In my recent blog post I shared with B2B marketers 5 Steps to Content Marketing Success in 2018 and the ultimate key to success: a documented strategy. But would you be surprised if I tell you that only 35% of organizations measure the return on investment (ROI) of its content marketing efforts? This is according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CIM’s) 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research (North America). That’s pretty shocking, wouldn’t you say?
When asked, “Why doesn’t your organization measure the ROI of its content marketing efforts”, B2B marketers in the same research gave the following top three reasons:
No formal justification required (38%)
We need an easier way to do this (38%)
We don’t know how to do this (27%)
With B2B marketers continuing to produce more content each year, I wonder how long we’ll continue to get away without measuring the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of our content. But even when no formal justification is required from our organization, shouldn’t we be curious to understand the impact content has on our customers and the business? One would hope so.
While 55% of the most successful B2B content marketers measure content marketing ROI, according to CIM’s research, I understand when marketers say that they “don’t know how to do this”. It is difficult to consistently and accurately tie revenue to marketing efforts. Consider looking at the other metrics that matter to your organization.
Start with the business objectives your content marketing strategy needs to support. While all content marketing programs should assist in driving prospective customers through the buyers’ journey, not all content can be tied back to revenue.
For different stages of the buyer’s journey – e.g. Interest, Learn, Evaluate, Justify, Purchase, and Advocate – you will need to identify different content performance indicators. Those indicators may be further influenced by geographic or demographic factors.
Here are five categories that can help you measure your content marketing success:
- Consumption metrics measure how engaged your audience is with your content and gives you insight into your brand awareness (e.g. page views, click-through rates, and downloads).
- Sharing metrics indicate how much your readers or followers like your content, how funny, insightful or unique they have found it (e.g. likes, shares, tweets, and pins).
- Lead Generation metrics tie your content back to leads and help you optimize your top-of-the-funnel performance (e.g. form submits, downloads, and lead conversion rates).
- Sales metrics link your content to revenue and are required to calculate your ROI (e.g. online and offline sales, contract renewals, and retention rates).
- Reach metrics inform you of the size of your audience as well as the geographic and demographic spread (e.g. visitors per region, demographic split, and mobile readership).
The metrics you identify should give you the insight to make informed decisions, which lead to optimization of your content marketing efforts. Once you have defined the metrics that will help you measure your content’s effectiveness, document the data sources and owners. We’ve developed a simple Metrics Data Tracker to help you keep track.
Visit our Metrics Do-It-Yourself Marketing Success page today to find an action plan and more resources to help you implement the content marketing metrics that matter to you.
For more tips, tools, and hacks to make your life as a marketer easier- join us at Modern Customer Experience 2018. ModernCX’s Modern Marketing track offers more than 200 expert-led sessions geared to equip you with new skills you can immediately apply to your work.
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