Conversions are the end goal for most enterprise content marketers. However, determining the source of those customer acquisitions can be tricky. Yet, it’s critical to identify content-assisted conversions because that’s what proves your content marketing ROI.
The basis of attributing these comes down to tracking tools, often including (but not limited to) your content analytics. Attribution requires that you have everything in place on the back end to map out and track a customer’s journey accurately. These journeys are unique and often fragmented, making it even more difficult to measure.
If you’re struggling with how to connect content marketing to revenue, we’ve got tips, ideas, and more to get you there.
Measuring Content Performance: How Accurate Are You?
The first thing to consider is how you measure content performance currently. Most enterprises do this, with 75 percent stating they do in the CMI (Content Marketing Institute) 2022 B2B Research report.
So, what do they measure? Many things can shed light on how well content worked to attract and acquire customers, including engagement in various channels, website traffic, SEO rankings, and conversions. Those metrics that matter should help you understand content marketing ROI, but it’s a struggle, according to the report. In fact, 51 percent of respondents said their ability to demonstrate ROI was average.
If your team also finds this challenging, you’ll need to assess your tracking mechanisms and capabilities. Just saying that marketing, in general, contributed to leads that became opportunities tells an incomplete story. That means you’ll need to get more in touch with the customer journey and be able to follow it more accurately.
The Customer Journey: It’s No Longer Linear
It is hard to identify and increase content-assisted conversions because the customer journey is no longer linear. It’s fragmented. It’s rather messy as buyers navigate through omni-channel explorations when making buying decisions. Google coined the phrase the “messy middle.” They describe it as a “complex space between triggers and purchase, where customers are won and lost.”
Google noted two things happen in the middle — exploration and evaluation. Customers vacillate between the two. That cycle is even longer for products or services with a long sales cycle and multiple decision-makers.
For example, many enterprise software purchasing sales cycles can be as long as a year. Initially, there is a lot of exploration to determine what’s available. Then a group of buyers may discuss options, which leads to more research.
Next, evaluations of shortlists may occur, but that doesn’t mean they’ll buy now. They may agree they need more exploration. Along the way, these customers will be consuming a lot of content. B2B buyers consume 13 pieces of content before they want to speak to sales. Most of it, eight pieces, are vendor sources.
To ensure that content gets the credit it deserves in creating conversions, you’ll need a few key things in place.
What You Need to Measure Content-Assisted Conversions Effectively
Make sure your content gets the credit by doing these things.
Ensure You Have Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Do you define the funnel stage of all your content assets? That’s an important first step. If you haven’t been doing this, you’ll want to start with a content audit to evaluate where you’re at and what you have. You’ll likely find that the abundance of your content is ToFU (top-of-the-funnel) awareness content that educates and helps buyers understand their problems better.
ToFU content is the attraction and can be where customers first encounter your brand because you rank well on Google, for instance. But it’s not usually content that converts.
Next is MoFU (middle-of-the-funnel), which is content that helps users consider the solutions to their problems. It builds on the story from awareness, driving users to more clearly comprehend how your products or services resolve their pain points. This content could deliver conversions, especially if the buyer feels you stand out among peers.
The final stage, BoFU (bottom-of-the-funnel), is content that focuses specifically on the conversion. This content is proof that your solution works. It’s case studies, use cases, video testimonials, product comparisons, and even user-generated content. You will likely find this is the stage where you need to develop more content because it’s the most critical component in conversions.
Tracking & Attribution
As customers go through the funnel, perhaps more than once, you want to know how they get introduced to your content and what action they took after consuming it. To do this accurately, you have to have tracking in place, including:
- Understanding first-click attribution: How did a prospect first become a lead? Was it from SEO? A third-party post? A paid ad?
- Measuring last-click attribution: How did the person become an MQL (marketing qualified lead)? At this point, the buyer took an action of buying intent, so how did they get to this decision? If it was because they consumed content and clicked a CTA (call to action) to get a demo or make a purchase, you’ll know this IF you have a tracking code for every CTA.
You can also use Google Analytics conversion goals as prospects interact with your website. However, you still need to ensure that proper tagging and event tracking is set up. Conversions in GA correlate to the goals you created. You can then look at the source of those conversions and see the referrals to determine content’s role.
Shown above on the right, assisted conversions is a standard metric and report that we provide within DivvyHQ Analytics.
Along with tracking, you also want to have lead scoring in place. This is applicable when you’re tracking a prospect’s journey through your sales funnel (lead > sales convo > close). Not every company or lead needs this — some people convert without even talking to sales.
If you lead score to qualify prospects and pass to sales, you agree that when a prospect hits a certain score, they are sales-ready. How they get points often has everything to do with content, such as:
- Downloading a gated ebook
- Visiting multiple blog pages
- Watching product/service videos
- Opening and clicking on emails within nurture campaigns
You Know How to Identify, So How Do You Improve?
To increase content-assisted conversions, you’ll want to look at your data. What type or topic contributes to conversions the most? Based on these findings, create more of this.
Your focus should be on keeping your funnels full. This often requires a consistent effort of creating new demand gen content that addresses challenges and specific audiences. The more relevant the content is, the more likely they’ll download it and begin their journey.
Content-Assisted Conversions: Creating, Measuring, and Improving Content Is Easier with Divvy
There’s a lot that needs to happen to decipher conversions. You need tools that help you create, tag, track, measure, and improve. You can find almost all of that within Divvy — an award-winning content marketing platform that is purpose-built for enterprise teams. Try it today for free!