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Content Marketing Goals & KPIs for Every Stage of the Funnel

July 27, 2021
Content Marketing
7 Min Read

Content Marketing Goals & KPIs for Every Stage of the Funnel

Content marketing covers a broad range of disciplines including content strategy, blogging, posts and e-books to videos, podcasts, social and more. 

It is used by most businesses to drive new customers, with 70% of marketers actively investing in it.

Despite this it is notoriously challenging to link content marketing efforts to business goals. 

If you want your content strategy to drive optimal results, you’ll need to track how it’s performing against the growth and revenue goals you’re setting. Once you know how your content is performing, you’ll know what type of content moves the needle for your business, meaning you can better allocate your marketing budget in pursuit of those goals.

In this article, we’ll share some of the different goals you should set for your content, broken down by funnel stage and with examples of key metrics you can use to track them. By the end, you’ll be ready to start investing in content marketing with confidence.

First, understand why you’re creating content

Content marketing is a broad term that covers a range of activities:

  • Writing blog content for SEO purposes
  • Promoting customer case studies on social media
  • Crafting targeted landing pages for niche search terms 

These are types of content that fall under the “content marketing” umbrella, but they have different goals. What’s more, each type of content will have different formats that have different goals. For example, you could create a blog post that’s purely designed to drive awareness, or you could write one that’s designed to drive conversions.

There’s no single metric you can use to accurately measure the value of every part of your content marketing efforts. For example, traffic might be a good metric to measure content designed for awareness, but it won’t be a good judge of success for content designed to drive sales.

The key is to figure out which metrics are the most effective at measuring the different types of content you create. One way to manage this is to set specific goals based on where you’re sharing your content in the sales funnel. Is it TOFU, MOFU, or BOFU? 

Top of Funnel content marketing goals

What is Top of Funnel content?

Top of Funnel (TOFU) content refers to any content marketing activity designed to build awareness for your company and educate a broad audience about a problem.

For example, if your product is an e-commerce platform, TOFU content could include blog posts educating shop owners on the benefits of selling online or strategies to help them sell more products.

People reading your blog posts won’t necessarily sign up to your platform immediately. Still, they’ll be learning about the benefits of selling online and are therefore more likely to consider your solution in the future.

If your top of funnel content works as intended, it will drive more people into the middle and bottom of funnel content, eventually resulting in more leads and more sales.

What metrics can you use to measure Top of Funnel content?

You may get some new customers from your TOFU content, but conversions aren’t usually the aim of the game at this stage.

Instead, measure the success of your content based on metrics like:

  • Traffic generated: It’s helpful to know exactly how many people saw your content.
  • Organic clicks from Google search: Understand how well your content is ranking in Google.
  • Number of social shares: How readily they share your content with friends is an excellent way to measure how valuable your audience found it.
  • Average time spent on page: An indicator of whether or not your content quality is what your audience is looking for.

All of these help you understand if your content is engaging for your audience.

Metrics related to Top of Funnel content often get referred to as vanity metrics. However, if you have a way to keep your audience engaged beyond the content, with strategies like retargeting or email campaigns, there’s still clear value in the Top of Funnel traffic.

Middle of Funnel content marketing goals

What is Middle of Funnel Content?

Middle of Funnel (MOFU) content is where you start to agitate pain points closely related to your product or service while maintaining an educational focus. 

Middle of Funnel content marketing often involves formats like webinars and whitepapers – something someone at the Top of the Funnel won’t always find interesting. However, someone actively looking to solve a problem (a problem explicitly highlighted by your webinar or whitepaper) is more likely to engage with your MOFU content.

It needs to be more specific than your Top of Funnel content, but it’s still not purely focused on conversions, like your Bottom of Funnel content (more on that below).

For example, if you run a SaaS company offering a suite of tools to help with Facebook Ads, a Top of Funnel blog post title might be: “How to grow your SaaS company”. A Middle of Funnel blog post would need to be more specific, such as “How to grow your SaaS company with targeted Facebook Ad campaigns”.

