Here are a few key stats from their study:
- 90% of content marketers are uncertain that their key content metrics are effectively measuring bottom line results
- Page views and unique visitors are the most popular metrics for measuring the success of content (69%) followed by social shares and likes (65%)
- Brand awareness is the most common goal for content marketers (73%), beating out lead generation (47%) and thought leadership (45%)
Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts is inevitably pretty difficult, so it's easy to see why 9 out of 10 marketers struggle with it. Part of the problem, as Rand Fishkin really nicely explained in a recent Whiteboard Friday, is that the journey down the content marketing sales funnel isn't a linear one. It's a rare consumer who lands on your blog, consumes the requisite amount of content, then buys your stuff and tells their friends to do the same. In fact, if you know any of these consumers, I'd love an introduction.
Unfortunately, the buyer's journey through content marketing land isn't that simple, which is where metrics like social shares, and goals like 'increasing brand awareness' come from. For us as marketers, this is frustrating. 'Brand awareness' must be the most intangible concept in marketing. It's the thing you say you're doing when what you're trying to do (make more money) isn't actually happening, or it's taking longer than you'd like.
The good news is that, while content marketing is often going to be difficult to measure, with the right framework you can start getting a good picture of the success of your efforts. And (to shamelessly toot our own horn a little), using SEO metrics to your measure content marketing efforts (from rankings to traffic to conversions), can be a great place to start.