Content Marketing Analytics: Top Questions, Tools, and Metrics

There’s a type of marketing strategy that more than 70% of marketers are investing in: content marketing.

Content marketing is about creating meaningful content targeted to specific customer profiles. It’s about shaping your content around your customer base’s informative needs and demands. It’s also about using this content to improve your brand’s reputation while creating more awareness around it. This content could be from case studies to social media posts and videos. I won’t tell you about the ins and outs of content marketing, assuming that you have a strategy and are not left behind of the 70% (if not, reading a detailed content marketing guide might be a better starting point.)

However, having a stagnant content marketing strategy will get you nowhere. Every SaaS company is publishing new stuff each second, and you have to upgrade yourself to compete constantly. Thus, as a content marketer (or simply as a person involved in SaaS marketing), you should be aware of the tools, questions, and metrics that will keep improving your strategy.

Image from IMPACT Branding & Design

Content Marketing Analytics Tools & Software

Before looking into the details of each tool and software, it’s helpful to talk about the purpose of all of these tools. Content Marketing Analytics Tools aim to give users an idea about their content marketing strategy’s success. By providing users with critical marketing metrics such as the content activation rate or content lead quality, Content Marketing Analytics Tools enable companies to optimize their blog posts, articles, and any other type of content they are publishing. The tools below were designed for the same primary purpose, to help SaaS companies make better decisions about their content marketing strategy.

HockeyStack

HockeyStack’s Description

HockeyStack unifies your content marketing, product marketing, sales, and revenue data in customizable dashboards that you can set up without any coding knowledge. You can see each blog post’s and traffic source’s MRR, build marketing funnels to understand your conversion rates better, outline your ideal customer profiles by looking at your Buyer Persona, and do all of this without the presence of cookies.

HockeyStack’s Pros

  • Start Using in No Time

While most tools with a wide range of functions have complex onboarding processes and steep learning curves, HockeyStack is completely no code & requires no setup. You can start using the tool and uncover valuable insights on the day you first log in. It’s also possible to integrate HockeyStack with Hubspot, Stripe, Mailchimp, Pipedrive, Paddle, etc. with one click. Many SaaS companies have data on multiple platforms, so these integrations make using the tool much more straightforward.

  • Create dashboards using all metrics you can think of

Using HockeyStack, you can unify product, marketing, revenue, and sales data in one dashboard to create custom dashboards. Creating a dashboard doesn’t require any coding knowledge or setup.

  • Understand which content drives revenue

HockeyStack is the only tool that allows you to understand which content brings you the highest quality leads in terms of product engagement, MRR, expansion revenue, and more.

  • Doesn’t Affect Loading Time

The most significant benefit of cookieless tracking and a small script is that your loading time is unaffected by the tool. With each 1 second delay, you’re decreasing customer satisfaction by 16%. So, the fact that HockeyStack doesn’t impact your site’s loading time makes a big difference in your bounce rates and content marketing success.

HockeyStack’s Cons

  • Some Integrations Aren’t Available Yet

The tool lacks some integrations, such as Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Zapier. However, these tools will also soon be on the list.

HockeyStack’s Pricing

There are four different plans you can choose from based on your business’s budget: the free forever plan, accelerate and boost programs, and the custom-priced dominate plan. Also, paid plans have a 14-day trial with a 30-day refund guarantee.

Screenshot from HockeyStack’s pricing page
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Pro Tip:

If you want to see for yourself, test HockeyStack’s customizable dashboards right now 🙂

HubSpot

HubSpot’s Description

The Marketing Analytics & Dashboard Software of HubSpot gives its users access to all of their content marketing data from a single dashboard. This software can perform behavioral analysis by using your content marketing data trends and tracking customers’ lifecycles. It’s also possible to create detailed content marketing reports for each type of content, ranging from full-on articles to social media posts. HubSpot’s software can also generate SEO dashboards and track your advertising content’s ROI.

