You don’t have a content strategy unless you have clear conversion goals. Every piece of content you produce and every tactic you employ to promote it must, in some way, support your conversion goals.

A conversion goal is a measurable action you want users to take when they interact with your content. That might be clicking on an email, Liking your Facebook Page, subscribing to your newsletter, downloading your whitepaper, buying one of your products, requesting a call back or making a phone enquiry.

Be wary of fluffy objectives like “become a thought leader” or “build our online brand”. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do that stuff, but you need something you can track. That’s how you keep your content strategy aligned with the commercial goals of your business and justify the investment you’ll need to do cool stuff in the future.

What are some good Measurable Goals to set for content marketing?

The key judgement to apply when setting a Measurable Goal for your content marketing strategy is whether or not it contributes to your bottom line. Setting targets that have only a loose or indirect relationship with how you make money is really dangerous and you will lose your budget as soon as your boss wants to cut something.

A good top-level Measurable Goal will include both an outcome you want and a way to track it. Here are some examples:

Goal: increase sales of wedding dresses by ## per cent.

How to measure it: goal completions on Google Analytics where your blog assisted with the conversion.

Goal: ## per cent more demo requests per month.

How to measure it: completed demo request forms on your target landing pages.

How do I decide on the numbers for my Measurable Goals?

Well, you might not get to decide, but if you do here are a couple of different ways you can attach realistic numbers to those Measurable Goals:

Firstly, you can work out the dollar value of each goal completion in Google Analytics. If someone buys a new laptop sleeve or requests a call back about your antivirus software what is that worth to you? Once you know that, you can figure out how many goal completions you need to break even on your content marketing strategy.

Another option is to find some benchmarks to set targets against. It won’t usually be possible to see how many leads your competitors are getting. But you can look at broader data for your industry or compare your content marketing strategy to the costs of other marketing channels, such as attending a trade show or cold calling.