How To Measure Content Metrics in 5 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Marketing professionals frequently create content with the goal of reaching a target audience by using tactics like content metrics, which measure the outreach components of a campaign or product. Organizations can benefit from using content metrics, as they can analyze user and website data to make conclusions regarding the effectiveness of certain marketing strategies. If you're interested in starting a career as a marketing professional, understanding what content metrics are and why they're useful can help you determine if the field is right for you.

In this article, we define what content metrics are, review their importance, list common types of content metrics and explain how to measure content metrics for a product or business.

Related: What Are User Engagement Metrics? Definition and Types

What are content metrics in marketing?

Content metrics are tools that content creating professionals, especially marketers, can use to measure the performance of their projects and campaigns. Content marketing metrics include a combination of different strategies, goals and data analytics that inform creators of the effectiveness of their work. Finding the right metrics for your specific marketing needs can depend heavily on the industry in which your company or product belongs to, as different businesses have different goals. Some of the most common content metrics in marketing include sales and revenue, consumer engagement, website traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) performance.

For example, a clothing business creating content for their new line of shoes may use a different marketing approach, and therefore different metrics, compared to a healthcare supply company. The clothes brand may be more likely to focus on marketing strategies involving social media, consumer outreach and influencer collaborations, while the healthcare company may choose to emphasize marketing directly to healthcare facilities. The difference in strategy also results in varied content metrics, as the clothing business may measure social media engagement, SEO effectiveness and website traffic, while the medical supply company uses metrics involving sales and conversions.

Related: What Social Media Reach Is and How It Can Help Your Marketing Strategy

Why are content metrics important for marketing?

Content metrics can provide marketers with important insights regarding the effectiveness of their campaigns. They allow for industry professionals to monitor and analyze how different elements of their marketing strategy influence the overall effectiveness of their campaign on the consumer. A marketer can outline several goals for their project before its launch, and can later cross-examine these targets with the content's performance throughout its lifespan. Content metrics give companies the ability to identify and improve on shortcomings in their marketing strategies by providing metrics that directly coincide with the progress of those campaigns.

For example, a cosmetics company using social media engagement as a metric for their new product's marketing campaign may track the number of likes, shares, comments and mentions of their posts advertising the product. If their original content goals were to increase social media engagement by 30% after the campaign's first six months, they can measure the progress of this target on a daily, weekly or monthly basis throughout the campaign's timeframe. If they were to discover a lull in engagement at the two-month mark, the marketers can strategize new ways to increase social media engagement to meet their goal.

Related: Content Marketing KPI Master List: 15 Metrics To Track

7 content metric types

Marketers and other industry professionals use several metrics to measure the performance of their projects. Here are some of the most common content metrics and how they can contribute to the success of campaigns:

1. Consumer behavior

Consumer behavior can provide helpful information regarding what is and isn't successful in a piece of content. Some of the metrics used in analyzing consumer behavior include the length of time a user stays on a page, whether they're new or returning visitors, the number of pages they viewed while on a website and their bounce rate, which measures the percentage of users who only visited one page throughout their visit session to a website. These metrics can give companies insights as to which specific elements of their websites or social media pages that consumers responded best towards.

2. Sales and revenue

Sales and revenue metrics can offer helpful insights that are a direct reflection of the success of a campaign's marketing content. For example, data analytics may show an increase in product sales following the launch of a marketing campaign promoting that specific product, which demonstrates to the marketing team that their campaign is working effectively. Conversion metrics, which refer to a website's visitors who engaged directly with the company's services after interacting with its content, can also be helpful, as they inform marketers of the specific content that contributed to their interest in the product or company.

3. Traffic

Traffic refers to the number of users that end up on a company's websites. Without significant website traffic, the marketing department cannot fully realize their efforts, as there aren't any users available to interact with their content. To measure website traffic, analysts can track the number of users that visit a page regularly, such as hours, days, weeks or months. Another way to measure traffic is by tracking the number of visits to individual pages on a website, which the marketers can then analyze to determine which elements of some pages contributed to their success over others.

