Track the Right KPIs for Your Content Marketing Campaigns

Content Marketing

For any digital marketing campaign, analysis is key in determining success or failure. However, without understanding the most important metrics for each social platform, your analysis may be off track before you even complete your first report.

This week’s Metrics Monday breaks through the haze of vanity metrics to present a platform-by-platform look at which metrics you should and should not track as key performance indicators.

This guide is focused on KPIs for content marketing, so the social media metrics discussed are in relation to measuring the success of your content.

The marketing funnel: a great place to begin

Before we start considering platforms, you need to understand where in the marketing funnel you are looking to make the biggest impact. Are you aiming your social content efforts to mainly drive brand awareness? Or are you looking to increase leads or conversions attributed to social? Or is it somewhere in-between?

For our guide, we’ve included metrics related to each part of the marketing funnel:

  • Awareness: How many people are seeing your content?
  • Engagement: What actions have people taken around your content?
  • Conversion: How many people have completed an action from your social profiles?
  • Advocacy: How are people promoting or advocating for your content?

For conversions, we recommend relying on Google Analytics to determine the actual conversions or goals completed attributed from social, regardless of platform. It’s also important to know how to implement UTM codes to better understand the key drivers of traffic and how to create codes for each channel. By properly setting these codes up, you can track and attribute conversions to show the hard value of your content marketing efforts.

Simply Measured published an insightful visual guide, with the marketing funnel in mind. HubSpot also provides additional insight on the metrics your boss does not care about.

Facebook metrics that matter

Facebook Reactions, Comments, and Shares are a mix of metrics.

Which metrics should I track?

  • Awareness: Reach (paid versus organic)
  • Engagement: Engagement rate, website clicks (external)
  • Conversion: Transactions or goals completed (Google Analytics)
  • Advocacy: Shares

Which metrics should I avoid as KPIs?

  • Likes/comments/shares
  • Impressions
  • Total reach
  • Clicks
  • Consumptions

Facebook offers, among all social platforms, the most robust native analytics platform.

For awareness, focusing on reach over impressions will give you a better idea of how many people are seeing your content. Beyond total reach, it is key to understand how many people you are reaching as a percentage of paid versus organic.

While the easy answer for engagement is to measure the number of likes, comments, and shares, website clicks offer greater insight into how others are engaging with your content. For reactions, comments, and shares, include them as a rate of the total page’s fan count or as an engagement-per-post metric.

Finally, Facebook shares are the top form of fan advocacy among standard engagement metrics. A share demonstrates a fan’s willingness to post your content to their feed.

Best and worst Twitter metrics

Twitter metrics worth monitoring include retweets, mentions, and branded hashtag usage.

Which metrics should I track?

  • Awareness: Twitter mentions, hashtag usage
  • Engagement: @Mentions (internal), URL clicks (external)
  • Conversion: Transactions or goals completed (Google Analytics)
  • Advocacy: Retweets (internal)

Which metrics should I avoid as KPIs?

  • Impressions
  • Likes

Twitter offers an in-depth analytics platform that tracks stats related to content and the profile, and even provides limited demographic and audience insight.

When looking to gauge awareness, avoid impressions. The real-time nature of Twitter prevents impressions from being anything more than an inflated vanity metric. Instead, focus on brand mentions and hashtag usage, especially on any branded hashtags you may have created.

Third-party social listening tools, such as Sysomos, can offer insight into overall platform awareness of your brand or client. By tracking both overall brand mentions and hashtag usage, you can gauge awareness over time.

To understand the true nature of engagement of your content on Twitter, tracking @mentions and URL clicks are more important than more surface-level tweet engagements such as likes.

Retweets, similar to Facebook and LinkedIn shares, are a key metric to identifying and quantifying advocates of your brand.

Move beyond LinkedIn Analytics

LinkedIn metrics that matter include impressions, engagement %, and shares.

Which metrics should I track?

  • Awareness: Unique impressions
  • Engagement: Engagement percentage, website clicks (external)
  • Conversion: Transactions or goals completed (Google Analytics)
  • Advocacy: Shares

Which metrics should I avoid as KPIs?

  • Impressions
  • Likes/comments

LinkedIn’s native analytics are a little too general on the surface, but can provide great insight with a little digging. We recommend implementing a third-party reporting solution such as Simply Measured or downloading the LinkedIn analytics Google Chrome plugin. Currently, LinkedIn does not provide a download link within their analytics platform.

To understand your level of awareness on LinkedIn, unique impressions over total impressions show your reach on a per person basis instead of an inflated total number.

Similar to Facebook, engagement as a percentage of total audience and website clicks are the metrics to track to understand how users interact and engage with content over time.

For advocacy, we recommend tracking shares as this action represents a deeper level of engagement with your content.

Instagram insights

Which metrics should I track?

  • Awareness: Hashtag usage
  • Engagement: Engagement rate/per post (internal)
  • Conversion: Transactions or goals completed (Google Analytics)
  • Advocacy: Hashtag usage

Which metrics should I avoid as KPIs?

  • Total likes/comments

Instagram, among all major social platforms, offers very little in the way of native analytics or insights. Given this limitation, we recommend focusing your KPIs around hashtag usage and per post metrics.

To measure advocacy and awareness, track those posting images using your brand’s unique hashtags. This can be done through tools such as Iconosquare.

Additionally, tracking likes and comments either as a rate of your total audience or per post will provide a foundation for measuring success against past and future content.

Finally, while external links are restricted on the platform, we recommend including a link with a UTM code in the profile link to measure traffic and conversions from Instagram to your website.

With the proper reporting KPIs in place, your next report will provide greater insight and better tracking capabilities on your content marketing goals.

Additional resources:

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