Every marketer is under pressure to prove the ROI of content marketingbeyond pageviews and engagement.

Though this may seem like a daunting task, it is doable. The first step is to create a measurement framework to track how your content is positively impacting your company at every stage of the buyer journey. It should closely align to your company’s business goals and will be bespoke to your particular program.

When creating your measurement framework, it’s important to include just the right amount of data that you need to make decisions. Too much data can become daunting, unwieldy, and, ultimately, too time-consuming for your teams to dissect. Too little data means that you’ll miss the stories that will impact your business. However, finding this balance raises a lot of difficult questions, like: What should I be measuring? What KPIs should I use? Do I need to look at engagement metrics or traffic volumes? Sessions or users? How do I align my metrics to the buyer funnel?

To help get you started, NewsCred’s analytics team put together an overview of content marketing metrics available in most analytics suites (including the NewsCred Content Marketing Platform), plus how these KPIs align with each stage of the funnel.


Top-of-funnel content marketing metrics give insight into readers and engagement. These metrics help gauge content effectiveness by indicating whether your content is attracting readers, resonating, and motivating them to further engage.

KPI Definition What Does It Tell You?
Articles Viewed Articles viewed tell you the total number of articles your audience has looked at in a given time period. The total number of articles viewed helps you understand how well your content marketing strategy is working. You can see what articles and topics are driving the most readership, giving you insight into what your audience wants to read.

To gain more context into those insights, evaluate articles viewed alongside these metrics:

  • Readers
  • Average Attention Time
  • Engagement Rate
Pageviews Pageviews are the total number of pages your audience looked at during a given time period. This is not the number of times your site was loaded, but the number of pages loaded. For example, if you visit a website and read two articles before leaving, you would register two pageviews. Pageviews tell you the amount of aggregate traffic across all users who come to your site. (Whereas articles viewed only measures content pages.) Pageviews help you determine which channels are most effective and which content commands the most traffic. Pageviews indicate whether your SEO strategy is effective or whether paid social campaigns are working.
Unique Visitors Unique visitors are the total number of individual people who visited your site.

If I visit the site, I am one unique visitor. If you visit the site, that makes us two unique visitors. This differs from pageviews, which are the number of pages each of us visited, added together.

Unique visitors help you determine your reach. In addition, you can see the average amount of articles each user is engaging with, on average.
Return Visitors Return visitors are the number of people coming to your site, in a given time period, who had previously visited the site. (As opposed to new visitors who are visiting the site for the first time.) Return visitors show whether you’re creating content that resonates with people enough to make them come back.

While it is important to consistently grow your audience with new users, in order to drive brand awareness or business leads, you need to engage with people regularly, over time.

Average Attention Time Average attention time is the mean amount of time that users spend actually consuming content on an aggregate basis, or down to the individual article level. Average attention time lets you know if visitors are actually reading your content and for how long. The NewsCred Content Marketing Platform uses scroll depth and mouse movements as events to trigger the timer so you can be sure people are actually consuming the content. As a result, you’ll better understand the content that is causing readers to spend time on your site.
Engagement Rate Engagement rate is the percentage of pageviews where users engaged with your content for more than 30 seconds. It is important to know the ratio of pageviews to engaged pageviews to understand your content’s quality.

Some articles may receive many pageviews but have low engagement rates, which indicates that you may want to revise those pieces to capture people for longer amounts of time. Other stories may have low pageviews and high engagement, indicating that you should reallocate distribution resources and re-optimize them for SEO to get those pieces in front of more people.

Social Media Actions Social media actions are the sum of all user interactions with your social media posts by channel. This metric can include likes, comments, shares, retweets, or link clicks. Distribution is the bedrock of your content strategy and social media is a vital part of that. Understanding how far your content is driving traffic and engagement allows your team to look closely at what content belongs on which channel.


Action metrics track the conversions being taken against your goals on site. They are generally leading indicators of ROI (e.g. people signing up for your newsletter or going to a checkout page).

KPI Definition What Does It Tell You?
Actions/Conversions Action analytics tell you what content generates behavioral conversions on your site. They are specific to your business and are set up as goals on the site tracked by click events. Typically, the actions that you’ll define are leading indicators of ROI that demonstrate deep engagement with a brand, such as a newsletter signup, site login, or commerce checkout page click. Actions tell you which content is effectively ushering engaged readers down the funnel. By understanding the conversion rates of your highest-performing content, you are able to optimize your strategy to get even better results. Ultimately, actions show that your program is working – even before revenue is generated – with tangible evidence through micro-conversions.



ROI KPIs measure deals and revenue influenced by content.

KPI Definition What Does It Tell You?
Leads Reached Leads reached are the total number of existing leads touched by content. What content is keeping your lead database ripe for conversion? Understanding the content that is causing sustained engagement from leads is a good indication of effective, bottom-of-funnel content.
Leads Generated Leads generated are the number of leads that come directly from your content marketing program. They could be email signups, requests for more information – however you are defining and tracking a lead.

Note: You must have an integration with a marketing automation platform to access this metric.

Leads generated tell the impact that your content marketing is having on your business: Is your content strategy generating real business opportunity and delivering ROI?
Deals Influenced Deals influenced are the number of deals tied directly to your content. Ultimately, how successful is your content strategy? What impact is it having on your company’s bottom line? Can you determine why some content is most effective in pushing deals to completion?
Revenue Influenced Revenue influenced is the financial impact that your content is having on your business, down to the dollar amount. Revenue influenced confirms the importance and value of your content marketing program to your overall business. It allows you to make more informed decisions on where to invest and what your marketing mix should look like, going forward, from a content-centric lens.

These content marketing KPIs have been designed to kickstart your thinking about a measurement framework and give you some food for thought as to which metrics might be right for you and your content marketing program.