According to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, 31% of respondents rated their organization as doing a fair or poor job of aligning metrics with content goals. In fact, CMI also found that only 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers even had a written content plan documented!
If you’re trying to get strategic by determining goals — and how you’ll measure them — but aren’t sure where to start, consider these 5 options.
Goal #1: Site structure and performance
If you ask a marketer what content metrics you should measure, you’ll get a long list that’s related to how your website is performing, and with good reason. Your website is your digital storefront, and even if you don’t sell on it, it’s still the digital “face” of your brand.
“Are your viewers on a page for under a minute or for 10 minutes?” asks Fara Rosenzweig, Head of Content at ManyChat, in an interview for this article. Rosenzweig continues, “If visitors jump on your page and then hop right off, you’re not creating a digital experience that keeps them engaged on the page.”
When asked what metrics can help brands determine if their site is functioning at its peak, Rosenzweig suggests, “Look at the time spent as well as the bounce and exit rate.”
Also, consider implementing manual user testing of the site to check for ease of use and any bugs, as well as using heat maps to show how the content is being consumed.
Goal #2: Increase brand awareness
What’s the point of creating content if no one is there to view it?
In an interview for this article, Stuart Cooke, founder of Levity Digital, an SEO agency, says, “The initial goal of any content marketing strategy should be to increase the awareness of your brand or in some cases, change the perception of your brand. When you create high-quality, well-researched content that provides actionable answers to the questions your target audience are asking, you are establishing trust and authority in your brand.”
Depending on your focus, consider checking social metrics, such as follower growth and social engagement, as well as opt-in downloads, and web traffic growth.
Goal #3: Customer engagement
While growing an audience and developing an overall awareness and affinity for your brand is a vital initial goal, let’s not forget about engaging current customers. By nurturing the relationships formed with the people who’ve already purchased, brands gain more loyal customers who not only return to spend more, but also act as cheerleaders who refer friends and family, too. Personalized sales campaigns, rich email content, and engaging on social media help to build relationships with customers.
One way to tell if you’re succeeding with customer engagement is to measure email growth, open rates, and click-throughs. Blog comments, content shares, and inbound links also help marketers to determine how their campaigns are influencing engagement (or not!).
Goal #4: Conversions
One of the most popular content goals is conversions, and for good reason — if you’re turning your audience into buyers, your brand makes money.
“You can have the best content in the world, but none of it matters unless it’s able to drive results,” says Jonathan Chan, Head of Marketing at InsaneGrowth, in an interview for this article. He continues, “How you track this metric will depend heavily on what your goals are for each piece of content and where it fits into the overall sales funnel. But, in general, the best way is to include a strong call-to-action in every piece of content you produce. For example, this can be a simple content upgrade that offers a lead magnet in an article, or it can be a unique discount code for an influencer you’re working with, to tracking the number of clicks and sign-ups a Facebook ad receives.”
Bottom line: learn your online and offline sales numbers, and use tech tools that will help you determine how your marketing efforts lead to the final purchase.
Goal #5: Team performance
You might automatically think of team performance as an HR goal. However, each person’s efforts directly contribute to whether the content marketing goals are achieved or not. For example, if you employ an SEO specialist whose keyword choice consistently fails, adjustments may be necessary with the personnel.
This might be one of the tougher content marketing goals to measure, but consistent team reviews, quarterly performance evaluations, and project management oversight should point out any issues that need correcting, as well as any team members that need celebrating.
Start with these 5 content marketing goals, and use them to tweak marketing decisions and goals moving forward. Even just beginning to document goals and measuring whether or not they’re working will transform how brands approach content marketing.