As B2B companies continue to drive sales leads from online channels with content marketing, ROI measurements become increasingly complex. Difficulty arises with attribution, sequencing and understanding which step most effectively drove the sale. Even with our advancement of tracking, tagging and attribution, difficulty of who / what gets credited for the $ is not going away. It becomes even more complex when trying to associate given $ amounts with a piece of content. Was it the content piece that drove the sale? The landing page? The paid media? The sales person's pitch?
Considering the prior, content marketing teams can plan to provide concrete organizational value $ today, through efficacy and rigor around the strategy, creation and deployment of content. As a result, the consumer is delighted with amazing content, and internal efficiencies combined with higher quality work, delivers loads of organizational value.
Below I outline 3 key steps during the content life-cycle which add value to the organization, and create better customer satisfaction both internally & externally.
Value creation: Time efficiency, Decreased redundancy of assets, Customer satisfaction
Approach: Save your organization hours wasted working towards junk content. By having a robust content audit rubric, you can evaluate content before the build stage, and once creation begins have a guiding light for agencies and internal production teams to follow. A robust audit rubric parlays nicely into an inventory system. When you know what you have and how good it is, you know what to create more of, or not.
Helpful hints: Take the time to audit all your content that’s live before implementing this 3 step content deployment model.
Value creation: Internal stakeholder satisfaction, Team goal commitments, Stakeholder alignment.
Approach: Working within your internal analytics constraints, detail a plan to most effectively measure content. This will typically include asset specific metrics leading up to and after an asset is downloaded or clicked on. It is important to determine a consistent strategy for segmenting metrics. A very useful segmentation technique is the tiered technique; everything must have at least two slices of segmentation. For content one of the best segmentation combinations is 3 tired: Source/Campaign/Journey stage. This allows you to review appropriate KPI’s for the stage of the funnel, source and any campaign specific metrics.
Helpful hints: Content performance KPI’s differ throughout the customer journey, the CTR rate farther down the funnel you go will be lower than the initial stage. KPI’s are not universal and need to be thoughtfully planned for each content pieces specific usage.
Value creation: Re-deployed / re-used assets, Increased KPI performance, Customer satisfaction, Efficiency of paid advertising spend
Approach: Use a timely and standard approach for measuring the performance of content. This plan should be infused with the insight of the content marketers, and built with the expert advice of the analytics team. Working together is critical to understand the current and future state of analytics capabilities. Performing assessments is a crucial part of the deployment plan. Using a minimum viable assessment strategy is a best practice, don’t wait to start measuring performance. Analytics will never be perfect, nor are they supposed to be. Analytics are a directional indicator for business decisions, not accounting records. Start getting data and using it, then refine.
Helpful hints: Do not perform assessments without making a best practice and learning guide. Though it may seem cumbersome at the time, the goal of the assessment is 3 fold: promote top content, retire bottom content, and create future learnings. Those learnings can be championed across the organization.