To Improve Content Marketing, Put KPIs Into Strategy

According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2015 report, demand for content strategists has skyrocketed. However, content strategists are only as competent as their understanding of what success actually looks like in their company’s eyes. The trash bin is the richest place in many offices, filled with ideas that have been shot down.

Content strategists can boost their campaigns by formulating and addressing KPIs ahead of time, during the initial stage of idea creation.

Think like a business manager. Managers view content KPI in terms of new business transactions, while content writers sometimes think of content in terms of content popularity alone.

After languishing over every word in a blog post or tweet in the trenches of creative warfare, content writers often struggle to separate themselves personally and emotionally from their work. Content strategists need to makes sure they shift their mindset towards more “big picture” business thinking before moving any further into crafting campaigns.

KPIs are goals that are critical for gauging success and crafting better campaigns. When one knows what success looks like, it becomes much easier to attain it.

Here are KPIs that every content strategist should consider when crafting a campaign:

Qualified Leads: These are the “holy grail” of content KPIs. What makes a qualified lead at one’s company? How might this content marketing initiative capture more of these leads? A company we worked with referred to a qualified lead as anyone who downloaded a particular newsletter. Conversion rate refers to how often customers actually complete a behavior on-site that makes them qualified leads, such as completing a form, downloading a report, or writing a comment. How might your content direct readers to complete a particular action?

Bounce Rate: The shorter the bounce rate, the longer visitors are spending reading and engaging with articles. The bounce rate refers to how long consumers spend on a site before leaving to go to another page. If a visitor has a shorter visit (i.e. 30s), this could mean that the headline of the content piece was interesting, but the actual content itself was not.  The longer the visit, the more likely they found the site’s content useful and moved down the purchase pipeline.

Cost-Per-Lead: These days, budgets are shifting to enable content strategists to better use software, primary/secondary research, social media and technology. If you determine how much your company currently spends on acquiring a lead, you can then strategize content that can help it reduce that cost and lower the cost-per-lead.  How might a company’s content strategy be created so that it is more efficient?

Production Rate: How long does it take to create content from start to finish?

Turnaround-rate: How quickly can a company proof and revise content drafts?

On-time percentage: How often is content actually scheduled and posted on schedule, given the turnaround rate and numerous other factors that can sometimes slow down content workflow?

Customer-retention rate: Of the people that come to the company's paid, owned or earned media outlets, what percentage return to engage brand content? Which ones have become loyal? It’s great to attract new users and visitors, but it's even better to retain them.

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