Let’s start with kicking in an open door (which is always fun to do): content marketing is very different from advertising. Where advertising is mainly about campaigns – short-term and easy to measure – content marketing is there for the long haul. It’s all about helping people and thus creating trust. But let’s not kid ourselves: the approach may differ; the bottom line remains the same: sales and as many as possible for that matter …
The goal of content is to engage, educate and entertain and – ultimately – bring in new customers. Which means you will have to demonstrate sooner or later that content is contributing to the bottom line and not just adding to the costs. Luckily, there is a lot of data out there to help you do just that.
However, that multitude of data can be overwhelming. To help you prove your point, it is crucial that you first of all determine what your content objectives are. Once you know what your goal is, you can then select the KPI’s that will show that you’re achieving what you set out to do.
Which content objective(s) to choose & how to measure them?
Content goals need to be aligned with your business goals, obviously. But you also need to take into account where you are at as a company and – more importantly – at which stage your (potential) customer is in the customer lifecycle.
It’s tempting to try to achieve all the goals below at once, but that requires quite a serious investment. Best is to select one to three goals first, get them going and then expand to the other objectives.
OK, you have made up your mind on the most important objective(s) for your brand, product or service. You set up a content plan and content campaign, but how can you measure if your efforts are actually paying off?
As we’ve said at the beginning, there is a lot of data available to measure and analyse. You can go as in-depth as you like, but here below are some of the KPI’s that are easy to measure and will give you a good indication.
Awareness / interest
This is especially relevant when you launch a new brand, product or service. You want people to know you exist and be aware of what you have to offer. Advertising – traditional or via social media or search engines – is often the best way to get that attention.
• Page views
• Video views
• Search engines
• Inbound links
Consideration / engagement
Once potential customers know about you, you want them to like you and your brand, product and/or service. This is typically the point where a potential customer starts comparing various possibilities. Using relevant and useful content that helps address possible concerns will tip the scale in your favor.
• Time per page
• Scroll depth
• Bounce rate
• CTR for your call-to-actions
• Newsletter subscriptions
• Social media followers
Lead generation / sales
Once you have gained their trust, it’s time to show the money. It is the bottom line of any business, after all. Make the experience as enjoyable as possible, with follow-up on the purchase and e.g. additional content about the new product or service.
• Sales volume
• Clickthrough to basket
• Request for sales contact
• Increase in sales
Customer retention / loyalty
But things don’t stop – or should not stop – once the sale has been closed. After all, it costs a lot less to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Keep your existing customers coming back for more with help, information and top-notch aftercare.
• Open rate and clickthorugh rate for your newsletter
Upsell / cross-sell
If you cherish your existing customers, they will trust you and they will want to hear more from you – really. At this stage, keep them informed on products and services that have a link to their purchase. Show similar products or keep them appraised on new versions or extensions of what they have purchased.
• Increase in sales
Advocacy / fans
This is the holy grail, it really is. Your customers are so enchanted with your product or service that they want to tell others about it and even convince them to buy it themselves. Offer easy-to-share and enjoyable content and they will do a lot of the work for you!
• Inbound links
• Reviews & scores
Of course, this is just a general overview. Although useful, it might not fit your company’s objectives to a tee. No problem! If you need assistance in determining your goals and the corresponding KPI’s, feel free to get in touch and we’ll gladly come by to assess what the right formula for your brand or company will be.