HubSpot’s Pro’s

  • Easy to Integrate with CRM Data

If you’re using the CRM software of HubSpot as well, the Marketing Analytics software makes it easy for you to combine your content analytics data with your CRM data. CRM and content marketing are both intertwined with customers’ interactions with your brand, so looking at their performance together gives you a more holistic picture.

  • The Marketing Automation Feature

While improving your content marketing strategies, you should focus on customization as it significantly increases engagement with your content. HubSpot’s marketing automation feature (by utilizing behavioral analysis) lets businesses personalize emails, offers, content, and ads. Thus, HubSpot performs analytics, but it also helps firms while they use that analysis to optimize their future content.

HubSpot’s Cons

  • Limited Reports

Most users want to look at multiple reports while using a content marketing dashboard. However, HubSpot has limitations in creating several reports to analyze on your dashboard.

  • Steep Learning Curve

Since HubSpot provides users with so much functionality, it takes a long time to integrate your business’s data and workforce into the software. You should be prepared to learn about the ins and outs of the software since some users have also complained about the inadequacy of the onboarding process.

HubSpot’s Pricing

HubSpot has a free version for newly starting teams and three main paid plans, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. The pricing plans start at $45/month and go beyond $3200/month.

Screenshot from HubSpot’s Pricing Page

Grow.com

Grow.com’s Description

Grow.com‘s no-code platform lets businesses combine various data sources to create custom dashboards with personalized metrics. These data sources can range from Google Sheets to Stripe. The platform brings together data warehousing and ETL to create a tool that’s easy to use for everyone on your SaaS marketing team. It’s easy to navigate through, share and access data, even for people who are not data analysts.

Grow.com’s Pros

  • Lots of Integrations

The main benefit of using Grow is that almost all of the popular data sources used by SaaS companies integrate well with the platform. It’s easy to bring social media or ad data in, and this process doesn’t have a steep learning curve.

  • Dynamic Dashboards

After bringing in data, you can directly create dashboards and display them based on their categories. You can use the traditional content marketing metrics with Grow, but you can also create customized metrics for your business’s needs and data.

Grow.com’s Con’s

  • Dashboards’ Load Time

Users have reported that the custom dashboards may be slow to load, and when they do load, the display may contain errors. Similarly, the UI has some occasional bugs (users on G2 have said that “Sometimes text widgets will just ‘disappear’ after [they] have dragged them onto the canvas.“)

  • Pricing

Mid-market and small businesses often complain about the prices. The downside is that pricing isn’t available online, and you have to contact sales to know if the tool is within your budget.

Grow.com’s Pricing

Though Grow.com’s pricing isn’t available online, the platform has a free trial for new users.

Screenshot from Grow.com’s G2 Page

Contently

Contently’s Description

Contently is a content marketing platform that enables companies to track existing content marketing performance and develop new strategies/ideas for their content marketing plan. With Contently, you can create customized content with SEO tools, schedule that content, get strategic recommendations, and optimize your posts based on those recommendations. Contently lets businesses track important content metrics like the other tools in this list.

Contently’s Pros

  • The “Creative Network”

Contently lets businesses connect with writers from top publications and journals, as well as designers, editors, illustrators, etc., to improve their advertisements, email campaigns, and blog posts. Businesses can use Contently’s vast network to power their content and even get help from Contently to decide on the right authors who can help better their content.

  • Workflow Tools

Contently’s templated customizable workflows make organizing much more straightforward. It’s easy to track progress and ensure that your content schedule is running smoothly. The automated workflows include an editorial calendar, which shows any blockers that may cause your content marketing plan problems.

Contently’s Cons

  • Limited Analytics Abilities

Since Contently has such a wide range of features, its analytics and dashboard aren’t as comprehensive and satisfying as its competitors’. Users have described the analytics abilities as “primitive” and “limited” on G2, saying that the platform could fit the analytics needs of only smaller businesses.

  • UI issues and Complexity

The calendar and campaign scheduler pose UI problems such as lagging, and navigating through the platform isn’t easy for new users. Similar to HubSpot, Contently has a steep learning curve.

