In sales, it is relatively easy to measure progress and success. Typically, each person has a dollar-value quota, and success equals hitting or surpassing that quota. You can even break sales goals down even more by number of meetings set, number of calls made, or number of demos given in a certain amount of time. And while marketing may have its own quantifiable metrics (number of leads collected, number of email subscribers, etc.), it can be difficult to measure the success of content marketing. Here are 4 ways to quantify the success of your content marketing efforts.
- Align your metrics with business objectives. Making sure that whatever you’re measuring—content downloads, email clicks, subscriptions—are in line with your company’s overall goals. Retweets and comments don’t matter to executives, but won deals and sales meetings do. Find a way to tie your content to these goals, such as whether a content download led to a qualified demo.
- Measure your content’s ROI. Tracking your content marketing effort’s return on investment is a great place to start when it comes to measuring success. Analytic tools are essential when it comes to measuring ROI; you need to be able to see where a lead is coming from and how they found your content. Tools like Google Analytics just don’t cut it for this—they can help measure traffic but not lead information. Content marketing ROI can be measured when you are able to track a lead’s journey to becoming a customer by what pages it visited, the content it downloaded and any other supporting collateral it may have encountered along the way.
- Be patient. A couple great blog posts and pieces of gated content are not going to show revenue results for a while. It’s important to look at how content is contributing through all stages of the sales cycle, and this period of time differs for each business. Don’t expect to start measuring content marketing success on day one of a quarter and to feel like your efforts are contributing 100% on the last day of the quarter. Finding a way to measure incremental success—while still having the big picture (contribution to revenue) in mind—will help to keep your team on track and understanding the small successes of content marketing metrics.
- Help sales help you. Sales and marketing teams are more connected than ever before, and content marketing has a lot to do with this alignment. When sales has quality content to share with prospects, they have more meaningful conversations and are more appreciated by prospects. But sales needs to be able to easily find, access and share this content in order for it to be of value. Offering sales a centralized repository that is able to track what content sales reps are using will allow you to connect successful calls, meetings and deals to your content efforts. When sales is happy, marketing should be too.
The biggest change most content marketing teams need to make is shifting the focus of contribution to the bigger picture: revenue. When you think of sales and marketing working together towards the major goal of closing deals and increasing revenue, you are able to assign the appropriate metrics to your content marketing efforts. This will better showcase marketing’s value to a company and increase cooperation between all departments in a company, especially sales and marketing.