how to build content dashboard template

Proving the effectiveness of content marketing can seem
daunting. But if you can’t prove your worth to the c-suite, why
would they keep investing in you and content marketing?

To prove your value to the c-suite, you need an easy, repeatable
method for measuring how well your content marketing campaigns are
performing, how they tie back to business objectives, and what you
need to do next.

To prove your value to the c-suite, you need an easy, repeatable
method for measuring how well your #contentmarketing campaigns are

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It’s time for a content dashboard.

Dashboards have been around a long time. The goal of a
dashboard is simple: to convey the most relevant information about
something in one easy-to-understand place.

A content dashboard is no different. But how do you create a
dashboard that proves the ROI of your content
efforts without getting lost in a sea of data? And
how do you go the next step to create a content dashboard for you,
so you know what you should create next?

Let’s start with a content dashboard for your c-suite
(I’ll show you the free template there), and then we will dive
into creating an actionable content dashboard for your content
marketing team.

Create a content dashboard for your c-suite.

What are your business objectives?

The very first thing you need to do when creating a content
marketing dashboard for your c-suite is to understand what your
business objectives are for your content marketing program. These
objectives should tie directly to your
content marketing goals

If your business objective is to increase leads by 10% YoY, and
content marketing needs to drive half of that, then your content
marketing goal is to increase leads 5% YoY.

If your business objective is to decrease calls to your customer
support by 25%, and it’s 100% dependent on being achieved through
a new online FAQ your content team is creating, then your content
marketing goal is to decrease customer support calls by 25%.

What content metrics matter?

You manifest what you measure.

What metrics will show you success or failure of your content
marketing goals? In the examples above, total leads over time will
show success or failure of the first example. For the second
example, getting reports of total calls to the customer support
team over time will be necessary.

Identify the metrics that matter most. You don’t want
to throw in metrics just to have them. Yes, it’s great that site
traffic went up, but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s not
part of your overall goal for content marketing. It creates clutter
and takes away from the point of the content

Some metrics may be easier than others to get. Leads, inbound
traffic, e-commerce revenue, etc. may come from Google Analytics.
Other metrics, such as call volume, may need to come from another
source. Make sure you know how you’re getting your metrics and
how often you need them (are you reporting monthly, quarterly, or
yearly?) Remember, you’re only getting the metrics that matter
the most.

How do those metrics translate to money?

When measuring ROI, you’re comparing money in to money out. So
you need to understand how much money each of your goals is either
making or saving the company.

In the example above, you can calculate the value of the
average lead you get (total revenue from previous leads / total
previous leads = revenue / lead). If you can go a step further and
get the lifetime value of the clients brought in through leads,
that’s even better!

For the call center, you should be able to calculate the cost
savings per month of reducing call volumes by 25%.
Someone must have that data, or else why would it be a
business objective?

You also have to document how much money went out to achieve
that goal. Here’s where you can pull in how much you spent on
resources such as promotion, salaries, etc. Even a rough estimate
will give you actionable data.

Assemble your data.

Now you put everything together. Pick a business
objective/content marketing goal and the metric that measures it.
That’s your first data point in the dashboard.

If you can get down to dollars and cents for each metric, add
that as well (this will give you a true ROI figure).

Go through each of your main goals in your content marketing
strategy, and have each accounted for in the content dashboard.
Then, show the difference in how that metric has performed vs. the
previous time period, and how it performed vs. your overall

This is your c-suite dashboard. It shows them, in very
real numbers, how their investment in content marketing is

the c-suite content dashboard template here

That’s great for them, what about you?

Create a content dashboard for your own team.

Proving that your content marketing efforts are working through
a content dashboard is incredibly important, but the magic
doesn’t have to stop there.

Producing great results that create a positive ROI is most of
the battle. Content marketers need all the help they can get to
create great content that resonates with their audiences and moves
the needle in the right direction.

Proactive content dashboards can help content marketers
understand what’s working, what’s not working, and where new
opportunities may be hiding in plain sight. But the data that feeds
these dashboards is different than the data that feeds c-suite

The c-suite just wants to see what happened. As a
content marketer, you also want to see what should happen

The c-suite wants to see what happened. As a content marketer,
you also want to see what should happen next.

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The 5 key elements of a proactive content dashboard

A proactive content marketing dashboard will be more complex
than the c-suite dashboard because it needs to not only show where
you’ve been, but where you should go next. That’s going to
involve new ways of looking at data and being able to drill into
data to get more details.

A proactive #content marketing dashboard needs to not only show
where you’ve been but where you should go next.

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1. The first key component to determining what to do
next is to analyze what’s driving existing success.
leads are a key metric, you need to know what content and channels
are driving those leads, so you don’t take your foot off the gas
of the things that work.

2. You need to see where things might be
What content is rising quickly in both inbound
sessions and conversions which are contributing to your success?
This content could be ripe for more promotion, adding fuel to the

3. Look at what content is dropping. Understand
why it’s decreasing, and if it’s worth trying to save it, or if
you should just let it drop and move on. If a top converting page
is suddenly losing traffic, you definitely want to fix it. If a
piece of content you promoted via email last week suddenly has
fewer email visitors, it’s obviously not something to worry

4. Check out what pieces of content cover a topic
that’s underutilized.
Sometimes we stumble upon a topic
people love, but for some reason or another, we don’t write about
it again. Look for high performing content that is different than
what you normally write about. You may uncover some great topics
you never knew were so valuable to your audience (and you.)

5. Finally, look at your competitive space.
This can be a bit tougher to do and goes outside of typical metrics
you get from Google Analytics or other web analytics platforms. SEO
tools like Moz allow you to set up
campaigns and keep an eye on how well your competitors perform for
a set of keywords that you’re also targeting. If a competitor
suddenly shoots up in rankings for a keyword, you want to know. And
you want to see what they did to make that happen (so you can do it
even better).

To recap, the keys to a content dashboard that show you
what to do next should include:

  • The content that’s currently driving your goals
  • What pieces of content are gaining the most traffic? Why?
  • What pieces of content are losing the most traffic? Why?
  • Look for underutilized topics that could be content
  • What’s working for my competition? How can I make their
    success my success?

There are content marketing dashboards out there that help you
get to this data already. Ceralytics provides a content
dashboard and content intelligence to help you dig into what’s
working, why it’s working, and what you should do next. It also
breaks down websites into topics, making it easier to see which
topics are driving the most traffic and conversions on your

ceralytics content dashboard

has a great start on a content dashboard as well,
which can be customized with more of the data discussed previously.
This data comes almost exclusively from Google Analytics, but
provides more flexibility than Google Analytic’s Dashboard.

klipfolio content dashboard

gives you the ability to create custom dashboards of
data, so you can pick and choose the data that makes the most sense
for your content campaigns. Here’s a Google Analytics
you can use to get started. Update your goals and
clone the goals section for as many goals as you want to track.

google analytics content dashboard

Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn’t have all of the
answers, but this is at least a start — and it’s free!

There’s no one size fits all dashboard.

Your perfect dashboard will need to be customized to your
individual business objectives, and it may never actually be
perfect. But with the tools above, it will be something very useful
for proving your value to your c-suite and driving better results
for your content team.

The post
How to Build a Content Dashboard that Proves Your ROI (Free
Template Provided)
appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social
Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

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