How to pick the right content KPIs for your business

Author: William Holeksa

Welcome to the final part of our guide to measuring the efficiency of your content marketing strategy.

To help you navigate our series of articles, here’s a recap of what we’ve covered so far:

Now that we gave you a detailed overview of 4 different KPI groups that come in handy for all content marketers (SEO, business and conversion, social engagement, user engagement), it’s time to develop a strategy for choosing the right KPIs.

The choice KPIs for your content marketing strategy depends on your business model. In this part of our guide, we take a closer look at 4 different types of companies:

  1. Business-to-consumer (B2C)
  2. Business-to-business (B2B) company,
  3. Marketing agency,
  4. Content publisher.

Choice KPIs for your content marketing strategy

Why divide content KPIs by the type of business?

Consider this:

While a B2B company may only be interested in tracking metrics that show the profits of their content marketing campaign, a manager at a marketing agency will want to see more details about the traffic generated by content – for example, where it comes from.

Depending on their priorities and level of knowledge, organizations take advantage of KPIs that reach different levels of depth.

Here’s what you need to know about 4 categories and why each type of organization requires tracking different content KPIs.

1.   B2C organization

How to pick the right content KPIs for your - B2C organization

For B2C companies, the primary goal is most of the time selling more products or services to customers. That’s why the most critical metrics here are sales and revenue because they show how much money the business is actually making.

Primary KPIs

That’s why the business and conversion metrics are so important here. Social engagement KPIs also play a part, especially for tracking purchases generated from social channels.

Secondary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value
  • ROAS
  • Order value
  • Consumer loyalty and retention

SEO metrics:

  • Organic conversion rate.

User engagement metrics:

  • Conversion rate

Social engagement metrics:

  • Social conversion

The secondary KPIs may not be directly linked to the profits made by the company. However, when a business sees a major improvement in these metrics, it means that customers are close to making a purchase. That’s why a boost in the secondary KPIs often entails an improvement in the primary KPIs.

Expert tip: These metrics may differ depending on the size of the organization. Large organizations usually have multiple stakeholders and executives may only look at the main KPIs. However, smaller B2C organizations where employees wear multiple hats are interested in the secondary KPIs as well – that’s how they measure the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts.

How to pick the right content KPIs for your - Organization

2. B2B Organizations

How to pick the right content KPIs for your - B2B Organizations

B2B companies operate in a different way than organizations that sell to consumers. Their business cycle is usually much longer and a single sale may even take months to close. There will be more meetings between two companies that are about to collaborate, including product demonstrations, signing on non-disclosure agreements, and negotiating on terms.

For B2B companies, primary goals are measured through lead generation. We can call leads conversions, even if they’re not necessarily selling a product or service in the conversion. Conversion is still a mark of interest and valuable contact information of a target client.

Primary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Revenue
  • Sales
  • Conversion rate
  • Leads generated

SEO metrics:

  • Organic conversion rate

User engagement metrics:

  • Conversion rate

Social engagement metrics:

  • Purchases generated from social
  • Leads generated from social
  • Social conversions

Secondary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Customer loyalty and retention
  • Media mentions
  • Branded searches
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Order value
  • Customer lifetime value
  • ROAS

Remember that not all B2B companies are large. The giants among them usually have a considerable amount of marketing project budget dedicated to advertising, social media, and other digital marketing channels. That’s why B2B companies use all of these metrics – they are simply interested in measuring how effective their campaigns are.

3. Marketing agencies

How to pick the right content KPIs for your - Marketing agencies

Marketing agencies take advantage of content marketing in many different ways, starting from long-form content like white papers to blog posts and social media. All these efforts may contribute to a sale, but marketing agencies are interested in learning how effective their individual campaigns are. They often use content marketing to introduce their products or services to a brand-new audience to increase brand awareness.

Primary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Revenue
  • Sales
  • Leads generated
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Conversion rate
  • ROAS
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Total traffic
  • Media mentions.

SEO metrics:

  • Mobile search traffic
  • Organic search traffic
  • Organic conversion rate
  • Links

Social engagement metrics:

  • Social conversions
  • Social referral traffic
  • Leads generated social
  • Most popular content
  • Shares or retweets

User engagement metrics:

  • Conversion rate

Secondary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Customer loyalty and retention
  • Branded searches
  • Reviews
  • Order value

Social engagement metrics:

  • Reviews
  • Net promoter score
  • Email subscribers

User engagement metrics:

  • Page views

Note that marketing agencies share many of these KPIs with B2B and B2C companies. However, many of the secondary KPIs are entirely different. Remember that a digital marketing agency may create content that doesn’t need to lead to a conversion. Sometimes it’s all about boosting brand awareness. Marketing agencies want their content to be shared widely on social media.

Press releases or newsletters don’t need to bring a high number of conversions; it’s the awareness building that helps to get higher in SERP rankings and makes digital marketing agencies stand out from the crowd. Naturally, marketing agencies are always interested in measuring the popularity of their content marketing campaigns.

4. Content publishers

How to pick the right content KPIs for your - Content publishers

Who exactly are publishers? They’re blog owners, online magazines and news companies. Remember that their primary source of profits is advertising income. And to sell more advertisements, they need to drive more traffic to their websites.

Primary KPIs

Business and conversion metrics:

  • Total traffic
  • SEO organic search traffic
  • Mobile search traffic

User engagement metrics:

  • Page views
  • Unique visitors

Social engagement metrics:

  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Most popular content
  • Social referral traffic
  • Likes, reactions, and favorites
  • Video engagement and completion
  • Impressions
  • Followers

Secondary KPIs

Social engagement metrics:

  • Comments and replies
  • Shares and retweets
  • Mentions
  • Profile views

User engagement metrics:

  • Pages per session
  • Time on page
  • Page or interaction depth

SEO metrics:

  • Ranking position
  • Organic links
  • Organic click-through rate
  • Mobile rankings
  • Organic impressions
  • Accelerated mobile pages
  • Duplicate titles and descriptions
  • Pages indexed

Publishers also offer paid subscriptions, but their revenue is directly related to the number of visitors they manage to attract. That’s why the most important KPIs for them are the ones that show how many visitors are engaging with their content. These numbers are extremely important in negotiations with prospective advertisers. That’s why traffic and social shares are the most critical metrics here.

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Key takeaway

It doesn’t matter what kind of organization you’re working for: if you want to succeed, you need to invest in content and then measure how it performs for your target audience.

The main KPIs we reviewed for each type of organization are the most common ones. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a more in-depth look into other KPIs. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking to gain from content marketing, what your primary goals are, and how much you know about the potential benefits of content marketing for your business.

All the KPIs mentioned above – and throughout our guide – form the foundation on which you can build your content marketing analytics.

This chapter concludes our guide to measuring content marketing KPIs. Do you have any questions about measuring these metrics? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments; we’re happy to help marketers build more efficient campaigns thanks to advanced analytics.

William Holeksa

Managing Director at Marketin9

With over 12 years of commercial experience SEO and Application Development and 8 years in Web Development, William is extremely passionate about IT, web security and data science.

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