Contently’s Pricing

You can request a free demo from Contently, but the prices are not available online, so you must contact sales to get a custom quote.

Chartbeat

Chartbeat’s Description

Chartbeat is a content intelligence platform initially built for digital publishing organizations. The platform’s primary goal is to help businesses understand the driving force behind customers’ engagement with their content. Chartbeat uses live and historical dashboards, optimization features such as the Headline Testing feature, and more.

Chartbeat’s Pros

  • The Headline Testing Feature

As a part of your SEO optimization efforts, you might be looking to increase the effectiveness of your articles’ headlines. By helping you compare the engagement driven by different headlines, Chartbeat enables you to see the words and phrases people are searching for.

  • Both Historical and Live Reports

Users especially enjoy Chartbeat’s dashboards as they show a constant flow of data and live performance together with past data. Since the onboarding process is smooth, switching between historical and live data isn’t complex.

Chartbeat’s Cons

  • No long term KPIs

Although you can use dashboards for historical data, you cannot use past data with KPIs. Also, it’s hard to get much analysis beyond the past three months. For instance, comparing your current performance with last year’s takes time and effort.

Chartbeat’s Pricing

You can request a free demo from Chartbeat before deciding on a pricing plan. The three different plans of Chartbeat are all customized, and you have to contact sales to get a custom quote.

Screenshot from Chartbeat’s G2 Pricing Page

Fullstory

Fullstory’s Description

A Digital Experience Platform with in-depth analytics tools, Fullstory enables companies to see what’s happening with their websites, apps, and products in detail. Fullstory collects user interactions automatically, provides you with real-time reporting and session replays, and lets you see the signals towards conversion (which is especially important for content marketing.)

Pros of Fullstory

  • Detailed User Behavior

Users enjoy Fullstory primarily because of the amount of detail they can see in terms of customers’ interactions. You’re able to locate bugs in your software quickly without needing to wait for a drop in your numbers that that bug would have caused. You can differentiate such errors from users’ mistakes and see what they’re confused with.

  • Privacy

Fullstory doesn’t record your customer’s information, such as passwords or credit card information. It only saves page structure and users’ activities but never their private data.

Con’s of Fullstory

  • Pricing

Though Fullstory provides users with detailed analysis, its pricing is much higher than most competitors.

Fullstory Pricing

Fullstory doesn’t provide information about the specific prices of its business and enterprise plans. However, you can request a demo for either one of the plans, and the enterprise plan has a 14-day free trial available.

Screenshot from Fullstory’s Pricing Page

Questions

Which content brings the highest revenue?

Screenshot from HockeyStack’s Content Marketing Dashboard

Your articles, social media posts, white papers, and any other piece of content are constantly generating revenue. By working backward from the revenue generated by your customers, you can understand which pieces of your content were the most successful in attracting such people.

For instance, in the screenshot above, the content marketing guide proves to be the best MRR generator. Why is this useful? Firstly, it gives you valuable information about your customer profile: those involved with content marketing are more likely to upgrade and are looking for more information. They’re overall a more profitable customer segment. Secondly, this information shows you the content you should be publishing more often, which is the SEO-related use of this question.

Is my current internal linking strategy working?

Screenshot from HockeyStack’s Content Marketing Dashboard

I’ll talk more about the importance of internal linking below. However, it’s important to note that these links are the most important factors keeping visitors on your site. When someone clicks on your article, they’re likely to get distracted. This may be because of external distractions, things out of your control, or internal distractions, such as a link leading them to the best content analytics tools. As it’s inevitable that your readers will be distracted, your goal should decrease your dropoff rate and lead them to new and more exciting articles. By doing so, you’re keeping them with your brand for more extended periods and leaving a prominent impression.

It’s also helpful to see the final step: sign-ups. Did your internal links keep customers long enough for them to decide on signing up? If so, you’re on the right track.

Are the leads you get with my content good?

