- Your content marketing may sound like a success story, until your CEO asks, “Is all this effort and spending really paying off?”
- You’re doing a great job if you’re one of the 39 % of marketers who are successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing, if not, there’s a long way to go.
- Evaldas Mockus, Director of SEO at Omnisend helps you pick content marketing metrics that matter for your business.
- More on Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) content, and their respective goals.
You’re publishing content, traffic is picking up, your posts look amazing, and subscribers are opening your emails. It sounds like a content marketing team success story – until your CEO asks:
Is all this effort and spending really paying off?
You’re doing a great job if you’re one of the 39 % of marketers who are successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing – everyone should be doing this!
But there’s no point in tracking data if you’re unable to access a document with content result numbers that are clear and easily understandable. I’m here to help you pick the metrics that matter for your business.
Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) content have different goals respectively, which means you need to differentiate your existing and new content for each funnel stage and find the right metrics for them.
To build a detailed metrics dashboard, you need access to Google Analytics (GA), Google Search Console (GSC), and Facebook Pixel.
ToFu key content marketing metrics
The main goals for ToFu content:
- Awareness – you need to reach new audiences and attract a steady stream of new visitors to grow your business
- Branding initiatives – spreading your company name and mission with easily recognizable branding helps you to build authority in your niche.
Depending on your business and historical data you can also have other goals.
Even after reaching these goals, you still need to focus on your buyer persona. You’ll be lying to yourself and your stakeholders if you’re selling software for marketing agency management, but your ToFu content is focused only on traffic growth which is not related to your business.
I can bet that it would be almost impossible to convert those visitors into paying customers.
To understand how you’re performing with your content marketing activities on ToFu, track these metrics:
- New visits – the formula is simple – more marketing activities equals more traffic. GA
- Percentage of new visitors – try to keep a good balance here. The average percentage of new visitors on site is 68%, if your number is extremely high or low, you need to identify the reasons why. GA
- New direct visitors – this number shows that people know your brand and are actively looking for you. This is often your most profitable ‘organic’ traffic source. GA
- Branded Search – how many people come via a branded search. This metric shows the success of all your marketing efforts. Sometimes it’s not the best product that wins but the best-known one that wins. GSC
- Pixeled audience – build your audience for remarketing purposes. Facebook pixel
These five metrics alone can easily show if you’re going in the right direction, especially when you compare historical data and map it to your activities.
Additional drill-down metrics like content bounce rate, pages/visits, and average session length can help you to understand the quality of your blog content and user behavior. But there is no need to focus on these on a weekly basis.
MoFu key content marketing metrics
The biggest challenge in the middle of the funnel is to convert “problem aware” prospects into leads. At this stage, you’re mainly focusing on two goals: driving visitors back to your site and converting visitors into leads.
You need to deliver leads for your nurturing campaigns. Brands that are the most effective at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost, according to Forrester Research.
To understand if you’re doing a great job on MoFu, follow these metrics:
- Visitor recency – how frequently do visitors come back to your site? If visitors are coming back pretty often, this is a good sign that your content quality is top-notch and satisfies their particular needs. If your visitor recency number is too low, then you need to focus on two different aspects – 1. Improving your content quality and 2. Building links to your website so you get a better ranking in SERP. GA
- Returning direct visitors – these are returning visitors who are actively looking for you again. Finding ways to get new visitors to keep coming back to your site with fresh, engaging, and relevant content will boost interest and keep people coming back for more. GA
- Leads generated: how many leads are you generating? This part can be a little more complicated. First, you need to describe exactly how you’re acquiring leads, and secondly, you’ll need to set up Goal tracking in GA.
Remember that you know your business better than anyone else. If you wish to delve deeper, you can always add other metrics like: growth of retargeting lists, blog banners click percentage or even the number of social shares.
BoFu key content marketing metrics
Only a few buyers will move directly to purchase simply from reading an amazing article. B2B brands should track the customer journey throughout the whole funnel, from the very first website visit to conversions such as offer registrations.
Of course, the main goal at BoFu is to convert those leads you’ve captured earlier into loyal customers.
The main metrics to track here include:
- Conversions – this is the primary number out of all your metrics.
- How many visitors leave your offer/demo page – You need to be constantly working on offer/demo page improvements. If you can see that a high percentage of visitors are leaving these pages without taking any action, there’s a good chance that by optimizing these pages, you can give your conversion rate a solid boost.
- Content that is generating customers – This is not a metric, but understanding what types of content is responsible for getting customers will help you to prioritize your upcoming content topics. Also, your PPC team can help to bring more traffic for these pages immediately.
It is time to build your report
Big data and a ton of different metrics can be intimidating, and often a waste of your precious time. As we’ve seen, with just three-four key metrics on each stage of the funnel, you can accurately gauge the direction of your content marketing efforts.
The selected metrics are just the beginning. For a true analysis, you need to understand what these numbers mean and which actions influence improvements throughout the funnel.
When you have accumulated a couple of months’ worth of data, you will start to see patterns and it will become easier to plan your new activities. Now, you can begin to understand exactly where to optimize, and when.
Imagine – that after working hard for two months, you see a big increase in your ToFu metrics. Traffic is growing, your brand searches volume is skyrocketing, but your conversions rate is constantly going down. Only by getting all of your data in place will you be able to see the patterns clearly, and find a solution to bring only relevant traffic that converts.
Evaldas Mockus is Director of SEO at Omnisend.