A content strategy is never really finished. It always needs updating, and the month of September is devoted to objectives and key performance indicators.

As many of you know, at Toast we recommend that a content strategy evolves throughout the year.

It’s not realistic to stop once a year (or worse, every two years) and suddenly write a new strategy document. While a content team can’t reinvent the wheel all the time, we’ve broken down content strategy into different elements that can become monthly priorities throughout the year, allowing your brand to have revised all angles of your strategy after 12 months.

We’ve detailed this process in our guide: How to keep your content strategy alive.

This month, with the annual planning and budgeting season upon us, our recommendation is to review your objectives and key performance indicators.

When we work with our clients on their content strategy, the first step is to establish measures of success (this is the initial element of our content strategy canvas). What future state do we want to achieve? What are the indicators that will let the team know they’re doing a good job?

But above all, if you already have content initiatives underway, how do you evaluate them from a performance point of view?

Evaluating your indicators

The first step is to make a list of your performance indicators. What are the “numbers” you look at on a regular basis? Which metrics have been important to you over the past year?

From this list, the first step is to evaluate how good you did over the past year. When you have a good measurement and reporting practice, you will be able, through time, to tell how those numbers are evolving.

Which ones did you manage to influence in the right way? For the ones for which you had documented an end-of-year target, how did that go?

You want to produce a short a digestible report of how things went and why it went that way. There is a story to tell behind these numbers, and that story is almost more important than the Excel chart you will clip to your report.

Choosing your indicators for the coming year

Once you’ve looked at the past, let’s take a peek into the future.

But first, make sure you are considering the objectives of the organization. Has there been a new strategic plan shared with you? Are there new orientations that you should consider as a content marketing leader?

By making sure you are up to date on the direction the organization is taking, you can make sure the work you will be doing in the next 12 months with content will be aligned with what the C-suite wants.

This means you have to choose your indicators.

  • Which ones do you keep measuring?
  • Which ones do you drop?
  • Should you add new indicators and targets in light of the organization’s business objectives?

In short, everything is on the table. Your goal is to build the most simple list of indicators that will tell you how well you are doing from a business standpoint.

To help you make this evaluation, we’ve written a few posts on the subject:

You might also want to have a look at the coverage the Content Marketing Institute has on the topic of measuring impact in content marketing.

Make decisions and roll with it

Once you’ve made the call on what to measure, set yourselves to targets and roll with it.

There is no perfect set of content marketing KPIs and there are no perfect targets.

The decisions you make are based on your experience as a content marketing leader (or even Chief Content Officer) and if you’ll always be able to adjust as the year moves along.

But the end goal behind this process of a monthly strategic update is to dedicate time to reflect on the past and look at the future, with a strategic posture.

Should you be interested in a consultation on objectives and key performance indicators, do not hesitate to book a meeting with one of our experts to schedule a workshop with your team.