Measurement. It is perhaps the most challenging and fear-inducing word in a content marketer's vocabulary. After you have spent countless hours working to create--and curate--thought-provoking, engaging and useful content, will you uncover that it has made any difference at all when you start to analyze and track its effectiveness? Is your valued content moving prospects through the sales funnel in a meaningful way? Were all of your efforts for naught? Do not despair. In the fourth installment of the the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) B2B Research Roundtable, moderated by Brightcove’s Steve Rotter, the panel of B2B marketing experts takes on measurement and analytics--and highlights why measurement is a critical, positive step towards ensuring content marketing effectiveness.
According to an October 2012 study commissioned by Brightcove and conducted by CMI and MarketingProfs, one third of B2B marketers say that measuring the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts is difficult. But, the experts note that one of the reasons B2B marketers find measurement to be an arduous process is because they never set content goals at the outset of a content campaign. As with any marketing initiative, content marketing activities should be defined by goals--specifically:
- Identify an individual scorecard for each separate piece of content
- Understand the target audience for each piece of content, and highlight how its value maps to broader marketing and business initiatives
- Agree upon a call-to-action--if any--for each content type
- Assess where in the sales funnel each piece of content lives
Once marketers decide upon these baseline metrics, evaluating a piece of content's value is much easier and far more beneficial. The panel also noted that it is important to recognize that not every piece of content is a lead generation tool, and content shouldn’t always be viewed through that lens. Instead, marketers should also evaluate content by its power to drive awareness and engagement. Setting specific objectives at the beginning of the content lifecycle helps to ensure that content marketers don't face any unexpected surprises, and are able to articulate their efforts' worth to their company's broader marketing and sales organization.
The roundtable discussion below offers some additional perspective:
Content marketers: how do you measure success?