When crafting your latest content marketing initiative, you read up on key content marketing metrics and set up Google Analytics for your blog. You might have even determined that you need to set up conversions to track success. Now you’re faced with another question: which metrics should you use to measure your progress towards content marketing success? Which metrics should you set goals for? We’ll get into both those questions in this post, but first, let’s start with some definitions.
What are Goals and Conversions?
Goals measure a specific action, taken by website visitors, that contributes to the success of your business. A conversion takes place when a visitor completes that specific action. For example, typically, the main goal for an e-commerce website is to sell products. When a visitor makes a purchase, they have converted—from a visitor to a buyer. Similarly, for lead generation sites (such as Quietly’s main website), the primary goal is to, well, generate leads. When someone fills out a form and submits their information, they are converted from a visitor to a lead.
Once you’ve defined a goal, most analytics software (such as Google Analytics or Quietly Insights) makes it easy to see, at a glance, how your site is directly contributing to your business objectives, and allows for further analysis (such as calculating conversion rate). This is why it’s important that goals are used to measure only the most important actions a visitor can take—such as a sale for an e-commerce site or a form submission for lead generation sites—marking too many actions as important make it difficult to measure performance. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what actions are commonly deemed important enough to be set as goals for content marketing.
Effective Content Marketing Goals
Usually, actions that indicate that visitors are moving further down the marketing funnel are the most important, and therefore should be set as goals. Here are some effective ways to measure whether visitors are doing so and contributing to your content marketing success:
Newsletter Sign-ups: Measuring Interest
A high number of visitors who choose to sign up for your company’s newsletter suggests that your content is compelling and interesting to your readers—enough so that they’re willing to hand over their email address to stay up-to-date with new stories. By setting newsletter sign-ups as a goal, you’re able to not only measure whether your readers find your content interesting, but also whether readers trust you with their contact information.
Call to Action Clicks: Measuring Relevancy
Every piece of content you write should have a call to action (CTA), whether you want your readers to read another story, learn about your services, or make a purchase. Your CTA should identify the most important action a reader can take after consuming your content—setting clicks on your CTAs as a goal helps you understand whether your CTAs are relevant enough to your content to be effective.
Resource Downloads: Measuring Appeal
In the world of digital marketing, effort is scarce. Readers want to receive the most value by spending the least effort to get it, so resources that need to be downloaded, or gated content, is content in formats such as whitepapers, ebooks, or templates. These need to be particularly appealing to earn readers’ clicks, or email address. Tracking the number of resource downloads as a goal can help you understand which types of resources are effectively driving user action.
Information Requests/Contact Form Submissions: Measuring Efficacy
Bottom-of-funnel content that talks about a company’s product or service offerings can be effective at generating leads. If your site is focused on lead generation and your content highlights your products or services, it would be a missed opportunity to not measure the number of visitors who become leads—setting information request or contact form submissions as a goal can help you easily attribute revenue generated as a result of content marketing.
Sales: Measuring Bottom-Line Impact
Similar to information requests or contact form submissions for lead generation sites, if your content discusses your products, sales should be set as goal. Measuring this bottom-of-funnel metric against your content performance helps show which types of content are effectively driving revenue.
These goals are not the only ways to measure content marketing success—your goals and conversions should reflect the objective of your content marketing efforts, whatever they may be. At the end of the day, what’s important is that you use these goals to help you understand just how effective your content marketing is.