Content Marketing Metrics That Matter: Going Beyond Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics may make you look like a SaaS superstar, but these stats are all shine and no substance. Learn which content marketing metrics truly help you gain customers and grow revenue.

As a SaaS marketer, it’s crucial to be able to measure the performance of the content you create and determine how it contributes to your company’s bottom line. But be careful not to buy into all of the metrics you can possibly track, even if they make you look like a superstar. Some statistics are simply all shine and no substance. Focus on content marketing metrics that matter by going beyond vanity metrics is what truly helps gain buy-in for your content strategy.

Content marketing metrics that matter: vanity vs. value

A vanity metric is a stat that looks impressive but doesn’t correlate to business growth. A spike in website traffic is a prime example. It may get you a pat on the back from your boss, but it doesn’t generate revenue or give you the insight you need to make further business decisions. (Spoiler alert: we’ll cover the content marketing metrics that matter when we discuss actionable metrics below).

Number of social media followers is another repeat offender. Vanity metrics like this don’t tell you anything about whether people are engaging with your content. Never assume a high follower count means that people have actually seen your posts.

In contrast to vanity metrics, actionable content marketing metrics are stats that tell you what is driving your business (like helping you gain customers and grow revenue) and what’s detracting from your business. We’ll dig into some examples below.

Putting actionable content marketing metrics to work

Now that you can spot vanity metrics as results in disguise, it’s time to focus on content marketing metrics that matter. These stats should always give you insight into costs and revenue. Here are a few examples to help you get started.

1. Customer acquisition cost and return on marketing investment

These two content marketing metrics go hand in hand. It’s important to know how much you’re paying to acquire your customers (for obvious reasons). You can measure this by tracking how much you’re spending on marketing, in addition to your conversion rates, to determine your overall marketing ROI and cost per customer.

2. Webpage conversion rates

Note the specificity here—rather than tracking your website’s overall conversion rate, drill down to the per-page conversion rates. Get even more granular by checking out how each page’s conversion rate differs by traffic source type. This level of detail will help you understand which content converts which type of user best, and will give you the information you need to A/B test for future optimization.

3. Email conversion rates

Email marketing is only meaningful if your subscribers translate into leads, or better yet, sales. Your newsletters hopefully already include solid calls to action, so track the conversion rates on those to learn whether your email campaigns drive revenue.

4. Social media engagement

There are several content marketing metrics you can track to determine the true value of your social channels. These include how many people are clicking, commenting on and sharing your content. Monitoring these metrics will also help you gain a better understanding of your customers’ likes, dislikes, and behaviours.

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