How to Measure the Success of a Content Marketing Strategy

The Content Marketing Institute recently released a pyramid that can break down the success of any content marketing campaign. There are three levels to this pyramid:

  • Primary content indicators: Primary indicators are the types of measurements that your CXO wants to know about (e.g., sales, costs savings, retention rates).
  • Secondary content indicators: Secondary indicators are the types of measurements that help make the case for primary indicators (e.g., lead quality, lead quantity, shorter sales cycles).
  • User indicators: These are the types of measurements that the content “doers” need to look at to help drive the secondary indicators (e.g., web traffic, “likes,” page views, search rankings).

measuring content marketing success

For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll focus on the bottom level, user indicators. This is the data that we analyze to determine the performance of the blog. In other words, what is being done right and what needs to be done better.

At TargetClick, we operate several blogs for our clients. We do not simply stuff keywords into the content, push the posts live and hope for the best. Each entry is executed as part of a carefully planned content strategy and the subject matter is derived from trending keywords in the industry and geographic location of the client.

In the case of our automotive clients, the purpose of one particular automotive blog we created is used to inform and motivate users. Through video, graphics and written content, the site is designed to keep users engaged and leads to contract with the dealer website. That is what the blog is supposed to accomplish, but how do we prove that is what it is actually doing?

Measurement! Just like paid search campaigns can be measured with click through rates, content has its own system of analysis. Some key measurement criteria for the success of content include:


Unique Visitors
This measures how many individuals have viewed the content in a given time frame. Before you can measure anything else in regards to the success of your campaign, it is important that people are actually seeing what has been put out there. There can be no success without traffic.

It is not enough to have visitors. Pay attention to where the content being read. You can’t buy cars online so in automotive marketing, the brick and mortar store is crucial as it is the point of sale. It is highly unlikely that readers in other states or even in different parts of the same state will venture all the way to a dealer over 100 miles away from them. This is why we focus on very specific metropolitan areas and use geo-specific search terms in our blog posts.


Time Spent
How much time are users spending on each page? This is a measurement of how good the content is because it indicates they are actually reading what has been written which usually means it is fresh, quality content.

Bounce Rates
If a user leaves right away, it is usually because the page they found is not what they were searching for. Low bounce rates (usually below 50%) indicate relevant content.

For more information about content marketing measurement or the success of our previous strategies, contact Lenna Curry at

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