Measure your content marketing performance

As the sheer volume of content on the internet continues to increase at an exponential rate, it becomes more and more difficult to create content that cuts through the noise. In years past, many organizations could rely on the strength of their content to carry their marketing. Not anymore. Today, top marketers optimize their content using feedback from the latest key performance indicators (KPIs).

Solid performance tracking promises to be one of the biggest content marketing trends in 2016. And with marketing budgets projected to increase, effectively demonstrating content marketing ROI will be more important than ever.

Here are 3 of the top ways to get real insight into your performance and create truly optimized content that cuts through the noise in the New Year:

1. Reader Engagement

In 2016, merely measuring page views and clicks will be as outdated as the mullet as we value more qualitative metrics that track reader engagement and attention like time on page.

Marketers increasingly agree there is a significant difference between a visitor who views your site for seconds and one who spends extended minutes exploring and shopping. The myth that we read what we click on has been officially debunked and time on page will officially trump clicks and views as a leading KPI to understand website traffic this year.

2. Sales Qualified Leads

Even the most viral content with millions of page views and tens of thousands of social media shares may not actually convert into customers. And if your content isn’t converting to sales, it’s not doing its job.

In 2016, 31% of businesses say that sales lead quality is the most important metric they will use to measure the success of a content marketing campaign according to a report from Content Marketing Institute.

This is why viral content can be such a mixed bag for businesses. Having a high volume of readers can seem valuable, but what really matters is the quality of those readers. Savvy marketers will continue to track traditional metrics like traffic source and traffic volume while also measuring on the quality of traffic and leads.

3. Social Reach

While Facebook and Twitter followers don’t not necessarily translate into sales qualified leads, social media will continue to be an important way to track the performance of your content in 2016. If you are not yet measuring the likes, shares, comments, and follows from your content on social, 2016 is the year to start.

Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and BuzzSumo (as well as many of the social media platforms themselves) make this easy with analytics to understand the reach of any particular piece of content, and whether your engagement is improving over time.

Overall, content marketers will look beyond quantity in 2016 to quality focusing on performance metrics like reader engagement, time on page, sales qualified leads, and social media engagement. But having the right KPI’s is only one piece of a strong content marketing strategy. You can learn how to optimize you content marketing at every stage of the workflow at Content Marketing Conference next May.

Kate Gwozdz is a nonprofitier-turned-marketer and a psychologist at heart. Events Manager for Content Marketing Conference and WriterAccess, she’s the brains behind the #WriteOn webinar series. Kate manages the CMC blog and writes occasionally at but can usually be found traveling.