Are you planning to promote your plumbing, lighting, painting, concrete pouring, heating and cooling systems, or alarm company's products or services using high-quality content? Known as content marketing, it's become an increasingly popular promotional tactic used by specialty contractors. Statistics show, in fact, that over nine in 10 B2B companies currently use content marketing to reach and engage with their audience of buyers. If you're thinking about using content marketing in your B2B company's operations, though, you'll need to know how to measure its success.
What Is Content Marketing?
First and foremost, it's important to understand what, exactly, content marketing it. Maybe you've come across the term "content marketing" when researching new marketing and sales tactics, or perhaps you've heard a coworker talk about it. Regardless, you must familiarize yourself with the definition of content marketing. Only then can you effectively track the success of your B2B company's content marketing strategy.
While there's no universal definition for it, content marketing is best described as the act of creating, publishing and sharing high-quality content in front of your B2B company's audience. It's a form of inbound marketing that attracts buyers naturally. When you publish content on websites and platforms that are frequently used by your B2B company's audience, buyers will find it on their own free will. And if a buyer likes your content, he or she may be interested in purchasing one of your B2B company's products or services -- that's the foundation on which content marketing operates.
You can measure the success of your B2B company's content marketing strategy by tracking click-through rates (CTRs). Whether you publish a blog post, a whitepaper, a how-to guide or a social media post, you'll probably want to include a link in your content. CTR is the percentage of readers who clicked the link in your content. If 1,000 readers saw your content and 100 of them clicked the link, its CTR would be 10%.
You should create, as well as optimize, your B2B company's content for the highest possible CTR, as it reveals how many buyers are interacting with your content by clicking the link. If few or no buyers click the link, your B2B company won't generate many new sales from content marketing.
In addition to CTRs, you can track conversion rates to measure B2B content marketing success. Conversion rate is the percentage of buyers who make a purchase after reading your content. If a whitepaper reaches 1,000 buyers and 50 of them click the link, its conversion rate would be 5%.
Keep in mind, conversion rate is difficult to track unless you use links. Without links, you won't know how many new sales were the result of content marketing. Links create a digital footprint when clicked, so you can use them to track conversion rates. Just take the number of clicks a link generates and divide it by the number of sales driven by those visitors. The end result is the conversion rate for that piece of content.
While CTRs provide insight into B2B content marketing success, what really matters is total conversions. In other words, how many new sales has your B2B company generated from content marketing? An article or whitepaper may generate a high CTR, as well as a high conversion rate, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will drive a lot of sales for your B2B company. Maybe the content only generates a dozen pageviews. If that's the case, it won't drive many sales, resulting in fewer total conversions.
Don't forget to track the traffic generated by your B2B company's content. If you publish high-quality content that's valuable to your B2B company's audience, it should generate a large amount of traffic. After all, high traffic indicates that buyers are actively seeking out, as well as sharing, your content. If buyers aren't interested in a piece of content, they probably won't read it, nor will they share it with their coworkers or colleagues.
You can increase the amount of traffic your content generates by following these tips:
Social Media Engagement
Another way to measure B2B content marketing success is by tracking social media engagement. All social media networks revolve around user interactions. If a buyer enjoys reading your B2B company's content, he or she may share the content on social media. The number of shares a piece of content generates is indicative of its performance. If an article or whitepaper has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, it's safe to assume that it's performing well for your B2B company.