you trying to market events or webinars? Set acquisition KPIs with goal tracking in Google Analytics.
Do you want to drive website visitors through social media? Traffic source tracking in Google Analytics is a must.
In addition to tracking social media KPIs with Google Analytics, social media posting tools offer their own Analytics dashboards as well.
Email Marketing KPIs
Like social media, there are many possibilities for measuring email marketing performance. Keep in mind; only certain email marketing metrics can line up with specific goals.
General KPIs for email marketing include click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, list growth rate, and email engagement can help improve ROI.
If your email list isn’t growing, it’s time to look at the website and conversion optimization. Is there a sign-up form on every page for the newsletter?
If email conversion rates are low, begin tracking engagement rates. How many people click on links within the email or respond to special offers or incentives?
Most email marketing software providers offer detailed FAQ pages, user guides, and blog posts to help you succeed with email marketing and analytics. MailChimp, AWeber, and ActiveCampaign have excellent support teams and expansive training libraries.
As account based marketing rises in popularity, retention KPIs are going to become very important to marketing teams who are tracking CLV (customer lifetime value.)
While Google Analytics offers LTV tracking, experts recommend advanced tracking through a CRM.
CRMs that offer Google Analytics integrations for the implementation of retention KPIs:
Google Analytics Alternatives and Integrations
Google Analytics is sufficient enough to help marketing teams set and track KPIs to drive strategy and improve ROI. If your brand is interested in KPIs for a specific type of content or wants another tool in addition to or instead of GA, you have many options.
Wistia takes video analytics to the next level. The best part? It integrates with Google Analytics for maximum return on measurement and tracking.
Landing Page Analytics
Leadpages and Unbounce + Infusionsoft provide landing page metrics with or without help from Google Analytics.
Analytics on the Go
Clicky is a little easier to navigate, and viewing data from a mobile device is much better than navigating a GA dashboard on a smartphone.
FoxMetrics isn’t a replacement for Google Analytics, but together they can provide robust metrics that will help a brand understand visitor behavior so marketers can target the right audience and the right time.
Sumo measures visitor interaction with blog content, giving you insight to improve your blog and engagement with readers.
Implementing content KPIs will help your brand not only connect with more customers and leads, but it will also improve customer retention and service as well. In the beginning, setting up KPIs will feel like an overwhelming process. Content marketing alone without proper tracking and analysis is a dangerous combination. If you don’t move forward in the content analysis process, your competitors will.
What are some of your questions or difficulties in setting up content marketing KPIs? Ask us in the comments or tweet us @clickseed.