As the VP of Marketing in a Content Personalization tech company, I am often being asked: how do you measure your impact? While Content Personalization can triple your engagement, and cut costs per lead by 75%, I usually answer with two words only: lead generation. If you have been in online marketing over the past 4 years, you probably know that the magical word “leads” appear to be resonating well in terms of measuring your marketing’s business impact. It is easy to conceive that more leads = more sales.
Now, when B2B content marketers talk leads, they usually mean marketing qualified leads, or MQLs, also known as top of funnel leads, or TOFU leads. They talk much less about their contribution to lead nurturing, often attributed mainly to email campaign performed by Marketing Automation Platforms. Throughout the nurturing process, prospects download more content. Companies that measure marketing efficiency solely on the number of leads generated, do not like to count secondary content interactions, nor do they measure their impact.
So I set out to test it.
As a guideline, I used Aberdeen’s report, called “The Future of Content Marketing: the Age of Content Science” (free subscription required and highly recommended). According to its highlighted 4 takeaways, the best-in-class marketers:
• Were more strategic in their content planning and production
• Were collecting and keeping data to make informed decisions
• Were having 5 times as much revenue contribution from their content efforts
• Were twice as likely to track behavior in real time
This is how I put it into practice:
I got strategic with my content production (say hello to checkbox no.1)
This stage consisted of 3 time consuming steps:
1 – Collecting the data (consider checkbox no. 2 checked).
To get this party started, we ran an analysis of some of the best websites we’re working on. The data we came back and showed that opportunities download 1.5 to 3 times more content than leads who never converted into opportunities. Granted, in some cases the actual act of downloading 2 or more content items is the very criteria to becoming an opportunity. But still, people who show real interest in your solution read more about you to get a better understanding of what it is that your offering, and what is your expertise all about. But what was that content the prospects found important enough?
Looking at our own content pool, we broke it down according to funnel stage – TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content.
2 – Analyzing it. This is where we found our insights: what was missing?
3 – Acting on our own isights. When we ran our own analysis, we saw mostly TOFU and some MOFU content. We then set out to create content and interactions for the lower stages of the buyer journey – more case studies, more product features posts. But we also noticed that we had been losing lots of opportunities who signed up for a Free Trial, but never got to paste our snippet on their website. To address that funnel fail, we decided to provide a “white gloves” treatment from earlier in the process. So we replaced the Free Trial call-to-action with a “Request a Demo” call to action, picking up prospects from the moment they show buying intent.
The revenue contribution
The business impact here was dramatic. Whereas just under 15% of online opportunities had previously survived the “Start Free Trial” stage, now more than 42% of our online opportunities come by directly requesting a demo. We are also reducing early stage abandonment, and increasing overall conversion rates from opportunities into paying customers. And yes, that was checkbox no. 3.
That real-time thing
What Aberdeen calls “track behavior in real-time” I simply call online marketing. Because if it isn’t in real-time, than it is a matter of analytics and planning. Naturally, for real-time content interactions, I use BrightInfo’s SaaS solution, but I know of other marketers of who put their time and money to develop their own system, as this is not something that you can only do with technology. But I like to stay ahead of the curve, both in terms of product and in terms of our marketing strategy, so I use it on different channels. And I can now personalize the content I am offering in real-time on more touch-points: on our website, on professional publications, and even on Social Media through our newest feature, Dynamic Content Retargeting. It would take time to connect all these new dots into the business impact here, but so far initial results are excellent, and the fact remains that the best-in-class marketers are twice as likely to track behavior in real-time. That was checkbox no. 4.
I set out to realize the business value of secondary content conversions, but found out much more about my company's own broken funnel – and how to make it work much better. I am now even a bigger fan of combining content and content technology. Now, if you want to do the same for your marketing efforts, you can kindly ask for a demo, and we will gladly schedule one:
The post This Is What We Did to Get Our Content to Sell More appeared first on BrightInfo.