The purpose of content syndication is simple: it takes your top-performing content, expands its reach to larger audiences, and kicks your lead generation into high gear. But when you get closer to the task at hand, you start to realize the success of a content syndication campaign is more than just the leads it generates; it’s also about the engagement it drives and the valuable web traffic it brings in.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of these important performance metrics, get a good understanding of what they’re all about, and learn how you can use them to optimize future content syndication efforts.
Why tracking content syndication performance is important
Measuring content syndication results isn’t just about calculating ROI; ultimately, it’s about maximizing it. By leveraging the insights you gather from any one campaign, you can continuously improve upon each previous effort to boost ROI even higher.
Take it from DemandScience Content Marketing Manager, Abbi Tanton, who shared this piece of wisdom in a recent webinar:
“Monitoring performance helps you maximize content syndication ROI by helping you scale what’s working and minimize what’s not.”
For example, when you look at how leads engage with your content across multiple channels, you can begin to identify types of content that effectively generate the most engagement, drive the most quality leads, and convert more customers over a given time. Likewise, you can also gauge which content types tend to move the needle with target audiences, or which platforms garner the most use among ideal buyers.
This knowledge helps you tweak your existing content strategy so you can get an even bigger return on your next content syndication venture.
Here are a few strategic elements you can refine using the learnings you’ve gathered from content syndication performance metrics:
- Pinpointing more relevant content
- Refining your ICP for better targeting
- Improving budget planning
- Prioritizing channels
- Optimizing nurture campaigns
- Improving click-through traffic to website
- Setting more realistic benchmarks for future performance
Content syndication metrics you should be tracking
Before we jump in, it’s important to note—choosing the right metrics to track your content syndication performance depends on two things: (1) the goals you set for the campaign itself, and (2), the types of content you plan to distribute.
Here’s an example:
If the goal of your content syndication campaign is to expand brand awareness, it’s best to share more top-funnel content that’s light, speaks to a wider audience, and shows thoughtful industry insight. You’ll base your specific KPIs (key performance indicators) on that, and focus, for example, on impressions and CTR (click-through rate) across channels like YouTube and LinkedIn. In other words, you want to make sure the data you track can help you achieve the goal you’ve set.
Now, let’s explore some of the more important metrics you should use to track and improve content syndication performance, especially when it comes to lead generation.
Lead volume, quality, and engagement
In most cases, lead generation is the main objective of content syndication. But to really determine the effectiveness of your syndication efforts, you have to concentrate on the quality of those leads. The more qualified a lead is, the better chances you have of driving valuable marketing revenue. Once you know which pieces of content successfully drive quality leads—and who among those leads become a customers over time—you can plan your next syndication campaign accordingly.
To do that, dig into these metrics, either per campaign or cumulatively over time:
The total number of leads generated through your content syndication campaign
Percentage of leads who qualify as marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) or sales-qualified leads (SQLs)
Percentage of leads who convert into customers over time
Sales cycle length
The average amount of time it takes for a lead to progress from initial engagement to closed sale
When you analyze these syndication metrics, you can steps to improve your performance and produce high-intent MQLs.
Content engagement metrics
Engagement metrics can help you determine what content topics or formats resonate most with your target audience. And this is key, because engagement is a huge indicator of purchase intent. When you see that a prospect has clicked on an ad, downloaded an eBook, or shared a social media post, it’s a clear sign that prospect is interested in what your content has to offer. From that point, it’s easy to identify who, among all prospects, has the most potential to become an MQL.
Not only that, but you can get a pretty good idea of where these prospects are in their respective customer journeys based on the kind of content they engage with. For instance, if someone fills out a form to read a white paper, it’s a sign that person is probably in the mid-stages of their sales journey and looking for more specific info on your business. It’s also a sign you’ve got an in-market lead on your hands. And since you already know that person’s interests based on the content they’ve engaged with, your sales team can tailor outreach to a T.
These are the metrics that prove most helpful when you’re trying understand how your audience engages with your content:
Number of times a specific piece of content is downloaded
Number of times prospects complete a contact form to access a gated asset
Number of prospects who have signed up to attend a webinar
Number of people who attend a webinar
Video view completion rates
Average time prospects spend watching video content
Social media shares
Number of times users share your content across various social media platforms
Number of times email recipients forward your content (tip: use the “forward to a friend” option in your email service provider for more accurate reporting)
Number of shares divided by total number of followers, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage (This metric helps you understand relative share rates over time or across different platforms with varying audience sizes.)
Content reach metrics
At the end of the day, lead generation is all a numbers game, so to drill down on only the most qualified of the bunch, you need to cast a wide net with your content syndication efforts.
To do that, it’s important to track these metrics, which can help you identify the most optimal syndication channels and audience segments to support your content syndication goals.
Number of times your content is displayed on screen
Measurement of unique and repeat website visitors
Number of prospects who have signed up to receive a newsletter
Number of prospects who tune into a podcast
Social network followers
Number of followers across your social media channels
Average number of readers per asset
User behavior metrics
As we’ve mentioned, engagement is a hugely important metric in tracking content syndication success. But it’s equally important to track how well that content can effectively keep prospects engaged. If you find there’s been a drop in page views or a bump in bounce rates, you might need to tune up your content syndication strategy.
By reviewing user behavior metrics, you can see whether your landing pages need more relevant keywords, whether you need to include more suitable offers for prospects, or whether your site needs a redesign to provide a better user experience.
When you want to take a peek at how well your content encourages action and engagement among prospective customers, look no further than these metrics:
Percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page
Total number of users on your website or landing page
Average time on page
Average amount of time users spend on a specific web page or piece of content
Pages per session
Average number of pages viewed by users during a single visit to your website
Average length visitors scroll down a page to read more
On the flipside, if metrics reveal your prospects have spent a significant amount of time on your page, they’ve scrolled to the bottom for continued reading, and they’ve clicked through to additional content, pat yourself on the back—you’ve just executed an effective content strategy.
Ultimately, content syndication performance boils down to dollars and cents, so you’ll want to focus on these two key financial metrics to measure the impact of your syndicated content:
How much you spend to acquire one lead
It’s important to note, this metric is typically reserved for those working with a paid content syndication vendor. Together, you and your content syndication partner can determine a guaranteed CPL based on your target audience criteria and existing budget. This way, you’ll know exactly how much it’ll cost to get the results you want. And since paid vendors take a more data-driven approach to content syndication, resulting in faster, more successful lead generation, you’ll probably get the most bang for your buck.
To find your CPL sweet spot, take your total content syndication spend and divide that by the average number of leads you’ve generated from your last few campaigns. That number will help determine a more appropriate CPL price point for your content syndication vendor.
Content Syndication ROI
Whether you take the DIY approach or work with a content syndication vendor, it’s imperative you measure your ROI. Otherwise, how will you know if your hard work was worth all the investment?
By analyzing any of the metrics we’ve mentioned here, including generated leads, CPL, and conversions (among many others), and comparing those to the total cost of your efforts, including time spent creating content or working with a paid vendor, you can get a clear picture of content syndication’s overall value. And if metrics show an impressive ROI, you have a solid case for increasing your team’s content syndication budget.
Get the greatest possible value from content syndication
Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. So don’t let your content syndication efforts go to waste! Whether you and your team do content syndication in-house for free, or if you pair up with a reliable content syndication vendor, you should always track your campaign’s performance to see if it’s contributing significant value to the bottom line.
Want to learn how to improve your content syndication performance? Check out our webinar, “Supercharge Your Strategy with Content Syndication,” and get expert tips to optimize your program and drive greater results over time.