The success of your content can be one of the hardest things to measure.
Content marketing plays the long-game, so where the conversion from blog post reader to paying customer happens isn’t always clear. Sure, there are engagement metrics and download numbers, but how do you measure the true ROI of your content?
Marketing executives that bring the most value to their companies are the ones who measure metrics that impact the bottom line. They’re not concerned with likes and shares if they don’t turn into revenue.
These 7 marketing executives have mastered the art of measuring the success of their content, and we’re going to share their strategies.
1. Aaron Perreira, Sr. Marketing Manager at Kareo
Since Kareo’s blog content is ungated, standard metrics can give a high-level view on their audience, but it doesn’t do much for tracking ROI.
One of the metrics Aaron shared is “blog influence.”
To measure if the blog has influenced a purchase decision, here’s what Aaron and his team do:
First, they have tracking pixels on their blog content that place a cookie in the browser of each person that visits the post. Lots of savvy marketers do this for retargeting campaigns, but Aaron’s team goes one level deeper.
Instead of just using that tracking pixel for a retargeting campaign on Facebook or Google, they use it to trigger a field in Salesforce when that visitor completes a lead-gen form.
Once the visitor has filled out the form, the Salesforce field named “Blog Influence” is marked “true”.
So when that lead turns into a paying customer, Aaron can see in Salesforce that the blog influenced the purchase.
I have one word to describe this: BRILLIANT.
2. Diana Smith, Product Marketing at Segment
For Segment, their content doesn’t strive for one single goal. Diana uses different content to achieve different goals.
For example, Analytics Academy is focused on awareness first…and retention and name brand continuation second.
They want to know how many Analytics Academy readers either sign up or stick around longer as a customer because they’ve read a certain piece of content.
For other content, like an eBook for example, they look at how many people downloaded it, and if those people move through the entire sales funnel.
They measure how much a specific piece of content influences the number of deals being created and closed.
3. Kraig Swensrud, CMO at Campaign Monitor
Kraig measures four key metrics for their content: traffic, engagement, ability to nurture leads, and conversion into free trials and paying customers.
Campaign Monitor has something they like to call a “multi-touch attribution model”. This model measures how people initially come in contact with their brand, and every other marketing touch point until they become a paid customer…or not.
Kraig says that their content doesn’t produce quick wins; they play the long-game in their #strategy. They chose to make an investment and dedicate themselves to create great content.
Campaign Monitor has seen the positive ROI of consistently producing great content first hand.
More than 50% of their net view visitors are first time visitors who found them through their blog.
These visitors are finding them through searches on Google and through other expert sources online.
Campaign Monitor’s blog shows up in top search results. And it’s not because they wrote a blog post about one specific topic last week, but because they’ve been continuously producing high quality content about those topics for years.
4. Thomas Been, CMO at TIBCO
Thomas believes in traditional metrics like traffic, leads, and deals, but he also knows how to take it one level deeper.
Some forms of content are going to perform well in certain channels with a certain audience, so they measure traffic and conversion rates in those categories.
Thomas and his team also measure how people are consuming content. They specifically measure the content and web pages people are spending the most time on, which tells them what’s most interesting to their audience.
So what do they do with all of this data? They aggregate it.
They actually use their own analytics software to aggregate and analyze content performance in terms of how to drive audience interest.
Thomas says these metrics are things you need to keep testing and evolving, so you can leverage new opportunities.
5. Jaleh Rezaej, Head of Marketing at Gusto
Jaleh thinks success should be measured holistically throughout the customer lifecycle.
That means starting with traffic and following it through each stage of the funnel.
Gusto also looks at things from a brand perspective. They recognize that if they’re not offering their super busy audience something that’s differentiated and useful, it’s probably going to get lost in the shuffle.
Their “obsession metrics” include visitors, visitor to lead conversion, lead to customer conversion, and newsletter subscribers.
6. Elizabeth Marsten, Director of Paid Search (PPC) at CommerceHub
At CommerceHub, they take engagement seriously.
They measure things like click through rates, likes, shares, time on site, bounce rate, and page views. They’re also able to track what content was looked at, how long they looked at it, and how many times they’ve been back and forth. All on a per-lead basis.
They aggregate all that data and then track those numbers to see whether or not that visitor turns into a customer.
7. Utpal Bhatt, VP of Global Marketing at Neo Technology
Neo Technology prioritizes awareness and thought leadership, and with those types of pieces, they look at distribution.
One of the more unique metrics is in their speaker program.
Neo Technology team members speak at over 200+ different conferences. They measure how frequently a particular topic gets accepted, which is a good gauge to know whether their content strategy is effective.
Measuring the success of your content isn’t only important, it’s necessary.
As a marketer, you don’t want to waste your valuable time on producing content that doesn’t convert. These marketing executives have tested and proved the metrics that help drive their bottom lines.
Are you dissecting your process enough to know what works? Or are you shooting in the dark when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
Take note of these measurement metrics and techniques to help uncover what works best for your content strategy.
About the Author
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast production agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts the B2B Growth Show: a podcast dedicated to helping B2B executives achieve explosive growth.