Content Marketing becomes easier if you know what you want to achieve. So let's discuss what the best Content Marketing KPIs are, for the most common three goals:
Unique page views (UPV)
Earned traffic (referral traffic, outcomes of sharing)
First-week UPV (news value, initial impact)
Backlinks (long-term visibility)
Sessions (return visits are valuable to measure audience participation)
Comments, shares, and time-on-page (TOP)
Conversions achieved (GA or a marketing automation tool like Hubspot)
Bounce rate, click-through-rate (CTR) or unique page views (UPV)
Above are example metrics. Doing content marketing to reach a B2B audience will require different metrics than measuring impact with a B2C audience.
To implement the above you need multiple data sources. It's worth doing. Getting these clear insights will help determine the mix of production cost, amplification paid promotion or research for your content marketing.
The above are relatively short-term goals to measure the ongoing performance of content marketing to help hold your marketing team and agencies accountable for results. It also allows you to test what's working and optimize your content and messaging.
Long-term SaaS Content Marketing KPIs
Following are some KPIs that can measure the long-term impact of content marketing:
Search Engine Result Positions (SERP) for the keywords that represent the most people in your hero persona audience, as well as key influencers.
Improved domain/page authority as defined by Google (DA/SA) or similar KPIs like the Moz Score.
Direct Search Traffic to your website (UPV who typed in your company name)
Links to your content, or mentions and comments in online discussions where your target audience engages each other (Quora, Reddit, Blog comments)
Ongoing sharing of your content after the first week of publication
Your content becomes a reference piece, (the equivalent of) a wiki article
Retention of the clients who have consumed Nurture Content
Conversions-to-paid/trial from Organic/Direct Visits
Value per customer (ARPU) driven by ABM/Upsell Nurture Campaigns
Measuring the outcomes of your content marketing is critical to optimizing the various parts of modern PR, demand generation, and audience marketing. It allows you to fine-tune your content planning, production, dissemination, amplification, and optimization.