Would you believe that 49% of marketers don’t understand how their content performs? That means nearly half of all marketers have no idea whether their content marketing is getting cut-through or if there’s something they could be doing better.
It also means that the high effort and cost going into content strategy and creation may be going to waste.
Content plays an important part in marketing for every business – but for B2B businesses with their often-complex product offerings, it can be especially hard to get right. That’s where measuring your content marketing performance comes in.
With the help of our data specialist Anthony Theodoropoulos, we’re sharing why measurement is so important and 5 key KPIs to track across 3 content mediums to get a quick read on your marketing results.
Why should you be measuring content marketing performance?
While marketers understand the need to create content, WordPress VIP found that a large percentage of marketers still struggle to understand how their content performs and whether they’re getting ROI on it.
While it seems to be a pretty normal problem, it’s definitely not one without consequences. Those who aren’t measuring their content marketing campaigns are more likely to:
- Overspend – when it’s hard to understand how well content performs, it can be easy to overspend trying to promote it or create more content that doesn’t resonate with the target audience.
- Struggle to get buy-in – if there’s no proven ROI behind content, it’s hard to build a business case to invest in new mediums and platforms. And with how quickly the world moves, missing out on an innovative new medium or platform can seriously hurt the business’s momentum.
- Have low success rates – without understanding performance metrics, marketers will have no visibility over their content’s success (or failure). This makes it easy to attract the wrong audience or miss out on an opportunity to create content that resonates.
Being a B2B marketing agency, we’re pretty familiar with the complexity of the buyer journey (a term that our very own co-founder Hugh Macfarlane coined in his 2003 book The Leaky Funnel) and how to guide your audience through the funnel with the right content. As a result, we employ some easy measures to track our results and understand what they mean.
5 ways to measure content marketing performance across 3 key tactics
B2B content can encompass almost anything – social media posts, blogs, whitepapers, emails, videos, etc.
Because social media platforms make it extremely easy to track your results, we’ll focus on three platforms that don’t make it quite so easy – but are just as important to keep an eye on.
We can’t say enough about the importance of nurturing your audience with regular content that educates or entertains them. Your blog is often one of your biggest content assets but can be one of the hardest to understand.
We recommend tracking 3 key metrics:
1. Average time spent on page: this gauges your audience’s interest level in your content. A higher time spent on the page indicates that your content was interesting and valuable, while a lower time means your content didn’t resonate or perhaps didn’t find the right audience. This can be captured through Google Analytics.
2. Actions taken: this tracks the actions your audience took after spending time reading the blog – did they click the CTA? Did they go on to read more blogs? Or did they exit and not return? These will reveal how useful or persuasive your CTA is and how you’ve set it up. Again, Google Analytics can track this for you.
3. LinkedIn audience: your B2B customers are often present on LinkedIn, so it would make sense for you to utilise LinkedIn’s free Insight Tag to better understand who your audience is. The tag data can tell you whether you’re appealing to the right roles or industries and can help guide your content production.
Email platforms tend to lock you into a certain set of analytics, which can make it hard to judge whether you’re analysing the right data. While the click through rate (CTR) is the standard measure, there is another that we prefer to use:
4. Clicks to open rate (CTOR): this tracks the click through rate of the people that actually opened your email. This gives you a more accurate understanding of your audience’s behaviour and measures their actions from people who reached this step. Some email marketing platforms will provide this for you, or you can use an online calculator to get this figure.
Landing pages are the most used mediums to promote specific Individual solutions or host gated content like reports or whitepapers. Like your blog, you should be tracking the average time spent on page and actions taken. These two metrics provide you with the most necessary understanding of whether the page or offer is valuable and where customers click through afterwards. Google Analytics, or your landing page host (if you use one), can provide these metrics.
And in addition to the above two, we also like to use:
5. Heat mapping: this helps you understand where your audience is scrolling to on your page and is a valuable tool in optimising and guiding your content, design and UI choices.
What can you achieve when you measure content marketing performance?
Measurement is often the key component to improving your campaign output and performance, so it’s no wonder that accurate measures get businesses and marketers great results – regardless of whether your results are positive to begin with.
Some of the overall benefits of measuring include:
- Learning more about your audience – once you understand your audience’s actions, behaviours, and likes, it becomes much easier to produce relatable content for them
- Confidence in your decision making – knowing the type of content that does well or whether certain buttons work better means that you can confidently optimise your strategy and content.
- More successful marketing campaigns – you’ll find that your content marketing performance is apt to improve once you start implementing changes based on data. Whether it’s finding the right audience or getting higher conversions on your landing pages, you’ll start seeing ROI.
Are you ready to succeed with content?
B2B content marketing can be a big success with your audience, but only if you know how to do it well. So if you’re a business or marketer struggling with ideating, writing, or optimising your content, we’d love to hear from you.
We are experts on the end-to-end of content marketing, with specialists in data, reporting, writing, and design. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.