top content marketing metrics
In the world of big data where content is king, the key is knowing what to measure with content marketing…

The best approach I have found is simply tying back to your organization’s objectives.  What are your content marketing KPIs and what business goals are you trying to accomplish?  This will be a two-part blog…part one will specifically look at establishing the right metrics.  The second half will explore the best tools available for measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing.

I would venture to say that over 80% of marketers would say lead generation and sales.  That said, it’s disturbing toContent Marketing Institute note that in its 2016 B2B content marketing research, the Content Marketing Institute found that only 30% of marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing.

In addition, 55% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers said that it is unclear within their organization what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like.  And yet, according to Curata, 76% said they were increasing their content marketing budgets in 2016.

Let’s first define success, so we can properly define metrics

Success needs to be aligned with something quantifiable.  Here are some examples of possible metrics aligned with goals…establish a baseline first and create your quantifiable goals from there.

Every organization defines success differently.  For some, it’s the number of subscribers, for others it’s quality leads and others think in terms of incremental revenue. I think Vishal Khanna, director of digital marketing for Wake Forest Innovations hits the nail on the head with his approach.

“I started doing this one simple thing where I’d go to work every morning and I’d say, “How am I going to drive revenue today?” It was a real simple statement, but that ended up driving my choice of those 85 hats to wear within the next four hours of that morning. It was extremely helpful. We’re a small group as well, so thinking that way helps use that limited amount of time and resources.”

I personally think it comes down to focus, testing, execution, learning, repeat.  This puts you in a constant state of improvement and productivity.

Let’s explore content marketing metrics in the context of lead generation and sales enablement

Lead Generation Metrics

How is content supporting demand generation in terms of lead generation and lead nurturing?  The goal is to make your content marketing program a true driver of revenue.  To achieve this you need to identify what behavior you want your prospect to take after consuming your content.  In other words, you need a strong and relevant call to action to get them to take the next step.

  • Consumption Metrics: How many people are consuming your content and how frequently.  Which types of content are pulling the best numbers and what channels are performing?  Are they new visitors or repeat ones.
  • Click-throughs: Every piece of content must include a clear call to action. It should be clear and compelling, and measuring the click-through rates on those links is critical to understanding how your content is generating and converting leads.
  • Conversions: Once you have the clicks, conversion takes center stage.  Compare how many of those leads are qualified and can be converted into clients. Have well thought out criteria for rating the highest quality leads and their specific characteristics.

content marketing metrics

Sale Enablement Metrics 

Sales enablement and lead generation go hand in hand when it comes to content marketing metrics.  It is absolutely imperative to use content as a vital part of the sales process.  You should set up metrics around how your content is actually affecting sales enablement.

  • Sales conversion rate: Ideally, you’ll find that sending content to leads builds trust and credibility by directly addressing their objections, pain points, and questions. The end result should be a higher conversion rate.
  • Sales cycle: If your content is performing, it should help your team accelerate the length of your average sales cycle. Track to see if leads consuming your various types of content are closing at a higher rate.
  • Contract size: Compare the contract size of clients who were nurtured with content against the contract size of clients who weren’t.
  • Average value per customer:   You can best measure this by looking at the incremental lift in value that can be attributed to content marketing campaigns.
Each of the above metrics can and should be measured across several content channels, such as websites, blogs, video or social media.

Smart content marketers recognize that their decisions need to be data-driven.  That said, there are a number of excellent measurement tools you can use.  The key once again is knowing what you want to measure.  Part 2 of this blog will look at the top measurement tools and advice from the experts.

What has your experience been in finding the metrics to evaluate your content market’s impact on lead generation and sales?  Please share in the comments sections and thanks for reading…

Ruth Young Group

Related Article:  Triple Your Conversion Rates: 10 Proven Optimization Methods