A lot of content marketing efforts need to go through various iterations in order to see true, long-term success. You implement a plan, see how it succeeds, then adjust appropriately. The same may also occur as different trends in your industry redefine what success means. In the world of e-commerce, this tends to happen quite a bit. As a result, it’s essential that you have key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to quickly get a snapshot of how your content marketing efforts are doing. We’ve reached out to e-commerce experts to see how they chart success of their content marketing, and fold those KPIs into future plans.
What KPIs do you use to track the success of your content marketing?
We monitor three significant factors – website traffic, qualified leads, and sales. Among the four major mediums – search, referrals, direct and social media, our primary focus remains on the “search” medium of traffic as we see its long term benefits. If our content generates qualified leads or potential clients ask us pre-sale questions, then we mark it as a “good content ” in our database. Finally, sales have a direct ratio with profit, so we measure the ultimate progress from here.
The major KPI that we use is the conversion rate from blogs. Of course, content directly does not convert, but we have other offers that do. For example, popups where we collect emails, popups that offer discounts for customers, ads for products featured in the article and much more. We understand that tracking conversions from content is not easy so we are careful about calculating this metric. The second metric is the number of links earned organically. We invest a lot of time in our posts and most of the time, they manage to earn links on their own without link building.
CEO and Founder
I use a couple of KPI’s to determine the success of my content. Some of which include:
– unique page visits which show how many people have visited a piece of content
– Time on page which is self-explanatory
– inbound links which show how many people have linked and used a piece of content for reference
– shares on social media
– relevant comments on the page which show how many people have interacted with your content
– lead generation, which can come in many forms such as downloadable content, sign-up forms, etc.
Chief Marketing Officer
When we do content marketing for our e-commerce clients, we track the following KPIs. Social shares, likes and comments. Overall website traffic. Time spent visiting a specific URL and our bounce rate.
How do you incorporate this data into future operations?
Using our own content strategy as an example, we have blogged on a variety of marketing topics, one of which being Facebook Advertising. At the time, we realized that there were not many articles out there answering the question “how to target businesses on Facebook”, so we dedicated an article to this topic.
Over time, this blog began ranking very well for keywords such as “how to target business owners on facebook”, currently being found on the first page of Google for searches like this.
Digital Marketing Director
The data helps us see which products to remove links to within that same content (constantly updating) and what topics lead to more sales. If one does particularly well, we will build more content around that same topic / product line.
Rogers and Hollands
Blogging is a core part of our marketing efforts, as it’s worked really well for us, so aside from content creation, most of our on-going efforts are spent reviewing past blog posts to track historical performance. Content can lose relevancy over time and need updating, so it’s important not to forget about old posts. A short 5 minute update to a blog post could double your traffic to that post, and Google loves to see that your old posts are being kept up-to-date and relevant.
Founder and CEO
We try to target shoulder niches based on the keyword ranking data. It helps us to expand our reach to newer potential customers and generate more leads.
Digital Marketing Manager
What are some of the latest changes you’ve made based off of KPI data?
One of the most recent changes that we’ve made is using on-hand diamond size images to describe the difference by carat size for our lab-created diamond engagement rings. We have seen our click-through-rate soar by implementing this creative change. This also helps customers better understand where they are going to fit in relation to price range as they begin their journey to find the perfect engagement ring.
Content Marketing Manager
We’ve started to realize that ungated content (particularly reports) can be much more effective than gated content. We find that this sort of content gets shared more and ends up in front of a lot more people. We still capture leads through the content, just at a later point in the interaction than before they actually get the value from the piece.
Global Head of Demand Generation
HubSpot for Startups at HubSpot
Recently, I’ve made changes based on keywords that we see are performing well. If a keyword is leading to a lot of traffic, then I will take steps to incorporate that keyword more and more into the content. In addition, if a target keyword is performing poorly, then I might eliminate it from our target keyword list completely and then stop incorporating it into the content.
Founder and Creative Director