How to Measure Content Marketing Success?

Annika Helendi
May 5 · 6 min read

How many times have you heard one of the following sayings:

1) Content is king

2) Tell a great story and get $$$

3) Have you found our saviour, content marketing, yet?

Regardless of whom you ask, a marketer or a salesperson, they’ll tell you that content marketing is one of the best ways to market your business or startup today. Or in the words of Seth Godin:

“Content marketing is the only marketing left.”

And while you’re aware that content marketing is the best and most cost effective way to market today, how can you actually measure the success of your efforts?

The Truth about Content Marketing

Marketers often talk about audience and providing value, but the real catch with content marketing implementation are just two things:

Volume and quality.

Forget the “quality over quantity” sayings for a second. Content quantity matters.

You need volume to make it with content marketing. Publishing 16 or more blog posts every month increases traffic by almost 3.5x.

The logical reasoning behind it is that if you publish more content, you can spread your content marketing efforts to attract all types of customers:

From the top of the funnel ones who are barely aware of the problem you’re going to solve, to the ones in the middle who are considering potential solutions, and finally — the bottom of the funnel prospects who are ready to buy.

Publishing more content is also a great way of establishing your influence in the industry and jumpstarting your content marketing returns.

Consider what content marketers do — not what they say

When you look at the most popular names in your industry, you’ll see that their blogs are full of posts.

Companies that use content marketing to drive more traffic (e.g. Salesforce) publish all the time, across different categories that their (potential) customers may be interested in.

So if you want to compete (and content is all about competition), you’re going to need more than a blog post or two.

Especially when you consider that every day, 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced.

That’s a lot of content, a huge part of which is being produced by big companies who have the budget for employing dozens of writers to fuel their content marketing engine.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you should give up right away. It’s all about scaling your content marketing in an affordable way.

And what about quality?

Volume is integral to competing with other players in your niche, but quality matters, as well.

On average, readers spend 37 seconds reading online content.

When you add the shortening attention span to the mix (8 seconds), it means you don’t have a lot of time to convince them your post is better than cookie dough ice cream.

The quantity of your content will attract visitors, but the quality is responsible for making them stick around.

And with over 71% of buyers engaging with content during their buyer journey, you need that content to perform.

Otherwise, you risk losing leads before they’ve become customers.

It’s tough out here for a content marketer.

Content marketing may bring three times as many leads as paid search, but you need to focus on both quantity and quality if you want to get great results for your business.

The solution:

How does 4000 words of content for just $250 per month sound?

ContentFly is a perfect mix of quality and quantity that will improve the effectiveness of your content marketing.

Our writers are experts that have gone through a rigorous vetting process before being assigned to write your content. They’re IT experts, marketers, financial analysts, designers, and much more.

The articles you’ll get are optimized for search engines, the copy is interesting so your visitors stay on your site, and you can submit your first content request in less than 30 seconds.

Save time on doing content marketing and focus on what comes next: measuring the results and making your audience as happy as a heap of puppies.

Two Approaches to Content Marketing

You can approach content marketing from two perspectives:

  1. Viral traffic
  2. Organic search traffic

Viral traffic comes from all those headlines that sound too good to be true.

It’s ground-breaking research, a shift in the perspective, or an offer your customers can’t say no to. It elicits an emotional response that makes readers share the content like wildfire.

It’s a short-term strategy, but it’s one that can definitely boost your brand awareness and make your business end up in the New York Times.

The second approach that’s used by most businesses is organic search traffic

It’s a long-term plan that relies on continuous content creation, keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO).

Whenever your customers are in doubt, they turn to Google. And your content responds to their search queries with a few main goals in mind:

  • Provide content relevant to their personal needs
  • Educate
  • Sell

The sales funnel has become a work of art these days. Blog content is being used to attract visitors through SEO, and email content is used to get their contact information and nurture them to conversion.

Finally, even if the prospects aren’t 100% sure, you can create content for paid retargeting.

Is content marketing really worth it?

The truth is, content is versatile. And when you add the numbers up it’s clear that yes, content marketing is really capable of making your business shine among the competitors.

The only two requirements are volume and quality, and you’ve got that covered with ContentFly.

How to Measure Content Marketing Success?

Finally, there are 5 content marketing metrics you should pay attention to:

1. New paying customers from each content piece

Monitor the journey of your customers from your content piece to the checkout.

This is the most important metric because it directly shows you how much return on content investment you’re getting.

AKA: Does content lead to more purchases?

2. New paying customers from overall organic search traffic or referral traffic from viral content

In some cases, your content marketing returns will only be visible from the accumulation of all of your efforts.

This is especially true for industries with long sales cycles.

If your content has gone viral, you should look at the platforms where it’s received most shares that led directly to purchases.

This way, you’ll know which platforms to target in the future.

3. Total keywords ranking in top 10 Google results

Content (particularly — SEO) results take time. On average, 3–6 months. But when you start getting them and keep plugging away at content, you’ll notice you’re getting better results sooner.

Ranking helps place your content in the best spots on the results pages of search engines, and you can get there with a little help from quantity, quality and backlinks.

While this metric doesn’t directly show how effective your content is for revenue, it can help you predict efficacy in the long term.

4. Total page views for each content piece

This content marketing metric can help you determine which content is most popular, but it doesn’t exist in a bubble.

You can’t determine the effectiveness of your content by looking at it alone.

Instead, compare it to the metric showing paying customers from each content piece, and you’ll see the bigger picture.

5. Time on page for each content piece

Finally, like page views, this metric can be a vanity metric if you don’t put it into perspective.

Yes, more time on your page means great SEO signals for dwell time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting more customers.

So again, look at the paying customers metric. Content that makes people stick around on your site for hours doesn’t mean it’s the kind of content that will make them buy your product.

And while your content can be the ripest peach in the orchard, you need content that drives sales.

That’s effective content.

Everything else is just pretty words.


Originally published at https://contentfly.co on May 5, 2019.

Annika Helendi

Written by

Co-Founder and CMO of ContentFly.co, former CEO of Teamweek and Head of Marketing at Toggl.

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