Don’t Get Spooked by Metrics

Marketers are often haunted by how to explain the success of their content marketing efforts. How do you measure creativity and people’s response to it? The answer isn’t hocus-pocus, it’s focus.

The trick to reporting the results of a piece of content is to know the purpose behind it in the first place. Every element of a content strategy should fit into a larger narrative for the brand, and as a contributor, it is important to be aware of that vision.

According to marketing expert Jay Baer, there are four types of content metrics that matter:

  1. Consumption
  2. Sharing
  3. Lead Generation
  4. Sales

The type of metrics on which to focus depends on the goal of the overall content strategy. Each type of metric represents a different goal and different question that’s being asked.


Consumption is based on how many times your content is viewed, read, or otherwise brought eyes to your website or blog.

If that is the goal of your content campaign, these are the metrics that will show you the results:

  1. Google Analytics: where is the traffic to your site coming from?
  2. Insights: how many people are viewing, interacting, or engaging with your content on social platforms?
  3. Downloads/ Subscriptions: how many people took the extra steps to continue to engage in your content?


If consumers are sharing content, it validates its usefulness. Sharing metrics matters when the goal of the content is to reach beyond your normal scope of consumption.

Look again to insights for these numbers. Most social media platforms will have a metric about sharing under the category of reach. New sites, like Medium, sometimes include a ‘Recommenders’ element, which is also important to consider when measuring sharing.

Lead Generation

After you have eyes and engagement, the next step is to generate business based on your content. When it comes to showing the monetary result, this is one of the ways to measure content’s worth.

So where do you look? This could take a little work on behalf of the web team. The best way to measure lead generation is to install forms, cookies, and subscription popups.

You can also measure click-through rates and keyword rankings to see how your content is performing outside for social sharing and interaction.


Sales and marketing have long been considered two arms with a mutual goal, but with extremely different approaches to converting leads. The conversion is ultimately what matters to the company.

Working with the sales team to measure and record new customers’ experience with the brand allows the content marketers to paint a picture of the effectiveness of their campaigns. Using programs like Salesforce, these kinds of metrics are easy to set up and analyze.

To recap, set goals for your content and look for metrics from more than one place which will illustrate the success or failure of a campaign. Don’t spend all your energy looking at the analytics, spend much more time and effort on creating great content. Let the metrics follow.

By: Sage Curtis, Oct 26 2015

Tags: content creation, content marketing, Google Analytics, lead generation, social media metrics

Originally published at on October 26, 2015.

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