Is Your B2B Content Strategy Working?
Great! So you have a plan for your B2B content marketing strategy. You are putting it into action, meeting your deadlines, and getting new content published on your site. But how do you know if it’s working? Or, more importantly, how do you prove it’s working to the higher-ups? Without a return on investment, even the best content marketing plan is lackluster.
ROI needs to revolve around goals – goals you may have, goals the company may have. If you are unsure of these goals, ask. Find out what is important to you and the company so that you can measure towards those goals. Once that is confirmed, here are some ways you can measure your B2B content marketing results. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up to the top.
Increase in Your Website Visitors
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? The same goes for content. If you publish a piece of content and no one reads it, does it make a sound – or in this case, a difference? Obviously not.
The underlying goal of writing any piece of content is really to help those who read it we know that. But without visitors to your site, you have no chance of them converting into leads or even knowing what the services or products your company offers. And not helping you reach your goals – even if a goal is simply awareness of your brand.
There are many tools to help you monitor your website traffic. Google Analytics is the most clear-cut solution so it is vital you have your GA code added to your website. Update your Google Analytics account with the goals you want to achieve as well. This will help you easily keep track of things and create clear reporting when asked. There are other options as well.
Let’s say you host your blog on a platform other than your website, like HubSpot Blog Software. Not only can you track how many visitors you are getting, but you can also assign campaigns to each blog and measure traffic by campaign. This can help you better see what topic (or topics) as a whole are truly bringing in the eyeballs.
Convert Visitors Into Leads with CTAs and Internal Linking
Getting eyes on your content is great, but you’ll also want to measure if it’s the right set of eyes. That is where a lead generation call-to-action (or CTA) comes into play. A CTA can help guide the reader or viewer on a path, giving them options on what steps to take next.
Now, I am dating myself, but if you can, recall the movie, “Big”. In the movie, the main character and his supporting star, come up with a new product idea to create a comic book where you, the reader, can create their own story based on what they choose to happen next.
This is sort of what a CTA is. By adding multiple CTAs related to that piece of content, you give the reader options on where they want to go next.
If they’re just learning about your brand, give them the option to click a link to check out your B2B Services (or products) page. Or if they already know what you do, send them to a case study that shares how you helped a client solve a common issue.
And if it makes sense (and you are not forcing it), try to add a ‘gated’ CTA. This is a CTA that leads to a landing page where the site visitor needs to provide an email address to get what you’re offering. By securing that email address, you are now able to further nurture that relationship, personalize communication, and lead them down the path to purchase.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned having a B2B content marketing plan. Don’t have a plan yet? No problem. Just download a content planning template to map out your future efforts. (See what I did there? Wink. Wink.)
By adding the right CTAs and internal linking to your content, you can determine just how valuable a site visitor is and how good of a fit they are with your brand.
Review Other Valuable B2B Content Marketing Metrics
Site visitors and converted leads are typically part of a company’s goals. But think outside the norm and consider other analytical metrics. For example, the number of unique visitors, time on site, percentage of exits, and bounce rate to consider a few.
Traditionally, more time on-site and a lower bounce rate has signaled a more engaged user. They want to learn more about who you are and what you do.
And get those metrics while you can. With the changes coming along with GA4 and the inevitable goodbye to tracking cookies, some metrics like bounce rate are soon going to be extinct.
There are those who are now saying differently. If the bounce rate is high, it may be that the visitor found what they were looking for immediately and jumped ship. But let’s face it. If they didn’t reach out to you or purchase a product, how can they become a customer?
The Ultimate Win: Become a Customer
I’ve never spoken with a client who didn’t want to increase sales. Without sales, there would be no company. (I know, there are some exceptions, but stay with me here). Sales is the Valhalla of all goals.
However, you must keep in mind that, as marketers, we don’t have a lot of control over what turns into sales. No matter how good, or qualified as we say, a converted site visitor (aka Lead) is, they may not become a customer in the end.
Helping out the sales team and communicating with them regularly is a must. The relationship between sales and marketing needs to happen. One cannot survive without the other.
You need each other to understand both who you’re trying to target and the quality of the leads you’re attracting. If marketing can help close that sale with other sales materials, emails and such – all the better.
Also, consider looking at attribution reporting. Marketing attribution is defined as “a reporting strategy that allows marketers and sales teams to see the impact that marketers made on a specific goal, usually a purchase or sale.”
If you start to see a pattern in blogs read, web pages viewed, videos watched, or emails opened, use that to your advantage. Consider doing more of those things in the future.
Get Credit Where Credit is Due
Most importantly, as you are monitoring your marketing efforts, be sure to put a dollar amount with what worked. Divide it up. This will be the ideal way to show your ROI. How much money did what you wrote, published, promoted, posted, and so forth help bring in a lead and close a sale – and for how much.
Need help at the beginning with a content plan? Looking for strategic ways to increase site visitors? Having issues converting visitors into leads? As a fun group of (what we love to call ourselves) “holistic marketing geeks,” we thrive on data-driven digital marketing.
We love digging into the nitty-gritty to see what’s working and what’s not. We get excited to work with clients that are as passionate about what we do and how we do it. If you are too, reach out to us and let’s talk.