Guide: An Intro to Standard Content Consumption Metrics

Essential content marketing metrics: A glossary of terms for success

Written by: Erin Tye, Director of Content Insights & Innovation at Nativo Inc

If there is anything we love in the content marketing industry, it’s an acronym. One of the first things I did when starting at Nativo six years ago was create a glossary. It was multiple pages and a popular share among my fellow new hires. 

Performance reviews, in particular, have their own language, and a base fluency is critical for understanding if your campaign was worth the investment. Here are some foundational terms anyone working in content marketing should know: 

Impressions 

Impressions are the number of times your ad was displayed/appeared on a user’s screen, whether or not it was clicked. This metric is important for giving a sense of campaign reach and exposure. 

Page Views

This means the number of times a page is loaded in someone’s browser. If you were running a Native Article across the Nativo publisher network, for example, page views would indicate how many readers saw your headline and preview image and decided to click to load the full article.

CTR - Click-Through Rate

CTR is the number of clicks an ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. This gives you a sense of initial consumer interest. From a branded content perspective, this helps you determine if you’re using the right format, choosing the right environments or hitting the mark with your messaging.

AToC - Average Time on Content

This communicates how long, on average, someone spent reading your content. The higher this number, the more engaged your readers were and the more effective your content was at retaining attention. This would be calculated as Time on Content ÷ Page Views.

CTAr - Call-to-Action Rate

This communicates the ratio between the number of readers who were exposed to your click-out opportunities (hyperlinks, companion banners, CTA buttons…etc.) and those who actually clicked something. For a Native article, this would be CTA clicks ÷ Page Views

Conversion

This term is fairly broad and usually defined by the advertiser. Put simply, a conversion is when a consumer is exposed to your content/advertising and then takes a particular action(s) that the brand has identified as valuable. This might be downloading a whitepaper, submitting an email address, making an online purchase, registering for an event…etc.

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

This is the metric(s) that will be used to determine whether or not a campaign is considered a success. Upper-funnel campaigns might focus on impressions, page views or likes. Lower-funnel campaigns are more likely to prioritize CTAr, downloads, purchases or conversions.

Bounce Rate

On a brand website, it’s often calculated as Total Single-Page Visits ÷ Total Entrance Visits. Ideally, your bounce rate is as low as possible. A high bounce rate usually indicates an issue. It could be that you’re not reaching the right audience, that your headline and content are misaligned, or that your website landing page doesn’t match reader expectations.

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