What is Content Marketing?

Tips for a lean start to success measurement

For many companies, measuring success is still new territory. They find it difficult to find the right measure in dealing with key figures. Often the motto is “completely or not at all” – big data or blind flight. The truth is, as so often, in the middle. Find out here how to get as streamlined as possible into the analysis and control of your content marketing and which key figures you really need.

Especially small companies and startups like to orient their marketing activities to “prominent” metrics, which can be determined without much effort, eg visitors to the website, like on Facebook or clicks on Youtube. Each of these values can be music in the ears of a marketer but does not yet give a realistic picture of how successful the content really is from a business perspective. Here’s an example: A whitepaper on your site is downloaded five times a day, and it’s well received on social networks. At first glance, a complete success, at least as far as the marketing of the content is concerned. However, their distribution comes to a sobering conclusion: the leads that flush the whitepaper into your CRM are anything but qualified. This white paper turns out to be a flop from a business point of view, although it can be well marketed. Because it does not contribute to the sale of your product.

What do we learn from this? A measure alone is only part of the truth. To truly evaluate the effectiveness of your content, you need to measure and interpret different metrics in context. Especially at the beginning, it makes sense to concentrate on a few but relevant key figures and to expand them gradually if necessary.

“Lean” Content Scorecard for the start

The most important key figures for your success measurement can be divided into two areas: Key figures for the marketing of content and key figures for the purchasing process. Key figures in the area of content marketing describe the use and scope, or the distribution of content in the network. Purchasing process metrics, on the other hand, describe the customer contacts and sales generated by your content. For the sake of clarity, we map all key figures, broken down into areas of impact, in a Content Scorecard. In this example, for a B2B company offering, among other things, white papers and webinars on its corporate website.

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A Content Scorecard serves as a report sheet to measure the effectiveness of your content. He should be kept as lean as possible, especially if you are just starting to measure success. “Lean” stands for a lean system of few meaningful key figures, which can be optimized on the basis of experience from the live operation continuously.

Key figures for B2B Content Marketing

Start measuring content success at the lower levels of your scorecard, where it’s about tracking the use and reach of your content on the web: How is content consumed on your website or on social media? Is your content recommended or linked in social media? etc. On this basis, you then proceed to measure the impact of your content in the buying process: Does your content generate qualified leads? Does your content help you make purchasing decisions? etc. The most important key figures for your analysis are listed below.

1. Key figures for using your content

How many people have seen or downloaded your content?

  • Number of new vs. returning users who visit your content each day
  • Average time visitors spend with your content
  • Number of registrations and participants for events, eg webinar
  • Number of downloads (white paper, e-book)

2. Key figures on the recommendation behavior of content users

How many people shared or shared your content?

  • Number of links from external sources to your content
  • Likes, tweets, “+1”, shares on Facebook and other platforms

3. Key figures for lead generation

How many people who used your content became leads?

  • Number of Qualified Leads (Sales Qualified Leads, SQL)
  • Number of personal contacts with your sales department (customer calls)
  • Cost per qualified lead

4. Key figures on sales

How many people who used your content bought your product?

  • Total sales (online, offline)
  • Share buyers in the leads gained
  • The share of new customers in the purchases
  • Cost per purchase


Your content is not there just to be consumed. It should also spread on the net, generate leads and help to sell your products. Always measure usage in the context of “hard” sales goals that you track with your content. And that continuously. This is the only way to obtain sound advice on the return on investment of your content from a business perspective.