The target audience for the content is smaller, but anyone reading is interested in a problem you can solve. You’re there to help them learn more about their problems, and you can start to drip-feed solutions to those problems. 

What metrics can you use to measure Middle of Funnel content?

Common metrics to measure the performance of your MOFU content include:

  • Email subscriber growth rate: If someone reads your article and then signs up to your email list, it’s a surefire sign they found your content valuable and want to hear more from you in the future.
  • Webinar attendance rate: The more people attending your webinars, the more closely the topic is related to their problems and interests, which shows you understand your buyer. 
  • Whitepaper downloads: If lots of people are downloading your gated whitepapers, it’s a clear indication there’s a problem they need help with.

These metrics aren’t directly linked to new sales and revenue, but you can use your middle of funnel content to drive sales-related activity.

For example, suppose you know that an average of 10% of webinar attendees end up starting a free trial for your product after the event, and 15% go on to read a customer case study. In that case, you can set a benchmark for what you deem a successful webinar.

Bottom of Funnel content marketing goals

What is Bottom of Funnel Content?

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) content is designed to drive conversions and sales. You create it for audiences aware of their problem and use your content marketing efforts to demonstrate how they can solve it using your product or service.

Bottom of Funnel content could include:

  • Case studies, e.g., How [Customer] Generated 150% More Leads with [Your Company]
  • Competitor comparison pages, e.g., Competitor vs Your Company
  • Use-case focused content, e.g., How to Use [Product] to Solve [Problem]

The key is that your Bottom of Funnel content is closely related to the pain points you know your buyers have. Your main goal here is to convince your potential customers to take a conversion action, such as signing up for a demo or starting a free trial.

You’ll likely see less traffic to your BOFU content than your Top and Middle of Funnel content, but that’s because it’s targeting focused pain points and problems. Despite traffic being lower, conversions should be higher. 

To ensure your audience knows what to do next, add clear calls-to-action on your Bottom of Funnel content and make it easy for your audience to take the next step towards becoming a paying customer.

What metrics can you use to measure Bottom of Funnel content?

Bottom-of-funnel content success can be measured using metrics like:

  • Number of free trials/sales/demos booked: A clear indicator of how effectively your content drives new business.
  • Conversion rate to those specific actions from your content: A high conversion rate indicates your content clearly addresses a pain point.

You can easily track these by creating goals in Google Analytics. You can then attribute conversions to your content and see data on the conversion rates you’re getting from different types of content.

For example, you could set a goal that’s registered when someone signs up for a free trial. Then, in your Google Analytics reports, you can see what page those conversions came from.

If you see that case studies outperform your blog posts (or vice versa), you could start promoting those case studies with paid ads – or incorporating them into your sales workflow to send to free trial customers.

Tools to measure content marketing success

So, you know which metrics you should be tracking at different stages of the funnel. But, how can you actually measure them? There are several powerful tools out there to help you keep track of your content.

Here are some of the best:

  • Google Analytics: Completely free and with a range of features to start tracking your content marketing efforts. Make sure to set up goals for actions you care about.
  • Google Data Studio: To make your reports more visually appealing, you can bring your Google Analytics data into Data Studio to create dashboards and data visualisations. It’s a great way to make your data easily understandable without diving into complex Google Analytics reports every time you need to pull up your numbers.
  • Ahrefs/Semrush: These SEO tools give you the ability to track how well your content is ranking in Google (and other search engines). It’s a good way to track and forecast expected traffic to your content.

In summary

Content marketing is a powerful way to build awareness for your product or service, drive traffic, and generate sales. However, it can be tricky to measure how your content performs if you don’t understand what you’re meant to be tracking. 

One of the best ways to set your content marketing goals is to break down your content by the stage of the buyer journey that it’s targeting. From there, you can measure it based on the metrics that matter at each stage of the funnel.

If you need help setting up or scaling your content marketing strategy, tap into Traktion’s on-demand marketing talent network. Get access to vetted industry experts who know exactly what it takes to deliver world-class content marketing.

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