How to define goals and metrics in your Content Marketing strategy – WAU
Achieving success in a content marketing strategy is not a simple matter. Then know the first step you need to take.
“For those who don’t know where they want to go, any path will do.”
You have certainly seen this phrase on the internet… And it applies 100% to Content Marketing!
Just as anyone planning a trip needs to know the final destination, whoever is outlining their marketing efforts must have a clear purpose in mind – only then will it be possible to measure and evaluate the performance of the chosen tactics.
If you are taking the first steps in the universe of content and want to guarantee the success of your endeavor, congratulations! You’re in the right place.
In this post we will explain how you can choose your strategy objectives and what metrics you should use to analyze your performance.
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Defining the purpose of your Content strategy
To determine the objectives of your strategy, you need to answer the following question:
Why are you going to invest in Content Marketing?
Here, it is worth remembering that it is necessary to investigate the true motivation of your company.
Starting a Content Marketing strategy simply because your competitors already have one is not a good answer.
In that case, your goal would be to “copy” what others are already doing, without really understanding the motivations they had, and that will lead to insignificant results.
To make your mission easier, here’s a tip: most companies only invest in something to (1) increase revenue, (2) reduce costs or (3) reduce risk.
That is, reflect on this question and its possible answers until you arrive at a satisfactory definition, such as:
- increase its market share;
- increase brand awareness;
- Increase the sales;
- decrease the cost of acquiring customers;
- and etc.
After that, you can move on to the next part of planning: choosing your main metrics!
When you know your goal, you can define a KPI or, in English, key performance indicator, which will be your key performance indicator. It will help you measure whether you are meeting your goal.
How to define key metrics for your strategy
Metrics are tools that help you monitor and evaluate the performance of your processes.
In practice, they are the numbers you present to your boss (or your clients) to facilitate the interpretation of your work.
That is, if you follow the indicators that really matter for your strategy (and for your company), you will be able to understand if things are going according to your main objective.
On here, the important thing is to know how to differentiate vanity metrics key indicators.
The first is information that does not help you make decisions (and may even get in the way). Meanwhile, the second is essential to understand the health of your strategy.
After defining your goal, you will find several ways to measure your progress. List them all and understand the importance of each one. After this exercise, you will be able to choose those who really matter for your strategy and you can follow them religiously.
Examples of content marketing goals and metrics
Despite all these explanations, I think the easiest way to understand how you can define your goals and metrics is by looking at some practical examples. So I selected 7 to introduce you:
1. Increase brand awareness
Brand awareness (also known as “Brand Awareness” in English) is a way of assessing whether people identify or remember your brand.
This is important to include your product (or service) within the consumer alternative group.
For example, Coca-Cola is “top of mind”In the soft drink market, that is, it is a brand often remembered.
If your company aims to improve brand awareness, you can measure metrics such as: likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, number of video views on Youtube, number of visits to the website / blog, etc.
2. Engagement with the brand
Achieving the engagement of people is the same as encouraging the relationship.
That is, if people like your posts on social media, comment on your blog posts or interact with your institutional website, they are engaging with your brand – and this is extremely positive!
If you define that the main objective of your strategy is to increase the engagement of the target audience, you can use metrics such as: number of shares on social networks, number of pages visited on the site, time spent using your application, amount of comments, etc.
3. Educate the market
Companies that have a very innovative product or service need to invest in market education. Only then will they be able to show that they have the solution that these people are looking for.
For example, when Websites Are Us started (in 2014), few people knew what Content Marketing was and the benefits that this strategy has.
Because of this, one of the main objectives of WAU’s content strategy was to educate the market.
To assess our performance, we started to measure the number of London companies that adopted this strategy through the Content Trends survey.
If your company also has this goal, you can measure your success through the number of subscribers to your newsletter, the number of pages visited on your website or the percentage of people who have adopted your solution.
4. Generate leads
Generating leads is a very common goal for B2B companies because they need a point of contact to start the relationship with their potential customers and encourage the purchase decision.
If you have this objective, it is possible to monitor your performance through metrics such as: growth of your contact base, percentage of conversion of site visitors or number of conversions on each landing page.
5. Generate sales
Main goal of virtual stores (and almost all other companies), the increase in sales is easily measured by the number of sales, average ticket and / or recurrence.
6. Reduce the sales cycle and cost
Investing in Content Marketing can help you answer customer questions even before the salesperson’s first contact. As a consequence, your sales process will be faster and will save the company time and money.
If you have this goal in mind, you can measure it by the number of sales made in the month, time spent to close the sale or by the customer’s acquisition cost (CAC).
7. Increase lifetime-value
Companies that have a recurring business model can aim to increase the profit generated by each customer throughout their life with the company.
In these cases, some of the metrics that can guide the strategy are: LTV, average contract time or churn rate.
Particularities of Digital Marketing
In the past, “in offline marketing”, it was very difficult to follow the entire trajectory of customers.
After all, what motivated people to buy: the billboard on the city’s main avenue, the ad in the country’s most famous magazine or the campaign shown during prime time on TV?
It was impossible to know who had seen or interacted with those points of communication and, therefore, difficult to measure which ones were really effective.
Time has passed, digital transformation has arrived and the Marketing team remains in trouble.
Today, although it is possible to identify and measure practically all communication points with which the consumer had contact, it is still difficult to say which one was decisive in motivating the customer.
So, even if you have a well-defined objective and metrics, remember that Content Marketing is a long-term strategy (and that it is interesting to use a multichannel attribution model to understand the impact of each action).
Ready! Now you know everything that is important to start planning your strategy.
With well defined objectives and metrics you will have all the numbers needed to calculate the return on your investment in Content Marketing and compare it with the other strategies of your company.
And if you need help with that task, be sure to read our Content Marketing ROI guide!