“Ask a Content Marketer” is a column on NewsCred Insights where we answer your questions about content marketing. Got a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Twitter @NewsCred and we’ll find the appropriate expert to answer. We won’t include your name or company without your permission.
Q. What benchmarks should we use to measure our program?
A. Every program is unique with its own goals. Even within one vertical, it’s hard to say that your competitor’s program is the same as yours. You don’t know what they’re hoping to accomplish with content marketing, how much they’re spending, or how integrated their program is with their overall company strategy.
Rather than asking what benchmarks you should measure yourself against, the question should be, “How is content driving the actions I’m looking for?” If, for example, your goal is to get users to sign up for an email newsletter, how successful was content in accomplishing that?
From there, ask yourself if you’re successfully using your data to optimize your program. If you’re just starting to benchmark yourself, try looking at month-over-month metrics. If available, year-over-year metrics can give you a good sense of whether your program is progressing, since it takes seasonality into account.
Finally, the best benchmarks you can have are the ones you’ve made yourself. To establish benchmarks, you need to have been running your program and the various components for a long enough time to establish what’s “normal” for it. For example, when you first launch a program, you may be publishing much more content because you have to populate your site, but several months in, you may cut your cadence in half. You’d want to start benchmarking from the time you established your regular cadence, rather than when you were filling your brand new hub with content.
- Why Benchmarking May Limit Your Content Marketing Efforts
- Content Marketing KPIs, Defined
- Measurement Framework: How to Document Content Marketing ROI
Ross Eckert is a NewsCred Practice Manager.