In our 2014 Digital Marketing Priorities Survey, content marketing was one of the top three digital marketing priorities. Not exactly a revelation, right? Content marketing is kind of a big deal, but, as with any marketing tactic, how do you measure the success of the content you're creating?
Earlier this year, Contently surveyed over 300 marketers from both B2B and B2C companies and asked that very question. As expected, marketers are obsessed with focused on quantitative results — from site traffic to social engagement to SQLs. But wait...more than 90 percent said that they are not very confident in the key content metrics they are using to measure business results. Well, now I'm confused.
Ok, not really. My team encounters this relentless, vicious cycle constantly. How can we increase brand awareness and generate demand for our products and services? Create great content, of course. How do we know if we’ve increased awareness and generated demand? We should see an increase in potential customers visiting our site to read more and then ask for a sales person to contact them. Simple enough? Well, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
You can promote your content with ads and drive traffic to your site, but have you truly increased the site visitor’s understanding of your brand, products or services? Or did you just have a piece of content that fulfilled a need at that moment? Perhaps a more telling metric is returning visitors who download another content asset or read an article or attend an online event – in other words, people who keep coming back for MORE.
So, we can assume that our great content is working if we’re generating leads for our sales funnel, right? Possibly... but when was the last time you read a research report, enjoyed an infographic or attended a webinar and said, "I’m going to buy that product/service now"? I sure haven’t. Usually I rely on a variety of content over a span of time to make my decision: a combination of the online ad (awareness) and the "How To Improve X" webinar (education) and the case study (vendor selection). It’s not an individual chapter that makes a book powerful, it’s the entire story.
Content enables our marketing strategy — how and when you use different formats is what truly matters. Check out our recent infographic, "Make Your Marketing Strategy POP," for tips on which tools you need to engage tech buyers from the office to events and back.
How do you gauge the greatness of your content? Are you able to track what content potential customers are engaging with throughout the purchase process?