Using the Buyer’s Journey to Evaluate Content Marketing Success
Content marketing is key to B2B online success, but many marketers still don’t fully understand how these efforts contribute to the bottom line. With the abundance of analytics tools available, we have many different ways to track behaviors and develop attribution models. However, lacking a data analyst or a personal desire to dive into the numbers can leave us scratching our heads on where to start.
To identify important data worth evaluating, and in turn, what KPIs to focus on, we need to dig into the goals of our content marketing strategy. One widely-accepted strategy is to follow the traditional inbound marketing methodology originated by HubSpot. Aimed at attracting new site visitors and converting them into leads, content pieces can guide individuals through the buyer’s journey to become qualified leads for the sales team. From there, the actions these pieces encourage become the KPIs in the buyer’s journey that we can focus on to determine ROI.
Establishing KPIs at each stage of the buyer’s journey
The structure of this model can be simplified according to those primary goals for the content strategy: attracting new visitors and converting them into leads. The KPIs for attracting new visitors is logically the number of new visitors a page attracts, or the number of new sessions initiated. Likewise, the key metric for conversions is the number of forms completed for the respective content piece.
The key part of this model is the final step of calculating new customers from these content marketing efforts—or, the number of buyers who completed the journey. Since this data often lives with the sales team, creating a cross-team partnership is important to gaining the full perspective. Access to this data allows your marketing team to gain a stronger understanding of what a valuable lead looks like.
Evaluating your efforts
Once you have these metrics, you can understand how content strategy is performing as a whole and identify where it is driving value. Are your site visitors and new leads becoming profit-driving customers for your sales team? If not, is the current site traffic the right audience to convert into leads? Are the leads that are converting becoming customers?
When you start answering these questions, you can begin to identify specific pieces that are superstar content or dropping the ball to attract potential customers. Do any blog posts have above average conversion metrics? Does a specific downloadable guide lead to more customers than others.
Using these three KPIs to outline the buyers journey can provide great foundational insights to identifying success in your content marketing strategy. ROI can be broken down by the goals of each step in the buyer’s journey, identifying where the right traffic and leads are coming from to become new customers.
Kathleen Lavallee is a digital marketing strategist at Gorilla 76.
Putting B2B Content Marketing Into Context
Special Report: Creating a Winning Content Strategy
What B2B Can Teach B2C About Content Marketing