Content Marketing
The Top Content Marketing KPIs

The Top Content Marketing KPIs

June 17, 2021
5 min read

As technology transforms the digital landscape, the top content marketing KPIs you need to monitor often change with it. In 2020, monitoring key performance indicators gets even more complex when you factor in the purpose of each piece of content, as SEO consultant Benj Arriola points out.

Profitability, of course, is a constant. Yet when you dig deeper into the numbers, you discover that you need to narrow your focus, depending on what story you need the metrics to tell—especially in these days of personalization and account-based marketing.

Knowing what metrics are most important for your business will help you plan your content calendar—and what types of content to put on that calendar. Here are 2020’s top content marketing KPIs to monitor, grouped by business type.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Tracking content performance for different business types requires different KPIs.
  • For B2B companies, leads are the most important KPI.
  • Use the KPIs that work best for your business to provide direction to your content.
  • Revise your content strategy to achieve better KPIs.

The Top Content Marketing KPI for B2B Companies: Leads

Businesses, unlike consumers, rarely buy on impulse. They demand meetings, product demonstrations, and other proof that shows how your product or service will benefit their bottom line. When you conduct a content marketing campaign to attract another company’s business, then, you have to keep your eye on the most important metric—leads.

Why Leads Matter

Cold-calling a business who isn’t interested in what you’re selling is a waste of time. Besides their contact information, you need their interest.

The best way to determine their interest is getting a lead from one of your content pieces. If they’re interested enough to submit their name and email address, it’s likely that they’re a qualified prospect.

Get B2B Leads with Targeted Thought Leadership Content

Like it or not, the suits in the C-suite award their business to the company who wows them with their expertise by producing content that helps them be more effective. According to a recent Edelman study, 58% of the executives they surveyed do business with companies whose content impressed them.

That number rises when you factor in cross-selling. More than sixty percent of corporate decision makers bought new products and services from companies with whom they have done business with before—simply because of a thought-provoking piece that demonstrated the company’s expertise in its field.

Source: SlideShare

Well-crafted thought leadership pieces position your company as a leader in its field by providing a direct benefit to the reader. For example, if you’re a web developer, you might write a piece about the key ingredients for a successful website. If you’re selling commercial decking, compare the benefits of various types of materials.

Thought leadership content isn’t a brag sheet about your credentials. It’s putting those credentials to work creating content that helps your target customers make more money and become more efficient.

Dig Deeper into Content Leads KPIs to Cut Costs and Increase Revenue

Every lead you get from your content, however, costs your company money. From the money you spend to produce and publish the content to your spend on promoting the content, it’s important to measure your leads’ costs and the revenue they produce versus the cost.

The following B2B KPIs can help you choose which types of content produce leads that have a high revenue-to-cost ratio:

  • Marketing-influenced customer percentage: Measure the impact a given marketing campaign makes on your sales team’s productivity and revenue velocity. Make sure, though, that you educate your sales team on the impact that thought leadership content has on making a sale. One of the key takeaways from the Edelman study was the current disconnect between sales teams and CEOs about the value of thought leadership content. Encourage your sales teams to collaborate with your marketing teams for best results.
  • Return on your marketing investment (ROMI): Measure the money you put into each content campaign against the revenue you receive. Eliminate poorly performing types of content and create more of your top ROMI performers.
  • Marketing-originated customers: For each content campaign, measure the number of new customers that come from the campaign itself versus those who became customers through other means.
  • Time to revenue: How long does it take for a piece of content to produce revenue? When sales teams act immediately when they receive a qualified lead from a content campaign—and use that content as a springboard for their sales presentation—a company will usually experience better results.
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): For every campaign, calculate the average expense of gaining a customer. For example, if you produced a white paper that yielded three customers, learn the average cost for each. This strategy can help you find ways to streamline the content production-to-customer pipeline through more detailed content or more effective follow-up by your sales teams.
  • Ratio of lifetime value to customer acquisition cost (LTV/CAC): Discover what you’re spending to acquire each customer. Find ways to increase your customers’ lifetime value—such as cross-selling and upselling, as well as areas in which you need to spend more wisely.

The Top Content Marketing KPIs for B2C Companies: Revenue and Sales

If your company has a product or service it wants to sell directly to consumers, the KPI metrics need to shift to measuring sales and revenue for each campaign. With today’s powerful data analysis tools, it’s easy to measure conversions from social media campaigns, AdWords, and search—whether it’s from general search terms, local searches, or third-party searches, such as those on platforms like eBay or

Use these specific KPIs to dig into the sales and revenue data to uncover more specifics:

  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Conversion rate
  • Leads generated through landing pages, social media, subscriptions, and other types of content
  • Purchases from social media campaigns
  • Social media conversions
  • Organic search conversion rate

Use these metrics to determine which content produces the most sales and revenue. Then, tweak your content strategy to eliminate your poor producers and publish more of the kinds of content that produce results. In general, content that demonstrates the benefits consumers get with your products and services works best for B2C campaigns.

Increase B2C Campaign Results with Content that Spells out Consumer Benefits

Since the goal in B2C is to “sell or else,” as legendary ad man David Ogilvy put it, you need to stress consumer benefits in your content. Whether it’s a landing page that points out your product’s benefits, a bulleted list on an description, or a demo video, you need to convince consumers that your product will make their lives better.

For example, a specialty sheet music company could record a demo video of one of their staff musicians playing each piece. Musicians who see the video will want to learn to play the piece themselves—and with the demo, can also gather pointers by watching the professional’s technique. With YouTube’s superb analytics, the company can measure the sales that come from clickthroughs to the product page.

If it’s a new product, the manufacturer could create a video that not only shows the product’s benefits but also shows how it works.

A blog post to promote a dermatology practice could create content about a new procedure. Adding before-and-after photos would demonstrate both the doctors’ mastery of the technique and how it has made patients’ lives better.

In other words, when it comes to B2C content, show them the benefits, and you’ll get their business.

Whether you’re a B2B company, a B2C business, or both, you need quality content that reaches your target audience. If you want the kind of consistent, high-quality content that gets more traffic to your site and boosts your target KPIs, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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