The importance of data-driven decisions has reached an all-time high. Today’s competitive landscape makes it critical to understand which metrics matter.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the metrics that determine your content marketing success, but not all KPIs are equally important.

In this article, we’ll explore the metrics that matter most for content marketing in 2023. Additionally, we’ll explore the tools you need to measure them and how to define the KPIs that are important for your content strategy.

What are KPIs?

What are KPIs?

KPIs are metrics that businesses use to measure their performance and progress toward specific goals. Businesses of all sorts use KPIs to monitor their success in achieving objectives and to identify areas where they need to improve.

Content marketers can establish KPIs to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy. They help track how well the content marketing efforts are contributing to the overall business goals.

For example, they can help figure out how well content is:

  • Generating leads
  • Boosting website traffic
  • Improving brand awareness
  • Converting leads to paying customers
  • Getting visitors to view, download, or share specific content

Effective use of KPIs also provides a way to measure progress and communicate success to stakeholders.

KPIs are important

What KPIs are important for content marketing?

If, like many decision-makers, you’re wondering where to get started, here are some of the key KPIs that are important for content marketing:


Revenue as a function of content marketing is a different animal than general business income. When designing a revenue KPI, you need to establish a concrete link between your content and the revenue it helps generate.

For example, you wouldn’t want to lump revenue generated by sales staff with money you get from an e-commerce portal.

Lead generation

A common lead generation KPI would be the number of leads generated by content campaigns.

For instance, you could create a KPI that measures the leads created by a gated e-book. Then, you could compare it against that of another e-book based on a different topic or with a significantly different graphic layout.

Customers taking desired actions

A KPI measuring customer decisions typically involve measuring the degree to which they do things that don’t involve spending money.

For example, a KPI could measure how often a piece of content inspires a customer to call your sales team, send an email, or share a post on social media.

Social media indicators

Social media indicators vary depending on your goals.

For instance, if you’re using content to spread awareness about a new product, your social KPIs would be different than if you were using posts to boost engagement with your website.

However, here are some common social media indicators:

  • Mentions
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Subscriptions

Website traffic

The number of people visiting your website is a critical metric in content marketing. This includes not only the total number of visitors but also the sources of the traffic (organic, social, referral, etc.).

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics measure how users interact with your content. Metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, pages per session, and social shares can provide insights into how users are engaging with your content.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate tells you what percentage of visitors to your site do what you wanted them to do. For example, the conversion rate may tell you that 1% of visitors decided to buy your product or 2% downloaded an e-book. This metric helps to determine the effectiveness of your content in driving leads or sales.

Brand awareness

You can measure brand awareness through metrics such as social media reach, mentions, and search engine rankings. This can help track how well your content is being received and how effectively it is building brand awareness.

Cost per acquisition

This metric measures the cost of acquiring a new customer through content marketing efforts. It includes the cost of content creation, distribution, and promotion. It also helps to determine the ROI of your content marketing strategy.

Customer retention

Customer retention is a critical metric in content marketing. It helps to track how effectively your content is engaging and retaining customers. Metrics such as churn rate, customer lifetime value, and repeat purchase rate can help to track customer retention.

KPI tools

What tools do you need to measure your KPIs?

To measure KPIs, there are a variety of tools and software available. You need ones that can help you automate data collection, analysis, and reporting.

Here are some KPI tools you may find helpful:

  • Google Analytics. This is a free tool from Google that provides website traffic and engagement metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, and pages per session.
  • Social media analytics tools. These tools help track social media engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and follower growth. Some popular choices include Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM tools help track customer interactions and engagement metrics. For example, customer lifetime value (CLV), churn rate and repeat purchase rate. Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zoho are common CRMs.
  • A/B testing tools. These tools allow you to test different versions of your content or website to see which version performs better. Google Optimize, AB Tasty, and Freshmarketer are common choices.
  • Marketing automation software. This can automate and optimize marketing campaigns. Including email marketing, social media, and content marketing efforts. Some examples include Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot.
  • Business intelligence tools. These tools help to consolidate data from various sources and provide insights into business performance. Examples include Tableau and Power BI.

Of course, the tools that work best for you will depend on the specific KPIs you’re measuring and the data sources you need to integrate.

Does every organization look at the same KPIs?

Every organization is unique, so they often use different KPIs. The KPIs that are important for a specific organization will depend on its goals, strategies, and operations.

For example, a SaaS company may focus on cost per acquisition as a primary KPI. This would show them how much the company spends on content to acquire a new, paying customer. For a SaaS company, this is an effective way of gauging the ROI of its content.

On the other hand, an e-commerce company may lean more toward revenue as a KPI. Focusing on how it fluctuates in relation to different content marketing campaigns. They may also choose to triangulate their results using engagement metrics. Checking to see how paying customers are engaging with specific content.

How do you define the KPIs

How do you define the KPIs that are important for your content strategy?

To define the KPIs that are important for your content strategy, you should follow these steps:

1. Define your content marketing goals

Your goals may include increasing website traffic, generating leads, improving brand awareness, or driving sales. It’s best to perform this step prior to committing to any KPI tools. In this way, you let your needs drive the decision process, as opposed to the convenience of using an existing solution.

2. Identify the metrics that align with your goals

Once you’ve defined your goals, identify the metrics that align with each one. For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, the relevant metrics may include total website visitors, page views, and unique visitors.

3. Take your target audience into consideration

When selecting your KPIs, it’s important to consider your target audience and the metrics that are most relevant to them. For example, if your target audience is active on social media, social media engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares may be important KPIs.

4. Align KPIs with your budget and resources

It’s crucial to consider your budget and resources when selecting your KPIs. For example, if you have a limited budget, focusing on metrics such as time on site or bounce rate may be more relevant than metrics that require expensive advertising.

5. Monitor and adjust your KPIs over time

You should monitor KPIs regularly to track progress and identify opportunities for improvement. Based on your analysis, you may need to adjust your KPIs over time to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with your business objectives.

Get started with your KPI strategy

Getting started with a KPI strategy will allow you to measure your business’ performance and progress.

To define the KPIs that are important for your content strategy, you should define your content marketing goals. It’s also important to identify the metrics that align with your goals and consider your target audience.

Effective use of KPIs can help you focus your efforts on the most important areas of your business. They also make it easier to identify opportunities for improvement.

ClearVoice’s content marketing specialists can help with your content strategy. By mapping out the most effective KPI approach for your company. Set up a content strategy session today to see how.