Optimizing the Funnel: Content Marketing KPI Examples

April 23, 2019

What are Content KPIs?

Content KPIs, or key performance indicators, are metrics specifically used to track and evaluate the success of content marketing strategies. These KPIs are a subset of marketing KPIs, which help teams determine content demand, manage strategies and budgets, prove value to the C-suite, and much more.

Content managers and demand gen managers rely on KPIs to quantify the results of content marketing efforts. Content KPIs focus on ensuring that content is reaching the right audience, engaging potential customers, and ultimately delivering a successful return on investment for the business.

How do I choose the right content KPIs?

Content marketing touches every part of a growing business, whether it’s to acquire customers, communicate product changes across an organization, or keep customers in the loop and excited about the progress your product is making. That being said, before selecting KPIs to measure your content performance, it’s always a good idea to take a look at overarching business goals and decide how content can best support those. From there, it’s easy to show content marketing’s impact on company growth.  

In the absence of clear, overarching goals a good place to start is with a few common questions: What content is generating customer interest?, What content is adding the most potential customers to the funnel?, or What content is attracting the highest quality leads for profitability? The answers to these questions can demonstrate the importance of content within the customer journey from the very first touch, to closed/won deal, to your oldest and most loyal customer.

content marketing KPIs give your entire marketing team the insights they need to build a complete strategy.

Using Content KPIs to Inform Social Media Strategy

Your content KPIs can provide valuable data for creating effective social media campaigns. They help you identify the content that already generates a lot of interest, which you can then use to build powerful and engaging campaigns around.

The content KPIs a social media manager should pay attention to are download rates, page views for blog posts, and time on page in conjunction with those views. These metrics will give shape to what kind of engagement a social media manager could expect by promoting this content.

Using Content KPIs to Optimize Demand Generation Efforts

Demand generation teams are responsible for filling their sales team’s funnel with as many qualified leads as possible—but without a clear vision of what content leads to the most marketing qualified leads and eventual closed/won deals they may as well be shooting in the dark.

As event, PPC, and email managers stay up-to-date on gated content performance they can get a sense for what levers to pull or what messaging they should deliver in order to attract prospects with the highest potential for closed/won deals.

Using Content KPIs to Improve Future Content Creation

One of the most valuable benefits of using content KPIs is the implications for future content creation. By quantifying the success of content, you can determine what content is most effective and then use that as a model for future content. Once you know what customers are looking for you can ensure that you are providing that information.

Once you have identified what content is most effective at engaging potential customers, you can focus your time on determining what makes the content effective. You can look at topic, formatting, length, delivery, etc. to inform the creation of future content.

KPIs that measure engagement such as bounce rates, time spent viewing, and your traffic volume are important to look at as you assess top performing pieces.

Content marketing KPIs can help you optimize your content processes.

Content KPI Examples

Measurable KPIs show what content is actually engaging potential customers and generating interest to help you focus your budget on content and delivery methods with high returns. Below are 10 content-related KPIs to help you gauge the success of your content marketing strategy.

Leads per content piece

Leads per content piece are the number of leads generated per piece of content.

The formula for calculating leads per content piece is:

Leads Per Content Piece= Number of leads / Content piece

Why use leads per content piece?

Your leads per content percentage identifies which content is attracting the most leads. Ideally, you want to be getting as many prospective customers into the top of the funnel as possible.

You can also go into more depth to figure out how many closed deals you are getting from each content piece. This can help you see the impact that the content is having on your bottom line.

% Placement in Search with Unbranded Terms

Your percent placement in search with unbranded terms shows you how often your webpage is coming up in searches without using the name of your company or brand.

The formula for calculating the percent placement in search with unbranded terms is:

% Placement in search with unbranded terms= Visits with search using unbranded term/ total visits from search

Why use % placement in search using unbranded terms?

For demand generation, you need to ensure that the information you are providing is showing up for users who are searching for your services or products, even if they don’t use your company name. Ideally, your content should have high placement in searches using unbranded terms because it your page is providing the information that potential customers are looking for.

By knowing your % placement, it can help you optimize your SEO for higher placement in unbranded searches.The more potential customers you add to the top of the funnel, the more potential closed deals you have.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is your traffic that comes from sources other than paid advertisements. This traffic comes to your website without clicking an ad.


The formula for calculating organic traffic is:

Organic traffic= All traffic - traffic generated from paid advertisements=organic traffic

Why use organic traffic?

