Content Marketing Success
Jul 26, 2016
There are a lot of articles out there that focus on how hard, if not impossible, it is to measure the success (or failure) of your content marketing efforts.
They then typically focus on the soft metrics…downloads, shares, tweets, likes.
Here’s what we recommend so you can tie it back to something a lot more tangible like leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, demonstrations, trials, purchases, referrals….
Great Content Marketing Strategy Has Clearly Defined Objectives
All too often content is created because someone’s job is to create content.
We recommend content be created to help a member of your target audience answer some questions and become more aware of your business and offerings. We recommend that you create content to help members of your target audience move forward through their decision making/buying process with you – ultimately ending in a purchase.
Let me give you an example.
Last weekend was one of the hottest of the summer here in Baltimore. And, of course, our air conditioning stopped blowing out that gloriously cold air that helps my wife and I get up and go about our daily lives with a smile on our faces.
My first move was to Google “air conditioning not blowing cold air” and that uncovered a crazy amount of content. Fortunately some of that content was focused on why this might be happening and how to diagnose the problem so that I could either fix it myself or get a repair person out to my house ASAP.
One of the providers of that valuable content that helped my identify if I had a problem I could solve or might require a professional to perform the repair work was a local service firm. And when I realized I had a problem that needed a professional, they were among the 3 firms I called and begged for help on the weekend.
But they weren’t able to meet my request so I went with another.
Great execution of content marketing – not so great execution of actually closing the deal and getting the sale.
Also not so great execution of tying my call to the viewing of their online video.
Instead, a competitor got the business and chalked it up to their ad on Angie’s List.
A Process to Capture Data so Content Marketing Gets Credit
Your content must be trackable. If someone uses your content and takes the next step forward – be it downloading or viewing more content or contacting you for a demo or a trial or a purchase – you need to be able to capture in your system the fact that the specific piece of content was involved in the individual’s decision to move forward with you.
Take that air conditioning video as an example. It could have had a unique URL or email or phone (or all of the above) with “If you need help, contact us”.
It did have the company name, URL for their home page and their general toll free number.
And that makes it a little more difficult to track.
When I called and asked if I could get a service/repair person out that day, the operator could have asked how I had come to call them – how had I heard of the company. And I could have said “…your online video about air conditioning problems…”
But she didn’t ask.
The problem is that too many push out the content and think the job is done. They are wrong. The job isn’t to push out more content. The job is to show that the investment made in that content produced revenue for the business. And that’s why you need to think about “…how will we track the impact of this piece of content once it’s out there in the world…”
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.