I’m going to say something that may shock some content marketers: pageviews aren’t all that.
Now I’m not saying web traffic doesn’t matter as a metric, but single sessions aren’t the best thing to chase. Lookee-loos who hit your site once and bounce have little-to-no value. Relationships are built through repeat engagement, and that’s why pages-per-person is a better indicator of content marketing success.
Think about how Samsung might use content marketing to support their business objectives. Let’s say they captured someone’s attention with a story about virtual reality technology. Samsung ultimately wants people to buy the Gear VR accessory for their Galaxy phone (or perhaps even buy a Galaxy so they can use the Gear VR headset).
Before most consumers would make any kind of purchase, they’d want to know if Gear VR is anything more than a novelty. The burden is on Samsung to educate the consumer by taking them down the rabbit hole — exposing them to compelling use cases and more. From playing games to watching movies, Samsung would need to demonstrate how Gear VR enhances the experience — in a way that leaves consumers with no choice but to immerse themselves in VR using Samsung hardware.
It’s highly unlikely the content consumption needed to move someone from interest to purchase would occur in one sitting. So what’s a brand like Samsung to do? They logically sequence their content marketing assets, and then serve them up over time through a combination of retargeting and programmatic buying. Keeping their customer’s journey in mind, they’d work to ensure that person would encounter the right content at the right time.
The technology to do this exists today and I have data that shows the bottom-line impact of the pages-per-person model. Below are the results of a Fortune 100 tech company’s test of sequencing against a more conventional approach. This particular brand’s KPIs were attribute association (innovation, leadership) and purchase intent. As you can see, the group focused on repeat engagement saw significant bumps in both attribute association and purchase intent.
Sequencing content for repeat engagement can favorably affect other mid-funnel goals, too. It’s also possible to see improvements in areas of consideration, favorability and brand preference. There’s nothing wrong with counting pageviews per se, but as the data above suggests, with a little extra effort it’s easy to move from attracting content consumers to creating loyal customers.