One of the biggest challenges that content marketers face is reporting ROI. Very rarely is success easy to measure: your blog readers will often take numerous twists and turns before becoming buyers—not to mention, content is also a valuable tool to bring existing buyers back to your website. It’s tough to distill the value of content marketing into a few metrics. It’s also challenging to communicate the many different ways that content makes your sales process easier.
That’s why you need to create a reporting process. Every month, analyze the value of your content.
Summarize the Importance of Blog Posts, White papers, and Webinars in Three Simple Steps
1. Run a Post-Purchase Survey of Your Buyers
Ask them whether your company’s content was helpful to their decision process. More often than not, marketers attempt to arrive at an answer to this question by creating attribution models—analyzing buyer touch points and marketing channels along the path to making a purchase. While these analytics are important, they may not capture the full brand experience that your company creates with content. A survey will be important to providing the full perspective.
2. Collect Qualitative Data
Conduct regular interviews with your readers to see how they’re using your content. Tie these stories back to your sales process, illustrating the causal relationship between your storytelling strategies and bottom-line business growth (or cost savings). These stories will help your executive teams understand the value of your content from an individual buyer perspective. User stories can help you connect dots between the quantitative trends that you’re observing and the results that your c-suite needs to see. To get started, at a minimum, your team just needs to complete two-three, 30-minute customer calls each week.
3. Identify a Handful of Key Metrics that Matter to Your Company
Track them consistently over time. Choose metrics related to visibility and engagement. How many people are discovering your company through content? How many people are reading your content on a regular basis? Is your viewership increasing over time? What about your social media shares? Look for signals that your audiences value your company’s messaging and perspectives. Look for growth.
Be relentless in your commitment to this data. You may feel frustrated when your metrics are flat-lining or taking a little bit of time to take off. As tempting as it might feel for you to change your frame of reference, resist the urge. If your blog isn’t showing the growth that you’re expecting, revisit why. You may need to adjust your KPIs or make adjustments to your strategy. Repeat step two, qualitative research, until you get the answers that you need.
Ensure that you have a continuous process in place. When you plan a content analysis that is ongoing, your overall process will be low-touch, and you’ll always have data to report. You can eventually use dashboards in the tools that you’re using every day to monitor your data.
At that point, you’ll know that you have a content machine.