How B2B Marketers Can Measure Content Effectiveness?
Content marketing is gaining growing significance and marketer’s confidence in 2015. A report by Smart Insight showed that Content marketing was voted the top marketing activity to drive commercial results. Although this is good news for content marketers but at the same time, they need to understand the level of competition they are going to encounter and the need to create a focused plan is of prime importance.
50% of B2B enterprise marketers cite the inability to measure content effectiveness as a challenge. If content is what fuels our marketing, then we need to measure the impact of that content across our marketing. To understand what areas of measurement should we apply to marketing content? Here are three key things B2B marketers should track and report on:
- Tracking Content Production Cycles
As content has become the product of marketing, it is important to improve the process for getting content to market. And this can be done by tracking the content production cycles. This includes certain major areas that marketers need to measure to get a track of their content pipeline:
a) Average length of production: A key measurement here is how many days it takes to move content from an idea through to publishing. B2B marketers need to accurately understand how their entire process works. You need to measure the time it takes for content to move through revisions, reviews, approvals, etc. To benchmark the time content takes to get to market, you need to capture the entire flow of production.
b) On-time delivery rates: Marketers have no clue what problems the “late content” can create, due to lack of quantifying measures. Missed deadlines mean missed opportunities. So you need to track and improve on-time delivery rates- tracking how often deadlines are missed and how that breaks down by asset type, contributor and more.
c) Bottlenecks in workflows: workflows guide production, thus marketers need to be able to track which tasks are leading to slow production. The most feasible way to measure this is examining average time taken to complete each task in a workflow against how often that task exceeded time limit.
d) Mapping content in production: The only way to ensure that the content you create is targeted, relevant, and timely is through mapping the content-to-buyer personas and sales stage. It is also equally necessary to identify the gaps in the production process of content as well as the in the coverage of content and rectify them.
- The Total Reach of Your Content
Every marketer is measuring the reach and engagement of their content in some way – views, clicks, shares—most professionals are familiar with these metrics. Nut what’s missing for B2B organizations is 1) the ability to track different engagements across content types and channels in a single place, and 2) metrics on their content’s internal reach. Now reach can be measured through following two things:
a) External reach: Calculating the reach will often vary from channel to channel, thus it a bit difficult metric. What’s significant to calculate is how content creates engagement across channels and tools used to reach buyers.
A solid B2B dashboard will track your cross-channel reach, including engagement metrics such as: email opens, downloads, which channels are driving the most engagement, how fluctuations in channel performance are impacting total engagement across each channel, and which assets are bringing most engagement. Another important thing is that these all need to be tracked in a single dashboard.
b) Internal reach: your content reaching the buyers is not enough. You are also required to make the content reach your internal people, enabling sales teams and equipping customer-support teams. That internal usage is also need to be tracked, reported on, and optimized against.
- The Conversions Your Content Generates
Since the B2B buying process is usually lengthy and anything but linear, marketers need to track now content is moving buyers from conversion point to conversion point in the pipeline. A proper B2B marketing dashboard measures the content score of assets (an attribution model for the leads, opportunities, and revenue at each stage of their pipeline), campaigns, and content categories.
Content scores can be calculated against individual assets. But, ideally B2B will also measure content scores by multi-asset campaigns and various categories of content (lists, data sheets, interviews, best practices, etc.) to derive total view of conversions across teams, functions, and channels.
A B2B marketing dashboard needs to look at the efficiency of their content production cycles, the internal and external engagement that the content sparks, and ultimately how that content is moving buyers through the pipeline. B2B marketers can also learn some ways for augmenting their content marketing efforts, along with the above measuring techniques to make their content more effective and engaging.