4. Social media engagement

Social media engagement is an increasingly important content metric, as the rise of social networking has influenced how companies market their products and brands. Marketers can track the number of shares, re-posts, comments, likes, follows and mentions that their social media pages get over specific timeframes, and cross-examine those results with those from periods when other campaigns were in place. Adding social share buttons to pieces of content, such as articles and product description pages, can also influence the level of social media engagement while also providing data on the content users are sharing.

5. SEO effectiveness

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a vital component of the modern marketing process. Being able to track the effectiveness of certain keywords and phrases can provide helpful information to marketers as they strategize titles and phrasing for upcoming campaigns or projects. Search engine results page (SERP) ranking can also inform marketers about the likelihood of consumers interacting with their content, with pages ranking higher on a search engine's results page typically receiving more traffic, engagement and subsequent revenue than those ranked lower. There are several online SEO tools marketers can use to determine the best phrasing for their content.

6. Return on investment (ROI)

Many marketing departments choose to calculate the return on investment, or ROI, of their campaigns to determine if they can justify their spending on marketing content. Companies also use ROI to measure the success of their marketing content and compare their data to that of their primary industry competitors. The insights marketers can gather from calculating ROI can go towards smarter spending habits and marketing strategies that are more likely to make returns on the investments the companies put into their marketing content.

Here's the formula for calculating ROI:

Marketing ROI = (sales growth − marketing cost) / marketing cost

7. Consumer feedback

Consumer feedback can provide marketers with helpful information for how to improve their marketing operations. For businesses tracking content metrics, they can acquire consumer feedback by sending out automatic surveys to customers who purchase their products or services, with questions directly pertaining to their perceptions of the brand and its position in its industry. Companies can also engage in market research studies, where they gather individuals to test out different marketing strategies to determine how their real consumers might react to the same content.

Related: 20 Social Media Metrics To Track a Successful Campaign

How to measure content metrics in marketing

Here's how to measure content metrics in marketing:

1. Set your goals

Setting your goals is the first step of any marketing campaign, and the same goes for starting the process of measuring content metrics. Identify what you want the outcome of your content to be, whether that involves a specific increase in sales, a wider range of consumer demographics or an overall increase in website engagement. Reference previous content and its user response to identify elements that do and don't work for your marketing needs. Whatever your goals are, try to make them distinct and within a reasonable timeframe so you can work towards smaller milestones along the way.

2. Identify relevant content metrics

After you've set your goals, you can move on to selecting which content metrics you want to track over the course of your campaign. It's important to note that metrics can vary substantially based on the content they're tracking, so identify the purpose of your campaign and which metrics can help you achieve it. For example, a blog may benefit more from tracking the traffic of specific pages on their website, as each page corresponds with a specific article. They could use this information to determine what elements made those articles more effective and apply them to their subsequent work.

3. Set timeframes

Once you've selected your metrics, the next step is to set timeframes for how frequently you want to check in on the progress of your content. You may find that checking campaign progress in intervals can provide you with some of the most insightful information, as you can analyze how different components contribute to increases or decreases in engagement and revenue. For example, if you want to analyze how holiday-centric marketing towards the end of the year impacts overall revenue, checking your content metrics on a weekly or monthly basis may provide insights into the effectiveness of this strategy.

4. Monitor content metrics

Monitoring your content metrics involves tracking the data analytics your measurement tools generate over your specified time intervals. It's important to try and monitor the progress of your marketing campaigns on a regular basis to ensure that you're identifying content that works and adjusting content that's not performing as you would like. It may be beneficial to assign a team within the marketing department whose primary responsibility it to monitor content performance by keeping track of data on spreadsheets and department-wide memos.

5. Make adjustments

The final step when measuring content metrics is to make the necessary adjustments to your marketing strategy based on the data you gather from your metrics. For example, if your marketing team identifies a decrease in social media engagement during one week, they may focus their efforts on increasing social media engagement by posting more, encouraging users to share and adding social media buttons to your website and product pages. Content metrics make it possible for companies to identify how their consumer base reacts to their content, while also providing helpful information for future marketing projects.

Explore more articles