Gone are the days of chalking “marketing success” up to the number of leads generated from a piece of content, or the open rate of a nurturing email. What today’s stakeholders want to know is simple: did the funds going into your marketing budget actually lead to more revenue for your business?
Not only do you need to be able to answer this question, but you’ll also need the numbers and data to back it up. By how much did the revenue increase? How do you know you can attribute this increase to your marketing efforts?
Any B2B content marketer reading this blog post will agree that content marketing is valuable to their business. And yet, there’s no universal list of metrics that we marketers can collectively rely on to prove our point.
The reasons we don’t have a standard “checklist” of marketing metrics is two-fold.
First, just as no two B2Bs are the same, nor are their respective content marketing strategies (if they’re successful in driving revenue, that is). Your sales goals and target audiences will directly inform which metrics must be used to determine the effectiveness of your strategy.
But here’s the second, more compelling reason: there isn’t a standard method for finding the correct metrics for your company.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to measure content success for your business.
How to Measure Content Marketing Performance
1. Use an Interactive, Measurable Format
A go-to file format for most businesses, PDFs have been around for decades. Despite the familiarity and universality of PDFs, the word “decades” is a red flag considering the pace at which digital marketing has evolved.
Once a visitor downloads a PDF from your website, they take their traceability with them; in other words, their actions become impossible to track.
Whether your prospect became disinterested after reading the first line of text or shared the PDF with 20 people in their network will remain a mystery. In case you still need some convincing (or your boss still needs some convincing) before digitizing your content and finally putting PDFs to rest, this blog post provides some compelling reasons to make the switch to interactive content.
Now that we’ve established familiarity doesn’t equal success, let’s discuss what your business must do to ensure it’s possible for you to choose the right metrics in the first place: employ online, interactive content. These web-based formats provide detailed insights about your prospect and your content, including which sections they spent the most time reading, how often they shared your assets, and more.
Find out more about interactive web-based formats here.
2. Find out what resonates with your audiences
While we know most B2B buyers prefer interactive, on-demand content, it helps to know which formats resonate the most with which segments of your audience. Some marketers let the type of information inform how it’s delivered, but an understanding of whether your audience resonates more with whitepapers, reports, or eBooks will yield the results you’re looking for.
3. Test and re-test to learn what metrics should matter to your B2B marketers:
Did the prospect share your asset with their network? Great! Now you can gain all the more data from 2nd-degree leads. Is one section of a whitepaper or eBook resonating more than the others? If so, it might be worth creating more content on that particular topic. Our blog on maximizing the ROI of extra-web content provides other B2B marketing KPI examples for you and your team to consider.
Content Marketing Evaluation for Your Business
Once your team has created a list of metrics and KPIs that indicate whether your content marketing efforts are successful, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy on the fly to garner even more success for your business. Not only will you increase your team’s efficiency, but you’ll gather meaningful, actionable data about the people who matter most: your customers.
Want to learn more about the barriers to creating interactive content at scale, and how B2B marketers can overcome them? We explored these challenges in our whitepaper with CMI, The Experience Matters: Today’s Innovative B2B Marketers Overcome Content Creation Barriers.