Organic traffic helps you determine what is leading customers to you through channels other than paid advertisements. You can view what pages potential customers are looking at and what kind of information they are seeking.

Your organic traffic likely has a higher level of interest and will require less demand generation because they are actively seeking information about your services or product. By increasing your organic traffic, you increase your chances of closing a deal.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of page visitors who only visit the landing page and then leave.

The formula for calculating bounce rate is:

Bounce rate= Number of visitors who only visit the landing page /  total number of visitors

Why use bounce rate?

Bounce rate helps you be aware of how frequently visitors leave your landing page without looking further.  If you have a high bounce rate, you should identify possible areas for improvement to make visitors stay engaged.  Bounce rates can also indicate where there is a disconnect. There was a draw to make the potential customer visit the landing page but something made them lose interest or they were unable to find the information they were looking for.

The lower your bounce rate, the greater your customer engagement and potential for closed deals. As you make improvements your bounce rate should decrease.

Top pages

Your top pages are the pages that have the highest number of views.

To find your top pages:

View page view statistics in Google Analytics and choose the ones with the highest number of views

Why use top pages and top folders?

By looking at your top pages and top folders you can determine what information is most important and useful to customers. To create demand for your product or services, you need to ensure that potential customers can find the information they need to make a decision. Placing your top pages and folders in an easy-to-find location can increase engagement with your webpage.

If you are losing potential customers at the top of the funnel because they can’t find the information they need, you may need to redesign the usability of the webpage. You should place the most sought-after information in a prominent place and include a call to action on that page.  

Time Spent on the Page

Time spent on the page is how much time a visitor spends on a page.

You can find the amount of time spent on page in Google Analytics under Behavior.

Why use time spent on the page?

Time spent on the page helps you identify if visitors are actually engaging with content on the page. Time spent on the page is an indicator of interest and engagement. If a user is spending a significant amount of time on a page, they are engaging with the information. If visitors are spending less time on the page, you may wish to revisit the page to determine why visitors are losing interest.

A large amount of time spent on a page indicates that the information is meeting customer interest and needs as well as sustaining interest.  Time spent on the page is critical at the top of the funnel to engage potential customers and generate demand.

In-site search queries

In-site search queries are search queries made by visitors using the webpage.

You can find in-site search queries in Google Analytics.

Why use in-site search queries?

In-site search queries help you identify which items visitors are struggling to find. If a customer needs to use a search query on the homepage, they are struggling to find that information. Items with a high search frequency should be placed in an easy to find location on the webpage. If there is no content available for top search queries, you need to create content to meet visitor demand.

By ensuring that you are presenting information that is important to visitors, you increase the likelihood that they will stay and engage with your webpage. In-site search queries can also inform your content creation process to ensure that you are providing the information that visitors are looking for.

Download Rate

The download rate is the percentage of visitors that visit your page that download the content.

The formula for download rate is:
Download rate = Number of downloads / Number of visits to the information page with download information

Why use the download rate?

By looking at the download rate for content, you can determine if you are predicting customer interest and demand. High download rates show that you are correctly gauging customer interest and providing needed information.

Your download rate will show you how attractive your downloadable content is. If people are visiting the page to learn more about the subject but they aren’t taking the time to actually download it you may not be anticipating your customer’s needs. The download rate is also a powerful indicator of potential customers’ level of interest and engagement with the content.

Social Media Shares

Social media shares are the number of times that your content has been shared on social media.

You can find this by manually tracking social media shares or using a tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

Why use social media shares?

Social media shares indicate what content is creating interest and engagement. You can determine what types of stories and posts engage the most potential customers.

Organic sharing of content allows you to reach potential customers that may not be reached through traditional channels. When social media is shared it creates a buzz and puts attention on your company.

Social Media Subscribers

Subscribers are the number of people who follow your social media accounts.

You can track social media subscribers manually in a spreadsheet or using a tool such as SEMrush, Buffer, or Hootsuite.

Why use subscribers?

Your social media subscribers show the level of interest your social media is generating.  When you are getting a high number of overall views, but your subscriber numbers are still low you may not be providing value to your viewers. You may need to rethink your social media campaign to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your potential and current customers. You also might want to reconsider your audience. Are you using social media for potential or current customers? What type of value are you providing to them?

Looking at your total number of social media subscribers helps determine which social media channels are most effective for your company  By looking at your subscriber lists, you can determine what kind of social media is most popular with potential customers.

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