Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
It goes without saying that each investment is expected to payback, therefore simply using a "Spray and Pray" method for Content without using analytics or gathering market feedback is like working in the dark whilst competitors have night vision goggles!
A useful metric is both accurate and aligned to your goals.
- Seth Godin
Start with the end in mind and test alignment with goals?
The definition that opened this post stated an intent to drive profitable customer action, which in sales department language means...they want to win more deals! In marketing terms, raising the conversion rate of leads that become customers.
A great thing with asking sales people what they want is that they are not shy in telling us their opinion of what will help them raise the conversion rate and win more deals...
The issue with the above chart and the challenge for sales enablement teams is that what sales want and what they might need could be 2 very different things. Lets give sales the benefit of the doubt that they would not ask for training from the marketing department, however recent research shows that sales training approach has a significant impact on win rate...the very thing that sales wants!
22.5% win rate improvement using a dynamic coaching process over an ad-hoc sales manager approach.
- taken from CSO Insights "2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study"
Why do we want to measure content performance?
Bottom line it is imperative to determine that resources are used wisely and that every hour or dollar invested in content is giving a quantified payback. Plus content should have shelf life like canned goods not fresh milk left out on a sunny day.
Setting aside the information provided above from a sales department perspective, each selling organisation must be interested in how to reach and engage prospective interested buyers! These should be set as simple foundational measures to test content performance.
If truly starting with the end in mind, perhaps a pertinent question to ask is; "what does my future customer need from me?". If you can address this point then have the opportunity mobilize a potential advocate for your solution that you haven't even met with yet!
It is essential to constantly review the effectiveness of content, questioning if it is attractive and appealing to the intended target audience. Also verifying that the message is engaging and sufficiently compelling to progress the lead through the sales funnel with appropriate velocity.
In terms of content performance, these 3 suggestions may help in delivering a better outcome;
- Less can often deliver more. Look for quality over quantity to avoid the costly ineffective "spray and pray" approach.
- Get a measurement plan in place before you spend a single dollar more on extra content due to an urgent sales request.
- Ensure that Customers need the content you produce and can find it through appropriate channels at the right time on their buying journey!