This is a guest contributed blog post from Michael Gerard, CMO at Curata.
Almost two-thirds of content marketers target buyer personas when creating content. In addition, 69% of marketers use an editorial calendar when creating and curating their content.
Both trends indicate a maturation in content marketing as marketers scale their content marketing practices. However, the best content marketers out there take their game to the next level. What are they focusing on now? Data-driven content marketing.
The old adage by John Wanamaker, somewhat modified, still rings true: “half the money I spend on advertising (replace with ‘content marketing’) is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Without data, who’s to say what content is paying off and what isn’t?
As the majority of marketers focus on improving their ability to scale their content supply chain through editorial calendars and better workflow, only the best of the best content marketers are working to measure the impact of their content on their sales pipeline. This allows them to better manage their investment and demonstrate the impact of content marketing to upper management and across the organization.
Most content marketers today (83%) see an increase in awareness-building as a result of their company’s investment in content marketing during the past 12 months, i.e. Top of the Funnel (TOFU) results. However, those best of the best content marketers dive into analytics deeper into their funnel. They see great results from their content marketing efforts in the form of lead quality and quantity, as presented in the graphic below.
The following framework can provide a solid foundation for a sorely needed content marketing measurement strategy to help get at those deeper funnel metrics:
At the top of the funnel (TOFU), you might look at metrics in these areas: consumption, sharing, retention and engagement. Here’s the breakdown of what to specifically track:
More advanced marketers analyze content-related metrics at the middle (MOFU) and bottom (BOFU) of the funnel. These metrics provide valuable insight into what content works and doesn’t work for increasing lead supply and conversion rates through the entire funnel. In order to get at this data, marketers tap into the power of a new class of software, content marketing platforms, which are consolidating data from the Internet, Google Analytics, and marketing and sales automation systems for a content-centric view.
Examples of metrics at each stage of the funnel include:
- Marketing leads generated by individual pieces of content (or groups/types of content)
- Marketing leads touched by individual pieces of content (or groups/types of content)
- Sales opportunities generated by individual pieces of content (or groups/types of content)
- Sales opportunities touched by individual pieces of content (or groups/types of content)
Data should be at the heart of your content marketing decisions, from what content to publish, whom to hire to create that content, when and how to promote it and more. Without a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t based on hard numbers, you basically roll the dice on the success of your content marketing investment.