11 February 2020

Content Marketing Metrics That Matter: Going Beyond Vanity Metrics

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 content marketing metrics you can possibly track, even if they make you look like a superstar. Some statistics are simply all shine and no substance. Going beyond vanity metrics is what truly helps gain buy-in for your content strategy.

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 what content marketing metrics you should track instead 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 a vanity metric, an actionable metric is a stat that tells you what is driving your business (like helping you gain customers and grow revenue) and what is detracting from your business. We’ll dig into some examples below.

Putting actionable 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.

Create content that gets results with our checklist

Now that you understand what content marketing metrics matter and why it’s important to track actionable stats, you can put our content optimization checklist to work and create content that gets results.

Boost the performance of the content you already have

With Uplift’s content optimization service, we’ll tell you exactly which pieces of content have the biggest opportunities for improvement—and then we’ll give you the exact fixes you need to make to optimize your content for higher performance.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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