“Content is king.” This is the would-be mantra of successful marketers everywhere. By now, we know that creating content, especially on a consistent basis via a blog, is the key to inbound marketing and SEO growth. So, how do you measure the effectiveness of the content you have created?
Below are three common reasons that drive B2B organizations to create a content strategy:
“44% of B2B marketers say their organization is clear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like; 55% are unclear or unsure.” – Content Marketing Institute
To identify what YOUR content marketing success should look like, you need to ask what is driving you to create content in the first place. Once you know WHY you are creating content, then you will be able to determine the best way to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
1. Are you looking to increase sales and marketing leads to your website?
Google Analytics or another 3rd party analytics tool will be your friend. Prior to creating content, you should spend time analyzing your current metrics. What is your current weekly/monthly visitor count? What pages are they visiting? Are they filling out forms, downloading assets, or inputting their information for you to capture? If you are solely relying on a visitor’s phone call or email as a way to capture leads, be prepared for disappointment.
Action Item: Consider setting up an inbound marketing plan. Beyond creating content to attract visitors to your site, you should offer resources and assets for download as an incentive for these visitors to GIVE you their information.
2. Are you trying to gain thought-leadership and become known as an expert in your industry?
Many B2B companies use a single-person as an evangelist for their thought-leadership. For example, XYZ company may present Bob Smith as their Big Data expert; Susan Jones as their Customer Engagement specialist; and Anna Brown as their Marketing guru. Each of these individuals will write blog posts on their field of expertise; become active and engaging on social media; and even publish books or do speaking engagements.
Action item: Consider appointing “experts” within your company to become evangelists for your organization. Customers tend to trust an individual more than they will trust a company, so asking these experts to blog on behalf of the company is a win-win.
3. Are you looking to create fresh, relevant content to appease search engines?
This one can be a little tricky for marketers. If your product/service/solution is unique for the industry (as many start-up companies tend to have), you will have an easier time creating unique content with a fresh take. After all, the company wouldn’t exist if the didn’t feel they can do their offering better.
Action item: Take advantage of your position — whether you are first-to-market, improving an existing solution, or bringing a different outlook. Your content should convince people why they should be working with you. Your blog is an extended sales pitch.
If your company is established and has a long history with a longer list of competitors, then creating fresh content will be more of a challenge. What point of view can you bring to a subject that is already over-saturating the market?
Action item: Instead of simply writing about your topics in your field, you can take advantage of your expertise and experience by using your blog as an op-ed catalog by commenting on recent news & updates in your industry. Or, you can position yourself as a “mentor” by highlight case studies of businesses who have executed projects successfully, or have left an opportunity for lessons-learned.
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Creating content for the sake of having an online presence requires a lot of work for little reward. A content strategy is just as important as your marketing or business strategies, and should have some serious thought and effort put into it.