Measure. Track. Calculate. Prove. Evaluate. Return on investment. Closed loop report. Marketing as an industry has been slow to adopt these words. According to Will Davis, CMTO at Right Source Marketing, “Measurement is absolutely critical to the success of a content marketing program.” One of the only ways that traditional marketing has been measured was checking the bottom line at the end of the year, hoping for the best, and then attributing any success to billboards and television advertisements. Then along came digital marketing and content marketing with their accompanying platforms to include marketing automation and Customer Lifecycle Marketing. How are digital marketing and content marketing changing the measurement game you ask? Let’s explore the top 3 ways that tracking your content can make you a winner.
1.) Lead generation and lead scoring – Marketers are asked to accomplish a number of different objectives in today’s day and age, but there is one that still rules them all: driving sales via new leads. Tracking and scoring your content downloads and interactions allow the leads and opportunities with the most engagement to rise to the top of your sales team’s priority list. Subscribing to a blog, downloading a white paper, and opening an email regarding a newly published eBook may seem like small touch points. However, these engagement points combined with social media, sales activity, and website tracking could very well combine to be high indicators of long-term interest and buying potential.
2.) Data Maintenance and Improvement – Why are we talking about data integrity during a blog on content marketing? Gated content marketing is a great way to keep your CRM and marketing tools up-to-date with your audience! Gating content leads to form submissions, which actively update your current contact records with fresh, accurate data. Through the use of contact IDs or unique email addresses, your marketing technology will automatically update existing records as well as create new ones as individuals submit forms in order to download your newest content.
It is an industry-wide accepted statistic that roughly 2% of data “goes bad” every month. According to SiriusDecisions, “The average company contains up to 25% of bad data in their most critical systems.” Progressive profiling also allows marketers to set up “smart forms” that will prompt contacts with more detailed form fields upon multiple download requests. For example: the first time a contact submits a form, the form may only require name and email, but the second time this contact visits your website to download content, they will be presented with a form that prompts them for company, job title, and industry. This allows marketers to learn more about their audience in an unobtrusive way while gaining more information to allow for deeper segmentation and personalization.
3.) Perfecting conversion rates and processes – A cardinal sin of marketing can be overexcitement about a great piece of content and the desire to simply blast it out into the marketing e-universe and see what happens. As marketers, we must take a deep breath and consider every possible path to our content and how each step of this process will be tracked. Will it be posted on your website? Is there an associated email campaign? Social campaign? Will you have partners, clients, etc. promoting your content as well? How does the experience through each of these channels differ? All of these are serious questions that must be answered prior to launching any piece of content, but especially a gated asset created in order to drive leads! It is important to understand which channel, messaging, stage, etc. is driving the most engagement for each piece of content. Each step of the conversion process can, and should be tracked from social media impressions to email opens and clicks to landing page conversions. Know what step of the content download process needs improvement for your next campaign in order to constantly optimize your reach and conversion rate.
Small, low-tech companies to large, tech-savvy companies alike can benefit from the advantages of measuring content marketing. These measurements produce easy lead generation and scoring, automated data hygiene, and the ability to constantly improve and optimize each step in the conversion process across multiple channels.
For more tips and insight into how content marketing is changing the game, check out “Top 4 Ways to Balance Your Content.”