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Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing

B2B companies have started putting a significant amount of time and resources into content marketing. To achieve a maximum ROI on this approach, businesses must ask these questions:

What are you looking for?
Experts interviewed by the Content Marketing Institute suggested most marketers who employ content creation strategies do so without a clear goal in mind (1).

There are four possible metrics for determining the value of a marketing content; consumption, sharing, leads and sales. Which of these is your company trying to improve? Hard goals for each aspect need to be set and progress must be charted.

How much time is invested?
Marketing strategies take time. It is almost impossible to see the effects of a new approach over a single sales cycle.

If there is a huge boost in sales or a drop in engagements, outside factors may have been the cause. It is important companies adopt content marketing strategies with a focus on the long game. As data is collected, the information should be used to adjust the strategy.

Content marketing is an ever-developing technique. When growth is demonstrated, it does not indicate completion of goals, but rather a chance to continue improvement.

How is data analyzed?
Clearly defined metrics and a proper time table are excellent tools for collecting data, but once the information is acquired, how is it put to use?

Business 2 Community advised companies to follow the performance of each metric by watching particular tasks (2). Email sign-ups and request for information inform conversions. Measuring click-through rates and time on site charts absorption. When a company has all of these figures, it will show growth in the desired area.

Metrics need to be compared to show if brand performance and loyalty has improved overall. Have sales increased along with sharing? The entire company should grow as more time and resources are put into content creation.

Are better tools needed?
To generate productive analytics, companies can't miss important information. Search Engine Journal argued too many marketers are missing out on crucial data (3).

Tech tools that measure content longevity – how long a piece of material brings in clicks and sharing – helps create effective social media messages. Software should track reader movement. The right technology allows marketers to see how long readers engage with content and if it decreases time to purchase. Complete visibility of content performance provides the ultimate insight into cost effectiveness.

Companies should speak with a software partner about how to get the most out of the data generated through content creation.

(1) How to Measure the Success of Content Marketing
(2) Stay ROI Focused: Measuring the Impact of Your Content Marketing
(3) 12 Important Content Marketing Metrics You Aren't Measuring

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.