Content Marketing Goals: How Many & Which Ones

Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. In the words of Jan Tschichold, "methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve, have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books, these rules have to be brought back to life and applied."
Front matter, or preliminaries, is the first section of a book and is usually the smallest section in terms of the number of pages. Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed or printed, on either display pages or blank pages.

Traditional content marketing objectives have an issue

We've become accustomed to the same set of content marketing objectives throughout the years. The process is as follows:
Brand awareness
• Lead generation
• Thought leadership
• Lead nurturing
• Creating interest in the product
• Conversion (sales/sign-ups)
• Brand loyalty
• Customer retention

It sounds like you? Many books over the years have reiterated these conventional marketing objectives.Interestingly, these objectives were founded on two straightforward fallacies.

1. Confusing aims with outcomes

Actually, those are the results of effective content marketing, not marketing objectives. In other words, this is how producing valuable and entertaining content benefits businesses. If you're unsure of the distinction: So, the goal of content marketing is to produce results. But you need something else to accomplish them. You need objectives that result in those results.

2. Suggesting you can or should concentrate on a one goal

Consider that producing content that increases lead generation is your "objective." Does that imply that you may ignore establishing your brand, raising awareness of it among the audience, and educating them about the same piece of content?

And why would someone subscribe to your service or newsletter if they felt the information was subpar? I'm trying to convey the point that you can't just choose one of those conventional aims and disregard the others.

Does this mean you can disregard the importance of establishing trust, raising brand awareness, and educating your audience on the same piece of content?
And why would someone subscribe to your product or newsletter if the content was of poor quality? The point I'm trying to make is that you can't simply choose one of those traditional goals and ignore the others.If you insist on keeping your content focused solely on one of those traditional goals, you risk degrading its quality and, as a result, limiting the results.

Good content, on the other hand, produces multiple outcomes at the same time. It's similar to working out in that it affects both your body and your mind. But only if you do it correctly.

The source of the issue

The above two fallacies stem from the same source: thinking about content from a business perspective rather than a user perspective.Good content is centered on the user.
At the end of the day, every business anticipates that marketing will increase sales. However, before making a decision, consumers consider a variety of factors. Marketing, particularly content marketing, cannot influence all of them.
In reality, all content marketing can have an impact on three things:


I propose using them as content marketing objectives.

What are the alternatives?

Consider the traditional marketing goals to be outcomes of user-centric content, and the following to be your new goals.

Goal No. 1: Education

This is where you will create useful content on:

Problems that your product or service can help to solve.
Things that your product/service can improve.
Other difficulties your audience faces (relevant to your business).

Educational content is beneficial to businesses because people require information in order to thrive in this world. What's better than information is a tool that allows you to put that information to use and solve your problems. Companies can deliver both information and the means to use it simultaneously through content marketing.

2. Inspirational Goal

This is the type of content that gives people "the spark" to act and achieve their objectives. Inspiration differs from education in that it does not provide complete solutions. It uses imagination and emotion to show what is possible or to raise an important question. Furthermore, it is more influential than educational content.

Inspiration is beneficial to businesses because it:

Allows you to reach people before they have a problem that your product solves and when they are not looking for a solution. This allows you to outperform the competition.
Through excitement and enthusiasm, you can make an emotional connection with your audience. Emotions are what make brands memorable.
Allows inspirational brands to stand out.
Has the ability to influence others.

People may feel compelled to return on their own. This is significant because it ensures that the content reaches the reader without any competition. The creative fuel for its target audience is inspiration.

3. Entertainment

Create "lighter" content in order to entertain your audience. But only if you notice signs that your target audience appreciates it. Entertaining content, like inspirational content, may be beneficial to your business. It establishes an emotional connection and provides the audience with a compelling reason to return. However, whereas inspirational content requires something profound (food for thought), entertaining content will primarily seek to capture attention and elicit an experience.

Furthermore, among the three types of content, entertaining content has the potential for the greatest reach because:

People rarely pass up an opportunity to be entertained.
In a market where everyone has already published "The Ultimate Guide to X," you get to skip ahead with unique content.
It has the potential to reach people very early in their customer journey. Perhaps even before inspirational content.
It has a high chance of going viral.

Again, this type of content may be effective, but it is difficult to manage. Businesses are not your typical entertainers (especially B2B ones). However, entertainment does not have to be limited to posting memes on social media; after all, there are numerous film genres that are all entertaining. In the same way, serious topics can provide entertainment.

As previously stated, achieving multiple outcomes is a general feature of good content marketing. However, with these three objectives, you can focus your attention on a specific outcome. It's analogous to training muscle groups—every training helps you burn energy, but you can focus on certain groups more than others.

How to Achieve Your New Content Objectives
Here are a few pointers to help you set and achieve content marketing objectives.

