Marketers increasingly recognize that if they want higher ROI, more qualified sales leads, lower cost per acquisition, and increased brand authority, inbound marketing is essential. Inbound marketing is unlike traditional outbound marketing approaches that have marketers vying for customers’ attention via TV and radio ads, direct mail, trade shows, telemarketing, and cold calling. Instead, inbound focuses on having potential leads come to you via company-created Internet content that drives visitors to your website, engages them, and helps your sales team convert them into customers and loyal brand followers.
Practically all B2B marketers agree that content marketing works, but not everyone is clear on how exactly to calculate the ROI and business value of a company’s content marketing investment. Assessing the quality of content - Is the content original and audience-appropriate? Does it tell a story or add value to the site? Is the tone, spelling, and grammar pitch-perfect? - is one thing. But determining the bottom- line impact or business benefit of each blog post, article, email, e-book, case study, podcast, infographic, or social campaign is quite another - and one of the trickier challenges facing marketers today.
You can use a number of metrics to measure content performance, depending on your business goals and what you intended for your content marketing program to achieve. Was your content written to acquire customers or increase revenue and profit? Position your brand or tell your product story? Enhance customer engagement? Acquire better-quality leads? Among the most obvious measurements of content marketing success would be ROI (the revenue gained from content marketing compared to the amount spent on creating and distributing content), number of qualified leads, and percentage of lead conversions to closed sales generated by the content. Other important indicators of content effectiveness include: