Most business-to-business (B2B) marketers do some sort of content marketing, but they often do not measure the payoff of their content efforts.
We estimate that nearly nine in 10 US B2B marketers will use digital content marketing this year. But a study by the Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and SEO platform Conductor found that only 49% of B2B marketers in North America measure their content marketing ROI.
“Measurement is key,” said Jae Lee, global product marketing at IBM Watson Marketing. “You want to show the effectiveness of how the asset is performing because every time you create a piece of content, there is a cost.”
When B2Bs do measure their content's performance, they track page views, qualified leads, unique visitors and downloads, according to SiriusDecisions. A similar study of B2Bs by Spiceworks also found that clickthrough rates, qualified leads and content downloads were among the most commonly tracked metrics.
Measurement "allows B2Bs to actually understand the journey and if the audience is taking actions after interacting with your content," said Spencer Smith, head of product marketing at Liveramp B2B, an identity resolution and data provider.
Marketers should look for signals: Did a lot of people from one company register for a webinar? Was there an influx of traffic to a specific asset that resulted in inquiries? Did a certain piece of content net a significant number of demos?
"Most B2B marketers only think about leading measures, which just show initial engagement and impact," said Jillian Ryan, principal analyst at eMarketer. "While that is important, B2Bs must consider the lagging metrics of their content-driven marketing to understand how content drives audience behavior across the customer journey."
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