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Content Marketing KPIs You Should Track in 2022

In this article, we are focusing on the best content marketing KPIs you should track and how to identify which performance metrics are most relevant to your goals.

13 min read

Companies are spending as much as one-third of their marketing budgets on producing and distributing content. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than other forms of marketing and generates 3 times more leads for every dollar spent.  

This is all amazing, but you have to measure the performance of your content marketing efforts in order to understand whether or not you’re also on the right path to success. But with so many content marketing KPIs to track, it’s often challenging to choose which are the ones that you should focus on. Which ones suit your campaign goals better and could actually drive growth to make an impact? 

In this article, we are focusing on the best content marketing KPIs you should track and how to identify which performance metrics are most relevant to your goals.

What Are Marketing KPIs

Marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that marketers use to track the progress of their marketing campaigns towards the goals they have set across the different marketing channels. In content marketing, KPIs are measurable values that content marketers use to track the performance of their content campaigns (blog posts, white papers, case studies, e-books, infographics, etc.).  

Why Is It Important to Measure Content Performance

There is a reason why email marketers are measuring their email marketing campaigns performance, CMOs are using KPIs metrics to measure how budgets are being spent and which channels are yielding the best results, and CEOs track KPIs related to the overall business performance.  

Nowadays, data is everything. If you don’t get insights from your content marketing performance, how would you know what works and what doesn’t, where can you improve and adjust your tactics and efforts to improve your content marketing campaigns ROI? 

The biggest benefit of tracking content marketing KPIs is that the insights give you an idea of how your targeted audience sees your content, how it engages with it if it does, and whether it resonates with it. That helps you identify the kind of content that your audience wants and would act on (being requesting a demo, downloading your e-book, or signing up for your webinar, for example). And it also helps you understand whether you are using the right content distribution channels.  

By measuring the right content marketing KPIs, you can make smarter and more intelligent decisions around your content marketing strategy. Ultimately, this will help you optimize your marketing spend, attract attention to your brand, generate leads, and increase your sales.  

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Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Content Marketing KPIs

Although it would have been super easy and useful, unfortunately, there is no magic formula to determine the content marketing KPIs that you should measure. To track and measure relevant content marketing performance metrics, you first need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your campaign – is it to generate leads, increase your brand awareness, or maybe improve your search engine rankings? 

Whatever the goal, once you have set SMART goals for your marketing campaign, you can easily match these goals with the right KPIs.   

Here are some key things to consider when choosing your content marketing KPIs:  

Make sure to set the right OKRs – OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results and is a goal-setting framework used to set goals with measurable results. KPIs are what help drive your OKRs and both work best when working simultaneously. For example, if a KPI result shows that your website traffic is dropping, your content team can implement an OKR goal based on the key results of an existing KPI.  

Make sure that your content marketing KPIs are relevant – Your content marketing goals should reflect and align with the goals of the company and it should be clear how they correspond to the goals of the organization in the long run.  

Make sure that your content marketing KPIs are realistic – When evaluating your current content performance, you will get a dose of reality that won’t always be aligned with your expectations. Doubling your website traffic or generating 25 new backlinks to your blog sounds great, but is it realistic to happen in the next month? Maybe, but most likely not.  

Make sure that your goals and metrics are actionable – KPIs are at the forefront of decision making, so not only does your content team needs to be able to understand the content marketing KPIs, but also needs to be able to translate those KPIs into actionable future steps.  

Content Marketing KPIs

According to a 2022 Content Marketing Institute B2B study, the content marketing KPIs that provided the most insights into performance are related to website engagement, conversions, and website traffic. And while these are fantastic metrics to track, they might not be the most relevant KPIs to measure for your content marketing campaign goals.   

Let’s explore the best content marketing KPIs for the three main content marketing campaign goals:  

the best content marketing kpis to track

Content Marketing Engagement KPIs

In today’s low-attention economy, content engagement can be very tricky. If you don’t grab your audience’s attention from the very beginning, it is very unlikely they’ll remain reading or watching, let alone engage with your content. The content marketing engagement KPIs help you understand how your content aligns with user interest. Customer engagement is related to overall profitability as engaged users are more likely to become paying customers.  

content marketing engagement kpis

Organic traffic / page views – If no one sees your content it doesn’t matter how good your content is, so measuring the traffic your content receives is an obvious place to start when measuring the performance of your overall content marketing strategy. You can easily find information about how many unique page visits you get on your pages in Google Analytics. 

Click-through-rate – In content marketing, the CTR KPI identifies how many readers click on the links inside your blog articles/landing pages. Many factors could affect the CTR, with the CTA (call-to-action) copy and the positioning of the link being the main ones. The CTR is calculated by simply dividing the number of people who clicked on a link by the total number of visitors to that page. 

Time on page – Tracking visitors’ time on page is another very important content marketing KPI. The time on page KPI indicates how effective your content is. For example, if you have published a 5,000-word blog article on agile marketing that has generated 50,000 unique visits, but those visitors spend only 10-20 seconds browsing that article, then that tells you that they are not interested in this topic, or that your content isn’t effective and couldn’t grab their attention. Unfortunately, the second scenario is more likely as since people landed on your page, they must have looked for what you have written about. 

time on page content marketing kpi

Pages per session – This content marketing KPI shows you the average pages a visitor visits per session. A higher number means that users are engaging and going through more of your blog and overall site.   

