How to measure your content marketing success

How to measure your content marketing success

It’s no secret that everything you do in government and business alike must have a measurable ROI.

To measure content marketing ROI, we often produce a list of metrics a mile long. This can include data from Google Analytics, social media pages, survey results, e-newsletters, enquiries, sales and more.

However, listing some or all of these metrics doesn’t always correlate to measuring the success of your content marketing activity.

To gauge a true understanding of your communication effectiveness, you must align your key metrics with your content marketing objectives.

For example if you wanted to track the uptake of a new policy, you wouldn’t simply measure tweet impressions.

If you did this, you’d never be able to tell if your efforts were working. It would be a waste of time, energy and resources.

It’s not uncommon for communications personnel to fall into the trap of listing every possible metric with the aim of providing a detailed and in-depth analysis into their communication efforts. However, if the metrics don’t align with the objectives, they cause more confusion than clarity. This confusion leads to ineffective content marketing.

Steps to effective measurement

  1. Identify your content marketing goals

Some communicators aren’t clear what their goals are. Clearly identifying your content marketing goals, based on your organisation objectives, is a crucial first step in measuring success.

  1. Align these with key metrics

Other communicators mistakenly track the wrong metrics for their goals. You must correctly match your key metrics with your goals.

  1. Use these metrics to measure your content marketing effectiveness

Once you start tracking your content marketing, you can effectively achieve your goal.

Here’s a guide to the key metrics you should be tracking for some of the most common content marketing objectives.

Metrics for raising awareness

Goal: Awareness / public interest

Metrics: Social shares, follows and mentions, content views, survey results

Increasing awareness of a campaign or public announcement is an important goal for many government and private sector organisations. For example, you may be seeking community awareness of your department and its function.

If you have an increasing audience that is viewing your content, and seeing and/or engaging with your social media activity then you are increasing your awareness. The more people that are viewing your content, the more people are aware of what you’re saying.

You can also use a survey-based methodology or targeted polling to understand sentiment. This could be useful for understanding if people are aware of your department, and what feelings they have.

Metrics for audience engagement

Goal: Audience engagement

Metrics: Social shares and engagement, time spent on content

Sometimes awareness isn’t enough and you are actively seeking engagement from your audience. A common example of this is requesting community feedback on a proposal.

Engagement with your content through social media shares, likes and comments and engagement on your website demonstrate a genuinely engaged audience.

Metrics for uptake of desired action

Goal: Uptake of desired action

Metrics: Click-through rate, conversion rate

Many government and public sector campaigns are seeking an action, such as donating to a cause or changing behaviour. To measure the uptake of a desired action, you need to focus on the tip of the activity funnel – where interest turns into action.

The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. Submissions to a sign-up page on your website or click-through rates to gated information demonstrates a clear action and would be useful in measuring action such as donations.

Conducting polls, surveys or analysis of statistics (such as ABS data) can be used to measure the conversion rate of offline behaviour change.

In some circumstances you can also measure the cycle length from awareness to action. Successful content will reduce the length of the cycle, converting people from interest to action more quickly.


Each week a staff member puts pen to paper to write about an aspect of content communication that speaks to them, and hopefully, informs you. This is a space where our passion for writing, learning and sharing information comes to shine.

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