Content marketing is a well-established marketing strategy for generating leads, increasing brand awareness, and establishing an organization as a thought-leader within their industry. By now, most organizations have deployed at least some form of content marketing strategy. These strategies can range from the barest of bare bones to sophisticated efforts that are the result of entire teams. Whatever the level of effort, marketing teams and organizations have bought in wholesale to the idea of content marketing. A new report from Content Marketing Institute reports that 91% of B2B organizations are currently using a content marketing strategy.
Buyers have also shown that they prefer content marketing as a way to engage with organizations. Content Marketing Institute also reports 70% of business decision-makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to organizations. Buyers, and especially high-level decision-makers, simply don’t have the bandwidth to spend time reading things that don’t intrigue them or impart valuable knowledge. Content marketing is simply the most effective way to reach the right audience and engage with them.
However, by its very nature content marketing is a difficult strategy to measure in terms of ROI. Because content marketing is designed to create awareness and influence their remains difficulty in measuring exactly how those efforts directly lead to closed deals. If a decision-maker initially reads a piece of content that then sets that person on their buyer’s journey which ultimately ends with a closed deal, it’s unlikely that anyone will realize where the journey began, or how content marketing figured into the win.
To this point, content marketing needs marketing analytics. Marketers need information on what pieces of content are actually driving revenue, moving buyer’s along their journey, and contributing to the bottom line. To discern these important metrics, marketers need access to insights such as content engagement stats and content usage analytics. Content engagement statistics let marketers know exactly how buyers interact with a piece – which section they engaged with most and how long they spent viewing the content. Content usage analytics provide insights into how Sales interacts with content and which pieces are most effective for them.
However, the same Content Marketing Institute report found that 47% of respondents do not measure the ROI of their content marketing efforts, and 18% said they are unsure – and if a marketer is unsure if they’re measuring their ROI, so is their boss.
The reasons as to why marketers don’t measure the ROI of their content present an opportunity for organizations to begin measuring. The top answers for why they don’t measure ROI were: no formal justification required, we need an easier way to do this, we don’t know how to do this, and too time-consuming. All of those problems can easily be remedied by implementing a solution that provides deep insights quickly.
The results of those who do measure their ROI reveals that it is an incredibly important step for improving many areas of an organization. 77% of respondents said their marketing analytics increased audience engagement, 72% said it increased their number of leads, and 51% said it increased their organization’s sales.
Clearly marketing analytics has an outsize effect on not only improving an organization’s content marketing strategy, but also its bottom line.