Screenshot from HockeyStack’s Content Marketing Dashboard

The topics you choose for your content determine the quality of your leads. If you select topics that smaller businesses are looking into, you’ll attract small businesses. If you choose popular topics among big SaaS companies, you’ll attract customers with bigger budgets. These types of businesses will contribute more to your MRR by expanding.

By looking at the steps taken by a piece of content’s viewers, you can understand the attracted leads’ quality. If low, you should give up those subjects and move on to more profitable ones. However, don’t forget about your smaller lead groups altogether, and balance your content accordingly.

Which sources bring the most engaged users?

You can measure engagement based on a trusted metric: the bounce rate. This rate shows you the proportion of people who leave your site right after clicking on your content and do not click on your internal links or CTAs. Engaged users have low bounce rates as they spend more time looking around and are more likely to find content that interests them.

So how does knowing the source of engaged users helpful? If you know that your most active users are coming from Twitter, you should direct your social media marketing strategy towards this platform. You also understand that visitors from Twitter are looking for visuals and concise texts, so you can optimize your content according to their needs and increase the engaged traffic. This doesn’t mean that you should make your whole content directed at Twitter users; it just means that you should use the attention for your content’s benefit.

Which sources bring me the highest quality leads?

Screenshot from HockeyStack’s Dashboard

The same logic with your sources of engaged users applies to your high revenue sources. If you know the platforms that bring you the most valuable leads, you’ll see the type of content you should be publishing more often. The results may surprise you: your company may focus too much on its blog posts and forget about its Twitter users, who may be the second most expanding users. Or, you may be unaware of a platform that you could be benefitting more from.

How can we discover content marketing analytics gaps?

Finding the content gaps of your competitors is crucial for getting ahead. While it’s possible to surpass your competition in the same keyword or phrase, it’s much easier to target and rank for new subjects. It’s also easier to assert your dominance in the industry by publishing a higher volume of engaging content for keywords and phrases that your competition is failing to address. To do this, you should be tracking your customers’ journies. By doing so, you’ll understand the information they need at each stage of their marketing journey. Once you do, see what content hasn’t been done before.

How much of our content do people read?

I’ll talk more about the importance of quality content below, but you should already know that your ranking is affected by the engagingness of your content. If people spend time reading your posts, the search engines see that your content deserves the first pages. And if all of your readers drop off after eleven seconds, you know that your content didn’t address their question or maybe failed to keep the subject interesting enough with visuals, data, and figures.

Metrics

Keywords ranking

You create content in hopes of it being read. And, for your content to catch readers’ attention, it has to be on the first pages of the words they are searching for. How often do you look at the second page while searching for, say, “pie recipe?” People often find the best recipe, or the answer to the corresponding keyword, on the first page and don’t bother checking out the content on the second or third. So, the only way for your content to reach its audience is to have high rankings.

Another important thing about keyword rankings is that search engines put the most meaningful content on the first pages. This means that the ranking of your content also tells you about the usefulness of your articles, social media posts, so on. Not only do you catch more attention with high rankings, but you also learn from low rankings.

So how can you measure keywords ranking? There are various good SEO ranking tools that you can use to make tracking easier. Once you know your ranking, there are a few strategies you can follow to improve it:

  1. Make sure that you’re using targeted keywords: your prospective customers are searching for similar words and phrases, those that are reDlated to your industry. It’s important to know and use the keywords with high searches from your ideal customer profile.
  2. Use keywords and phrases naturally: search engines can see that you’re “keyword stuffing,” so not providing valuable information to visitors but just stuffing in the words to your article. They’ll make sure that your page is penalized for this.
  3. Name, Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: All of these help crawlers and visitors understand what they can find on your page. They make it more likely for your content to fall onto the first pages of interested customers.
  4. Ensure that your site is working smoothly: Slow sites or those containing broken links are not favored by search engines nor visitors. using a good SEO report, you can see your site’s loading page, errors or bugs if any, and problems with the UI.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a term developed by Moz, an SEO software. Your site’s DA score is a score from 1 to 100, and it’s a prediction of your site’s/content’s likeliness to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs.) This score is calculated via an algorithm and machine learning model, and it incorporates factors such as the total number of links to your site. If your site is likely to be in higher rankings, it will be closer to 100.

