Content marketing is an effective tool to grow your business, but without the proper planning, it’s unlikely you’ll ever achieve the desired results.
This article explains how to maximize content with:
- A list of 5 universal content marketing goals
- Practical business applications for each
- Corresponding KPIs to measure success
In today’s world of commerce, consumers have become more resourceful and better informed. In fact, research shows that as many as 88% of consumers conduct research prior to buying a product or service.
That means your customers are well-informed about your company before you even get a chance to engage in a single conversation with them.
Creating content built on the inbound methodology is a great way to adapt to these trends. That’s because it encourages consumer-focused content, such as blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. to guide strangers to your website, encourage them to become prospects, and eventually convert them into customers.
5 Goals Every Company Should Include in their Content Marketing Efforts
When brainstorming content for your campaign, it’s important to include these 5 universal goals in the creation process. We highlight these goals below and include a practical business application and corresponding KPI for each.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search engines are the driving force behind nearly all web traffic. It goes without saying, but if you want to learn something, a search engine query is usually the best place to start. That’s why it’s critical to create content that ranks well, drives traffic, and ultimately creates value for users.
Maximize your Content with our FREE Editorial Calendar Template
Think of content as a bridge between search engines and possible users. Generally speaking, the more value that your content provides, the higher the search engine ranking.
Business Application: We want to increase sales by 15% by the end of the fiscal year.
How might content help fulfill this goal?
Working to facilitate prospects at the top of a sales funnel, SEO friendly content gives your website visibility in search queries. Simply put, if your website is not SEO friendly, it’s unlikely you’ll ever succeed in achieving your goals because potential prospects won’t be able to find you online.
Some common SEO terms to remember with content include:
- Website Sessions: The total number of visits to your site, including new and repeat visits
- Clicks: A good indication of how many times users are interacting with your site
- Links: How many times other websites have linked to your published content, sharing with their audience
- Ranking Keywords: How many keywords does your content appear on the first page (top 10) of organic search results for
Corresponding KPI: Traffic Distribution
Traffic distribution showcases not only where your website traffic is coming from, but also showcases the quality of that traffic. If you want more marketing qualified leads, traffic distribution is a great KPI to measure success.
- How to Create an SEO Friendly Editorial Calendar For Your Blog [Plus Free Template]
- Editorial Calendar Templates
SEO can help your website get noticed, but without any value behind your content, a searcher’s journey to ultimately choose your services will abruptly end. Content is meant to guide prospects through the sales funnel, but in order for prospects and businesses to engage in meaningful conversations, content must center around education.
Remember, searchers are accessing search engines because they want answers and solutions to their questions and challenges. Content that clearly answers the questions searchers are asking will not only attract potential customers, but will also establish your business as a go-to resource.
Business Application: Our business gets a few prospects and inquiries, but we have trouble finding qualified leads that align with our services.
How can content help solve this problem?
When it comes to content, quality is preferable to quantity. Eliminating clutter can save time and money, which is why your content should not only answer the questions prospects are asking, but also educate them on the value of your services overall.
Some examples of relevant content may include:
- Online Forms
- Videos and Webinars
SEO helps your content get noticed, while education encourages prospects to engage in meaningful conversations with the actual value your business can provide.
Corresponding KPI: Marketing Qualified Leads
MQLs are contacts that are more deeply engaged and therefore more likely to convert than other contacts. A constant stream of qualified leads is a great indicator that your content is reaching the right audience.
3. Brand Awareness
Simply put, people do business with companies they like. The more identifiable your brand can be, the better. For example, companies like Nike, Amazon, and Google have excellent brand awareness. In general, nearly every customer, or potential customer understands the services those companies provide and could probably identify them with just a single logo.
Obviously, these companies have the benefit of large-scale operations and global recognition, but the principles of their brand awareness can apply to companies of all sizes.
We’ll connect the previous goals listed earlier. Content that’s SEO friendly and educational helps solidify brand awareness, which in turn helps build trust.
Business Application: Our company has a strong list of competitors and we need to stand out to build sales. How do we differentiate ourselves?
Content creation is a great way to address this challenge. First, take some time to collaborate with your coworkers to define your company’s culture. Then, apply these findings to your persona research. In other words, how can we reach consumers that share our values?
By creating content that answers these questions, your brand becomes more recognizable and trustworthy. This also shows your company is more than just a faceless name behind a screen.
Corresponding KPI: Bounce Rate
Your Bounce Rate represents the percentage of website visitors who enter your site and promptly leave instead of visiting other pages. A low bounce rate is a good indicator that your content contains helpful information and that your brand awareness is improving.
So you’ve created content that ranks well, provides value, and is easily recognizable-now what? All of these goals are important to guiding prospects through the sales funnel, but conversion is ultimately the measurement of whether your content was successful or not.
That’s why conversion rate is one of the most valuable metrics for content marketers and entire organizations as a whole.
Business Application: Our company’s website has steadily grown, but we’re not seeing an increase in sales. Isn’t content supposed to increase sales?
The short answer to the question above is yes, however, it’s important to understand each department’s role in content marketing as a whole.
For example, an author can write an outstanding article, but without a proper CTA, it’s unlikely readers will see the full value of your organization. And what if the CTA makes sense, but the conversion rate is still low? Perhaps your CTAs need to be optimized for conversion, or your sales department needs to pivot its closing methods.
Either way, content offers a window into the way in which your organization works together to grow and increase revenue.
Corresponding KPI: Conversion Rate
As mentioned above, conversion rate refers to the percentage of your website visitors who take a desired action (could be purchase or click-through rates). To calculate the conversion rate, follow the formula below:
5. Retention and Brand Loyalty
A typical sales funnel displays the path for strangers to become prospects and eventually customers. But then what? Content, especially created with the inbound methodology in mind, doesn’t just serve prospects and leads.
Think about the inbound methodology and flywheel, which aims to create a constant stream of growth by attracting, engaging, and delighting prospects and customers.
It’s likely that content centering around the needs and challenges of customers – and constantly builds on possible solutions to those challenges – will build trust and brand loyalty while increasing retention overall.
Business application: Our company needs more word of mouth marketing, can content help?
While it’s true companies cannot control word of mouth marketing, they can absolutely influence it with helpful content. Some content to consider with retention includes:
- Social Monitoring
- Social Communities
By surveying current customers to find possible improvements in your operations and monitoring the social trends of your brand, you will have a better understanding to meet and exceed customer expectations. The more your company exceeds expectations, the more likely your customers will spread the benefit and value of your services to their peers.
Corresponding KPIs: Repeat Visitors and Brand Search Volume
Repeat visitors are simply users who have visited your website multiple times while Branded search volume provides insight into how many users are searching for keywords directly tied to your brand.
To find the number of repeat visitors who have visited your website and your branded search volume, you’ll want to access this data within your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, respectively.
An increase in either of these KPIs will increase the likelihood of your content’s success and customer retention overall.
Maximize your Content to Increase ROI
These 5 goals offer a launching point for a variety of commonly used content marketing campaigns across several businesses and industries.
And, as previously mentioned, an editorial calendar is an excellent way to keep track of your goals and measure success. With the right editorial calendar, content creators can schedule publish dates, share ideas, expedite sales materials, and align content with specific goals all in one comprehensive document.
Editorial calendars are also widely accessible, interchangeable, and easy to use. So, regardless of your company’s content marketing goals, an editorial calendar can help.
Still not sure where to start? Check out our content marketing services, or download our free editorial calendar template to maximize your content efforts and achieve your goals!