When it comes to their biggest challenge, most content marketers are in agreement: They’re struggling to measure ROI.
For many years, marketers based their success on metrics like page views and impressions. This was primarily due to the fact that we were limited by the technology and measurement tools available at the time. As the industry evolved, it became clear that those metrics were a better indication of vanity metric-boosting ad spends, rather than quality or brand growth. Over time, we entered a new era of marketing focused on engagement. Marketers turned to metrics like attention and time-on-page, to better determine content effectiveness.
Now, marketers are looking for even more proof that their content is leading to real business results. When meeting with CMOs and defending their content budgets, marketers are under increased pressure to deliver hard metrics and prove that content is driving real business results that the CFO or CEO cares about.
Due to this demand, and the ability to better track the customer journey, we’re moving into an era of performance measurement. All content marketing will be tied to achieving business goals – and marketers will be able to measure the ROI on their work.
At this point, there is a clear connection between content marketing and consumer behavior. The articles people read and the videos they watch ultimately influence their buying decisions. The average person engages with 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase, according to Nielsen.
By using this step-by-step roadmap as your guide, you’ll be able to set yourself up for true content marketing success that you can measure.
Step 1: Choose Your Business Case
Since the goal of content marketing is to measure business results, you first need to define what you hope to achieve.
- Brand Equity: Are you looking to build brand awareness, and use content to help early stage prospects find their way to your website? Or are you interested in improving brand health, and want to create content that will change the way your digital audience feels about your brand?
- Conversions: Do you want to quantify the number of prospects who became customers because they’ve built a relationship with you through your content?
- Loyalty: Are you hoping to engage and inform existing customers through content, with the ultimate goal of retaining them?