15 ways to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy

Investing in a content marketing strategy is a good idea. But only if it's generating revenue. Here's how you can track your content strategies' impact on your bottom line and understand or improve its performance.

A content marketing strategy is essential for raising brand awareness, generating leads and traffic, and ultimately converting users. However, unlike PPC ads, it’s a more slow-burn way to generate revenue.

While content marketing significantly contributes to the bottom line for many businesses, it’s harder to attribute than other types of campaigns. In fact, according to SEMrush, only 54% of companies even measure the ROI of their content marketing strategy.

If you just read that statistic and were hit by a pang of guilt, don’t worry. Measuring your content marketing strategy is possible if you have the right metrics.

Why should you measure your content marketing strategy?

Measuring your content marketing strategy is crucial for a few different reasons.

1. Save money

About one-quarter of the average marketing budget is spent on content marketing. You can’t make these sorts of investments unless you know they have an ROI.

2. Optimize your content

If your how-to guides generate lots of leads but no one watches your YouTube channel, you need to know. Then you can ramp up your impactful content or find ways to improve poor-performing channels.

3. A better understanding of the customer journey

Measuring your content strategy helps you understand the typical buyer’s journey. What content drives awareness, consideration, and conversions? You need to know.

Metrics to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy

OK, now that you know why you need to measure your content marketing strategy, it’s time to learn how.

Now, it’s important to remember that there are many different approaches to content marketing. Some people just set up a site and have a blog. Others use social media, email marketing, guest blogging, and a strong focus on SEO.

In short, some of these metrics will be relevant to your strategy. Others won’t. For ease of reading, we’ll loosely categorize each metric.

Social media content metrics

Everyone uses social media. It’s a vital way to reach modern audiences, whether that’s through LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or wherever else.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to track the effectiveness of your content.

Here are a few of the metrics you should measure. We won’t spend too much time on them because you’ll be very aware of these metrics already.

1. Likes: Likes are a good sign that your content is interesting.

2. Shares: Shares are even better because your users are doing your marketing for you.

3. Comments: Lots of comments indicate that your content is engaging and will lead to social media algorithms promoting your content.

4: Mentions: While you can measure your social mentions, it’s hard to attribute them precisely. However, it’s worth monitoring because it could indicate your content marketing is working if they go up.

5. Followers: Again, it’s hard to tell precisely what prompts a user to follow your brand, but you can index it to the content you produce on that channel.

Web traffic and SEO content metrics

OK, now we get to the meatier stuff. You can track most of these metrics via Google Analytics.

6. Page views: Page views are a great way to measure the performance of a particular piece of website content. However, you need to contextualize it with other metrics.

7. New vs. Returning users: Everyone loves new users. But returning visitors are the people who find your content valuable. You can find this metric in the Behaviour tab in Google Analytics.

Try to have a blend of new users for leads and returning readers for warmer prospects. If it’s highly imbalanced, something is wrong with your content or SEO efforts.

8. Bounce rate: Bounce rate is an excellent way to evaluate content. It happens when a user lands and leaves without looking at any other pages. It can be a clue that your content just isn’t hitting the mark.

9. Time spent on site: How long do users stick around after finding a page? If it’s seconds, it’s a sign that your content needs work. If they stay looking around at other pages, it indicates you are producing engaging work.

10. Pages per session: This metric works well with time spent on the page. It shows how many different pieces of content a user accesses when they land on your site. If you’ve got killer content, the count should be higher.

11. Traffic sources: This metric is where it all comes together. If you have a broad marketing strategy that includes social media, guest posts, and ads, here is where you can see what drives your traffic.

Remember, if you see a lot of direct traffic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that users are punching your website name into your browser. This traffic could be from “dark social” shares, which happen when users share your content via email and messenger apps like WhatsApp or Slack.

12. Organic traffic: One of the metrics that your traffic sources will measure is organic traffic. This is important to track because it shows precisely how much of your traffic is down to content and SEO and not PPC.

13. Keyword ranking: You can measure how your site or a specific piece of content ranks for a keyword or phrase. If you’re rising up the rankings, it’s a sign that your content is doing its job.

Revenue generation metrics

At the end of the day, it all comes down to revenue. All the likes or page views you get need to translate into something concrete.

14. Leads generated: Subtract the leads you generate from PPC and ads from your total leads. This figure will give you an indication of what your content marketing is bringing by way of prospects.

15. Conversion rate: You can measure the conversion rate for landing pages (i.e., subscribers, downloads, signups) or even simpler goals like content that pushes your users further down the sales funnel.

Calculating the ROI on your content marketing

OK, now that you know the metrics that determine the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy, it’s time to get down to the critical part: the bottom line.

Here is a formula for calculating the return on investment of your strategy:

ROI from content marketing = ((ROI – costs)/costs)) x100.

So, let’s say you spend £500 on copywriting and take in £1500. Then, you’re content ROI is:

((£1500 – £500) / £500) = 2 x 100 = 200%. Or, 2:1.

Final thoughts

Having a content marketing strategy is essential. But you can’t just set it and forget it. Like your digital ads, you need to keep a careful eye on what you’re spending and what it’s returning.

So use these metrics to understand which channels and content produce revenue for you. You might become unstoppable if you pair a strong content marketing strategy with our autonomous digital marketing ads.

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