Measuring the success of your content marketing program can be tricky.
Each and every program has its own unique set of goals. Even within a single vertical it’s too simplistic to suggest that your competitor’s program is the same as yours. You aren’t privy to what they’re hoping to accomplish with content marketing, or how much investment they’ve made, or how integrated their program is within the mainframe of their overall company strategy.
All of this means when benchmarking instead of asking yourself what benchmarks to measure against ask, “how is content driving actions that match my content marketing goals?” For example, if your goal is to get users to download whitepapers then how successful was the content in accomplishing that end goal?
At this point you’re ready to ask yourself if you have the processes in place to successfully use your data to optimise your content marketing program. If you’re just starting to benchmark yourself, best place to start would be to try and analyse month-over-month metrics. Best case scenario you have at your fingertips year-over-year metrics which provide a good sense of whether the program is progressing as seasonality is taken into account.
Lastly, and importantly, the best benchmarks you can set yourself are the ones you’ve set yourself. Establishing benchmarks requires you to have been running your program, and all the components that support your program, for a long enough time to establish what’s typical for it. When you first launch a content marketing program you may, for example, publish more content to ensure your site is populated however months down the line you may want to cut your cadence in half. In this scenario you want to initiate the benchmarking process from the time you initiated your regular cadence.
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