Describe your objectives
So far, we've established three broad content marketing objectives. The issue is that they are too broad. We must make them a reality by employing a goal-setting strategy. The SMART method is one you've probably heard of. However, because not everyone agrees, here are some alternatives: CLEAR, PACT, and so on.
They all have something to offer, in my opinion, and are a matter of personal preference because they are all open to interpretation. So, to educate, inspire, or entertain your audience, use whatever goal-setting method works best for you. Consider the following:

Concentrate on the outputs you have control over - what you don't have control over, you don't have control over. Don't use too strict time constraints - It takes time to create good content, and it also takes time to see results.
Use simple, actionable KPIs to help you stay on track (more on this in a bit).
Don't be afraid to try new things - If you're unsure what will happen, make it your goal to find out.
Use simple, practical KPIs
Content marketing is a long-term game. It’s important to make sure you’re going in the right direction right off the gate and stay on track. This is where KPIs come into play.

The problem is content analytics can become complicated really fast, and there are only imperfect solutions in this area. My advice is to start with simple, actionable KPIs. Once you get more confident, see if adding more metrics helps you create better content.

Here are some ideas for practical content marketing KPIs:
Publication rate
Social media engagement
Share of voice
Impact on product usage

Let's take a closer look at each of them.

Rate of publication
Taking chances is part of the publication rate. Consider your content topics to be the risks you must take in order to achieve your goals. The more good chances (i.e., topics) you take, the more likely the outcome. New content will help you increase traffic, which will help you attract new customers and keep your audience engaged with your brand.

Participation on social media
If you publish content on social media (which you should), you can use social media metrics to see what resonates with your audience. Social media metrics are frequently viewed as vanity metrics. However, how you use them is everything. It's worth thinking about using social media metrics only in relation to your social media profile. If you notice that some content is receiving more likes, shares, and comments, it's a good indication that you should create more of that type of content.

Organic search voice share

In organic search, share of voice (SOV) is an SEO metric that shows how visible your brand is in comparison to competitors for the keywords you target.
It is expressed as a percentage of all organic clicks (from SERPs) for the tracked keywords that land on your website. You'll need a tool like Ahrefs' Rank Tracker to keep track of it. All you have to do is enter your target keywords, and the tool will calculate and track your SOV for you (among other things).


Organic search is an effective channel for content marketing. By optimizing your content for SEO, you can get free, passive traffic. If you're new to SEO, be sure to read our guide.
NPS stands for Net Promoter Score. It is a measure of how likely your audience is to recommend your brand, product, or even content to others.
NPS is one of the most useful metrics in marketing and can be applied to many aspects of the business, including content. It works because people will not recommend things that make them look bad. It is a matter of social image and responsibility.

This is how it works: "How likely are you to recommend to a friend or colleague?" ask your audience (via email or on-site).
The answer is given on a scale of 1 to 10. In general, an NPS score of 30 to 70 is considered good, and a score of 70 or higher is considered excellent.

How to Compute NPS
SIDENOTE. Survicate, Totango, and Delighted are examples of free NPS tools.

Influence on product usage
The impact on product usage can assist you in measuring your educational objectives. The concept is straightforward: promoting product features through content should increase their usage. You'll need product analytics tools like Heap, Mixpanel, or PostHog to track feature usage.

Look for interesting topics.
Finding out what people search for in Google is one of the best ways to find content topics—this is known as keyword research. In Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer, do the following:

Enter some keywords that your target audience might be interested in, such as "car seat."
Navigate to the Matching terms report.
View keyword suggestions
How to find topics with high search potential
Here are some keywords that will most likely make good topics for educational content:
Keywords associated with "car seats"
Other ideas for topic generation:
Analyze competitors - Ahrefs' Site Explorer, Ahrefs' Content Explorer, and Social Searcher can all be useful.
Investigate your niche by using SparkToro, industry magazines, and online communities.

Determine the proper ratios.
Concentrating on a single goal can lead to poor results. However, doing everything in equal parts may not be the best option for your company.

So you'll need to find the right proportions to help you prioritize your goals. Unfortunately, there is no panacea. You'll need to experiment to figure out what works best for your brand in your niche.

To get you started, here are two quick tips:

You can "guess" a reasonable number and see what happens, such as 70% education, 20% inspiration, and 10% entertainment.

You can make use of our prioritization matrix - At Ahrefs, we believe in product-led content, which means that we prioritize articles that allow us to naturally feature the product. As a result, our primary goal is usually to educate.

A creative content marketing team will employ a similar strategy. Its members will not simply publish something and then forget about it. There are several options for getting the most out of content:

Content can be repurposed into new formats and platforms.

Create an audience in order to distribute content directly (for example, grow your email list)

Promote the content through advertisements and sponsored newsletters.


Create links to improve your SEO.

To increase organic traffic, update underperforming content.

If you're concerned about repeating the same message or focusing too much on existing content instead of moving forward, consider the following:

Each of your pieces of content generates information.

That data can be packed and repacked numerous times.

Your audience is dispersed across multiple channels with varying reach capabilities.

Messages are more effective when they are repeated (though there is a limit to this as well).

This is not a novel concept. The concept of diversification and recycling is central to Walt Disney's success. This incredibly complex drawing from 1957 lays it all out.

Last thoughts
Is it really that simple to stop worrying about business outcomes and instead concentrate on one of these three objectives? No, not always:
Success does not usually happen overnight. You will still need to experiment to find out what works best for your audience. While you're out there creating epic content, your boss may expect each piece of content to bring in customers. This approach to content marketing objectives is a broad generalization. And, as with any generalization, it simplifies and compromises. Consider it more of a compass than a map.
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