This is a challenge most B2B marketers are asking themselves this year. To give you some context, the content marketing machine shows no sign of slowing – growing to a $60 billion+ industry, according to Research Dive. The global pandemic sent that growth into over-drive as marketing budgets turned away from traditional methods like offline and events – into digital and content.
Content marketers as a result of this are facing new challenges, research shows we’re being asked to prioritise two things with our content marketing 1. Get more leads and 2. Improve content quality. No pressure, yeah?
Another consideration in this mix is our audience. More now than ever they are being totally saturated with content and some of it is great – but also, some it is… let’s just say they might have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to something that truly answers the problems they might be facing.
So, whilst we went into a content creation frenzy for our audiences – we forgot to notice that vendor created content isn’t what it used to be. In fact, according to Trust Radius our audience ranks vendor created content as one of the least trusted sources they go to for information.
That’s a major problem. For all the SEO optimised copy, forms-filled or comments on social media – we’re failing to ask the people that matter, our audience what do they think about our content?
What is good content performance then?
The age-old question isn’t it – depending on where you go – you will find a wide range of thoughts, that tend to be crafted from the background of that creator. Whether it’s an SEO leaning, an analytics preference or how many leads we can attribute to an asset.
The last one is a funny one too, in that we measure forms-filled on a gated landing pagebut – we’re really just assessing how good the copy was to advertise the asset, as opposed to the asset itself. We kind of miss the point there, in that we can’t make better content based on one number alone.
How do we measure content performance now?
The industry authority on content is arguably the Content Marketing Institute have produced this helpful graphic to show all the ways we can measure content:
Equally, there’s several excellent articles to be read from the liked of Smart Insights and OptInMonster, which follow a similar formula, but the core values tend to be:
- Awareness – Web traffic, bounce rates, visit dwell time & user flows etc.
- Engagement – Blog and social media comments, likes etc.
- Lead gen – Forms completed, and emails signed up for…
- Sales – Arguably Tenuous links to how many ‘sales’ can be attributed to content on the journey from attribution data.
You will spot a common theme here and that it’s nearly all quantitative data. Which leaves huge amounts of room for us to speculate on what ‘valuable content’ looks like. It’s incredibly unstructured and unhelpful for content creators to work with.
Was it the low bounce rate? The number of subscribers acquired? Or the keyword ranking of the asset – that makes it good content? These are all valuable metrics for sure – but we’re missing something crucial. We’re missing context
None of these metrics will tell us whether the content helped our audience, assisted in solving a problem or inspired a user to request a demo or better yet actually ring an inbound team (does this happen still?)
You know, real actual, living, breathing context behind the content. Marketing has missed a trick that software engineers have nailed for years, in that they combine quantitative metrics with the context from qualitative data to shape, mould and hone their craft.
Measuring the real value of your content
We think there is a solution, and it’s so obvious it’s staring us in the face. Ask the people that matter – your audience. With Rockee you can collect content marketing ratings and reviews platform on all your assets. The concept is super simple, once a user has read your content, they are given the option to leave a rating (1-5) and to leave a review of how they found the asset.
Whether it’s a gated hero asset or something as simple as a blog. In just seconds you can get real user feedback that gives you a value to understand whether you’re hitting the mark with your target audience.
All this data sits in a dashboard which allows users to segment and measure content performance by content name, asset type and campaign – giving you real-time results as they come in.
What about the problem of waning trust in vendor content?
Here’s where fortune will favour the brave. E-commerce had this problem over a decade ago with a boom in websites selling online – but then it started suffering from those with less than honourable intentions, or a bad service. So, what did the best ones do? They collected user reviews and published trust badges across their website. Bezos become a billionaire off the back of it (or is it trillionaire these days, if that’s a thing?)
B2C has done it so well, that it’s now ingrained in every purchase decision we make. Whether I’m buying a holiday, booking a table at a restaurant or shopping for Air Jordan 1 Chicago’s (I tried to sound cool here ). We read a review. We validate the experience. We want to learn from the wisdom of the crowd.
For us as B2B marketers, there is a huge opportunity for the best content creators, who put real craft and pride in their work to stand out. Rockee is not for those churning out endless whitepapers or regurgitated research reports, with a click-bait hook to encourage a download.
It’s a way for the best creators to keep making the great content, iterate when it could be improved and use Rockee ratings and reviews trust badges to show the world you’re the best at what you do.
This is a chance to celebrate the content makers and creators who make content that truly rocks. It’s time for the very best in B2B to stand out.