However, it’s essential to know that your DA isn’t only dependent on your site’s performance. This score is calculated via machine learning; thus, it’s relative and can change based on the number of links that high authority sites such as Facebook or Wikipedia get. These sites have high DAs, and getting in the same DA range is almost impossible considering their popularity. Thus, you should use your DA comparatively. Look if it increases or decreases over time, and compare it with sites in your lane and industry.

So, how can you increase your DA score over time? The strategies I’ve outlined above for improving keywords ranking are also applicable for DA. Some DA-specific strategies you can follow are:

  1. Publishing linkable content: If you have a consistent publishing schedule, have a high output volume and put out content that is related to popular issues in your industry, you’ll increase your chances of getting high-quality links from various domains.
  2. Promoting content: If you’re not yet on the first SERPs, you could drive up traffic by promoting your content on social media. Giving such a small boost will prove search engines the value of your content.
  3. Optimize your external and internal links: Linking to bad or toxic sites can damage your site’s reputation, so it’s important to be mindful of the site’s you’re directing users to. When it comes to internal links, ensure that you’re directing visitors to strategic locations within your site. These links help increase the time spent on your site.
Image from Entrepreneur

Organic Traffic

The ROI of organic traffic is between 200% to 275%. There is a reason behind these high numbers: people who visit your site through organic means were actively searching for your content, whereas those that visit because of PPC ads were brought by unnatural means. Visitors from organic traffic are more likely to convert, and that is why investing in SEO is a good idea.

Again, you need to use a good SEO tool to measure organic traffic. Similarly, increasing organic traffic towards your content is possible through the exact strategies I’ve mentioned above.

So far, you may have noticed that the metrics here are all related to SEO in one way or another: this is because SEO is an indispensable part of content marketing.

Interested in B2B Marketing? Check out B2B SaaS marketing metrics.

Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is another vital indicator of your content marketing strategy’s success. If your content doesn’t lead people to become members or customers, it’s not performing its primary function in the long run. Although brand awareness is still essential, turning leads into paying customers is more valuable for your company.

The top 10% of content creators have conversion rates of 11.5% or higher. If you’re looking for a way to become a part of this top 10%, the guidelines you should follow are:

  1. Pick a strategic headline for your content: your word choice has direct efffects on your conversion rates. It’s known that words like “now” and “instantly” increase conversions. This is due to the sense of urgency they incite in the reader. Using industry-related phrases along with words like these can drive up your conversions.
  2. Use meaningful and engaging visuals: content rich with visuals tend to be shared more. This engagement increases the probability of your pieces reaching the right audience who can convert. These visuals may include, but are not limited to, graphs, charts, photos, screenshots, graphics and so on.
  3. Have a convincing and unneglegtible CTA: the placement, design and wording of your CTAs all play a part in your conversions. You may have a CTA both at the start and at the end of your content to ensure it’s viewed. Even if the reader leaves before engaging.

Conclusion

Content marketing sounds big and scary. It involves SEO, metric tracking, constant questioning, and the right tools. Knowing and thinking about all of these aspects is hard, but implementing the tips I’ve provided above will set you on the right foot and show you that there’s nothing to be afraid of. The only tricky part is keeping in mind your business’s ideal customer profiles, goals, and status while using the metrics and tools above.

FAQ

Why is content marketing important for SaaS companies?

When done correctly, content can simultaneously educate customers about a SaaS-related issue and your product. Thus, content marketing creates awareness around your brand and builds a reputation for being a wise voice in the industry.

Is content marketing expensive?

It depends on your strategy and the tools you use. You can compare and contrast the price range by looking at the tools outlined in this article.

How do you analyze content marketing?

You can analyze content marketing by tracking metrics such as bounce rate, internal linking, revenue generated per post, etc.

What are content marketing metrics?

Content Marketing metrics are metrics that determine your CM’s strength by measuring engagement and conversion.