What is the biggest problem for content marketers? Measurement.
MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published their 2015 B2C and B2B content marketing studies, finding only 23 percent of B2C marketers and 21 percent of B2B marketers successfully track the ROI of their content marketing programs (tweet this). Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge of the B2C marketers surveyed is measuring content effectiveness, with 51 percent citing it as a challenge. B2B content marketers face the same challenge: 49 percent say inability to measure content effectiveness is an issue.
This shouldn’t be the case. About 70 percent of marketers are investing in more content creation than they were a year ago. Many of the marketers we speak with are creating content, building sponsored campaigns and implementing distribution strategies, yet still struggle with how to measure the return on investment. As the content marketing industry matures, successful marketers are determining how to tie their content initiatives to ROI and demonstrate the effectiveness of such programs.
It’s only when you can justify the success of content marketing against your business goals that you’ll be able to secure additional budget and resources to expand content initiatives within the organization, so be sure measurement is part of your process. Documenting your strategy is one way to be more successful at measuring content marketing effectiveness, reports CMI, and it’s a solid best practice to follow.
To prove the effectiveness of content marketing, first set your goals. According to CMI’s report, the most common business goals for content marketing initiatives are customer loyalty and evangelism, engagement, brand awareness, sales, lead generation, lead nurturing, upsells and cross-sells. Once you identify your goals, you can then tie each goal to the appropriate metrics to help you measure success, and optimize for these metrics. You might optimize for site traffic, sales lead quality, conversions, SEO ranking, time on site, inbound links, subscriber growth, social sharing or engaged time.
Marketers are all going to have different business objectives. There’s no one-size-fits-all best metric for a content campaign, so depending on your objective, you’ll need to optimize content campaigns for different metrics. Optimizing your content creation and distribution for the right metrics will help you effectively measure and reach your goals. Says SimpleReach CEO Edward Kim, “Whether your goal is brand lift, conversation, engagement, sign-ups or purchases, we now have the data and tools needed to optimize each campaign for the specific metrics that matter most. Use them.” (Read Kim’s full article about key metrics for content success on Digiday.)
About the author:
Adam Orshan is a mild-mannered Product Marketing Manager at SimpleReach that tends to make somewhat obscure references.