Bounce rate – The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that leave within a few seconds after landing on it, so you should strive to keep it as low as possible. Things that could affect bounce rate include website speed, ease of navigation, and relevancy of content among other things.  

Comments – Comments indicate that your content sparks a conversation and engages the readers to act.

Content Marketing Brand Awareness KPIs

Brand awareness is a top-of-the-mind concern for marketers as people are more likely to buy from brands that they recognize. For that reason, all of your content, from social media to SEO, must focus on making people aware of your brand and what you have to offer. When people are familiar with your brand, you can better influence their decision-making process in order to get more sales faster.  

Search and keyword rankings – The first page of Google results gets as much as 90.39% of all traffic,  while most people rarely go to the second page at all. That is why it is important to keep track of your search and keyword rankings and make sure that your content pieces are ranking well. The position of your content in the SERPs directly correlates to your SEO efforts and success. 

Backlinks – The number of backlinks you’re collecting to your website is another important content marketing KPI to consider when measuring brand awareness. When other authoritative sites are linking to your content it means that they find it valuable and respect your writers and content teamwork to the point they’re willing to recommend it to their own readers. Ultimately that increases your brand awareness in the eyes of readers, as well as grows your reputation in Google’s ranking algorithm.  

brand awareness kpis

Referral traffic – Following the backlinks KPI, the referral traffic shows the number of users who actually follow those links. This can help you identify the kind of content that works best for sharing your brand name and area of expertise and then, you can use this knowledge as a boosting brand awareness tool. You can easily track your referral traffic in Google Analytics.  

Social shares – The more social shares you get, the more people you’ll reach driving new leads to your website and landing pages, all while simultaneously growing your social media follower base and making your brand more recognizable.  

Tags and mentions – Tags and mentions of your brand show that people are talking about your brand and business regardless of if you’re active on that social media channel or not. Being mentioned and tagged by social media users creates great awareness for your brand and is a free advertisement at the same time.  

Brand market share – As Stan Tan of Selby’s says, “The end goal (of content marketing) is building a brand so you don’t have to rely on spending money on TV ads, Facebook ads or other forms of advertisements.” Brand market share is a KPI you can use to measure sales as a percentage of an industry’s total revenue. You can determine your brand’s market share by dividing its total sales or revenues by the industry’s total sales over a fiscal period.  

Content Marketing Conversion KPIs

Conversion KPIs are one of the most important ones in content marketing. Simply put, the content marketing conversion KPIs help you identify how good your content marketing efforts are in getting people to do what you want them to do. The higher those rates are, the better your content marketing strategy is.  

Landing page conversion rate – The purpose of every landing page is to inspire the visitor to take the desired action be it subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for a free trial, downloading an e-book, registering for a webinar, or something similar. If you think that you don’t get enough signups/downloads and that you’re not hitting your goals, then consider improving our marketing messages by addressing the right pain points and highlighting the value of your product for customers. The UI of your sign-up page/CTA button might need improvement, too.   

what content marketing kpis to track

Return customers – This KPI is commonly tracked by eCommerce businesses, but content marketers shouldn’t neglect it too. The return customers KPI is used to evaluate your overall customer experience and help you understand how much value your website visitors find on your site. It should be measured over a certain period of time.  

Number and quality of leads – In lead generation, the quality of leads is more important than the quantity. Let’s say that you have a software product and offer new customers a one-month free trial. In this scenario, the number of prospects that see or click on your lead magnet will be the number of overall leads, while the number of quality leads is the number of those prospects who actually signed up for it. 

Customer acquisition cost – The customer acquisition cost is not totally connected to your content marketing efforts, but to your overall marketing and sales resources needed to acquire a new customer. 

Lifetime value of a customer – This KPI measures the total amount of revenue that your business can expect to make from a single customer. By knowing the approximate value of each customer to your business, you can determine more easily how much to spend on your marketing activities.  

Return on investment – The ROI marketing KPI helps you figure out if the amount of money you spend on marketing activities is worth the amount of money you earn in sales. 

Using Data Visualization Tools to Illustrate Your Content Performance

What is data without a presentation?  

If your answer is just a bunch of numbers – you’re right.  

Whether you’re presenting the data to your team, or managers, or just analyzing it to help guide the decision-making process, it is important that you present it in a way that is easy to digest and understand.  

And this is where data visualization and data storytelling come to help.  

By showcasing the most crucial content marketing KPIs in a visual format, data visualization tools help you to communicate that data more effectively, making it more engaging and easily accessible.  

Slingshot is a productivity tool that is centered around data analytics and data-driven decision-making. It has been designed to help teams stay on top of current data for campaigns, through dashboards, KPI and OKR tracking, and KPI indicator spreadsheets that are converted into data analytics which are then easily shared. It also offers a set of statistical functions that allow you to receive more insights from your visualizations. 

Slingshot gives managers and team members visibility into the entire work process, keeping all files in one place and connecting everyday tasks to the project’s most important objectives. It also seamlessly integrates with leading analysis tools so you can track and grow your KPIs with each campaign.   

Interested in learning more? Try Slingshot for free and see for yourself how it can help you leverage actionable insights all while making it easier for your team to utilize data, cultivate a data-driven culture, and improve content.  

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