I was thinking of calling this post “Escape From The Data Dump” but then it might devolve into a series of Kurt Russell references and I don’t want to distract from the point.
The point being that as marketers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what feels like a metrics overload. We have access to so many insights and tools of measurement and numbers that it can often be more distracting than helpful. Determining which metrics are actually worth your precious time can be tricky – and even trickier is figuring out which ones you need to divulge to those you’re reporting to.
Our Director of Marketing at Uberflip recently wrote a post on how to measure your content marketing ROI that delves deep into what content marketers should be measuring and what the C-Suite really needs to know about. There’s a big difference between what we should look at to measure our content marketing success and how to interpret those results to the Boss Man/Lady. Here’s a rundown:
What You Should Be Measuring
This one’s a given – good content marketing starts with successful content, right? To see how your content is doing, you’ll want to focus on several key areas:
- Increase in sharing: If people really like something, they’ll want to share it with their friends through social media or email.
- Bounce rate/visit time: Is your content drawing people in but not keeping them? Then perhaps you’re not delivering on expectations.
- Pages per visit: Whether you’re creating a lot of content that engages your audience or one-off pieces that hit the mark more than others.
- SEO: The likelihood of people finding your content in the first place.
Impact on Sales
Content marketing and sales are directly connected, especially since most prospects have already read about and made part of their decision before even talking to a sales rep. How many no-touch sales is marketing responsible for? Is your content really helping to bring in leads or does the sales team have to close that gap themselves? In order to make sure marketing and sales are working together in favour of the bottom line, you can look at a few different things:
- Lead to opportunity percentage/lead to customer percentage: How many leads brought in through your content are qualified enough to turn into real opportunities for the sales team to pursue, and how many of those turn into actual customers.
- Cost per lead/cost per acquisition: Does the money and resources you’re spending per lead or new customer make sense?
- Average sales cycle: If, on average, it takes a long time for a lead to become a customer, perhaps you could expedite the process with more targeted email marketing or content pieces that the sales team can use to help them better educate potential customers.
- Average revenue per user (ARPU): How much money each customer is bringing in individually, averaged. If this is decreasing, your team may need to focus on upselling or targeting more qualified leads.
- Customer retention rate: How many customers you keep vs. lose.
What You Should Be Reporting
So now you’re a fountain of knowledge when it comes to how your content marketing is performing. How do you wrap all of this information into a nice little package that others can easily digest? What your boss cares about is the bottom line, and the bottom line comes down to 3 things:
Leads to conversions
How many of the leads brought in become actual customers? There’s no room for vanity metrics here – if you’re getting a lot of traffic (like we talked about before) or bringing in a ton of leads but nothing is materializing, your content marketing isn’t having a positive impact on the business. On the flipside, if a decent percentage of leads brought in and/or nurtured with your content are showing you the money, you’re onto something – keep going with it!
This comes from the cost per lead and acquisition you’re measuring as well as the cost of your overall content strategy. Is your content marketing ROI comparable with the ROI of other parts of the business? If what you’re doing is working, you should see a decrease in marketing costs relative to how much money you’re bringing in.
Customer retention/Churn rate
There are a lot of factors that play into whether a customer stays or leaves, but content can have a big impact. Keeping customers engaged with the product and brand through valuable content that speaks to them, educating them about new features and updates, and generally making sure you nurture existing customers as much as potential ones are all ways the marketing team can help retain customers and reduce churn.