Your boss comes in on Monday morning and asks about the success of a recent content marketing campaign launched the previous week. You shrug and respond, “looking good so far.”
With so many KPIs to track for different stakeholders in the company, it can be difficult to narrow your focus in a meaningful way. This is especially true when trying to speak to the idea of “success.” That word can be interpreted in a number of ways regarding content distribution based on an individual’s prior knowledge and experience working with content marketers.
Success Is Contextual
Success is relative, and this is certainly true when it comes to content. The quality of the content, format it is created in, channels it is promoted through, audience, etc.—all of these factors will inevitably impact the end result.
Because of this, labeling said result as “successful” or otherwise will require data points that paint an all-encompassing picture. A picture that is both mindful of a campaign’s specific goal, in addition to its place in the sales funnel, from awareness to conversion.
To better understand what metrics we, as marketers, should be focusing on, let’s take a look at the KPIs we should stop using as sole indicators of success.
Whether you’re gauging the quality of an influencer’s community or your own, audience size is just the tip of the iceberg. As it relates to social media, engagement rates have been on a steady decline for years now regardless of how big or small a business’ follower count is. This in and of itself points to the bigger picture when it comes to audience size. It’s not about how large your audience base is, it’s about how many of them are taking an action as a result of the content you’re producing.
This applies across the board. You may have a huge base of email subscribers, but if they’re not opening, let alone clicking within your emails, it doesn’t really matter. The same goes for subscribers to your blog.
Bounce rates are dependent upon a number of things, the short list being: industry, platform (desktop vs. mobile) and content type. If you compare the bounce rates alone for pages that display short-form blogs to ones with video or perhaps a goal-oriented landing page, you’re likely to see differences in bounce rate. There are too many variables at play to depend on bounce rate alone as an indicator of whether your content was engaging or not.
Moz thoroughly describes a better approach to this metric, referring to is as “adjusted bounce rate.” This involves defining a time limit for when you should consider a user to be engaged with your content within Google Analytics.
Driving sales may indeed be a numbers game, with an increase in traffic more likely to result in an increase in sales based on established conversion rates. However, similar to follower counts, the real success behind traffic comes from the quality of those visitors.
If the majority of those views are coming from new visitors who don’t return, consider that “success” minimized. At the end of the day, you want to be focused on increasing your conversion rate than simply driving traffic alone.
Number of Backlinks
Backlinks are valuable in the world of SEO for good reason. They help to bolster the authority and accessibility of content you’re creating organically. But again, quality comes into play.
If you’re simply playing the numbers, trying to get a link back from any and every online source you can pitch to, Google will still stay one step ahead of you. Focus on the domain authority and high-quality nature of the links you’re tallying up to really see a benefit.
Struggling to get a gauge on how your content measures up? Contact us today for a free content consultation!