Content Drives Search, Leads, Sales Opportunities And Ultimately New Customers
We’ve all heard it: Content is king! You have to leverage content in almost every marketing tactic, including on your website, in your account-based marketing program, in your email marketing and now in your sales process too. Content is everywhere. We’ve also all heard that you have to write great compelling content and that quality outpaces quantity every time.
If this is true, then how do you know how good or bad you are at creating all of this content? I mean, if everyone is writing content, how can everyone be good or effective at creating content that drives business results, and how do you know how good you are compared to everyone else out there? Obviously, results like conversion rate, leads generated, sales opportunities created and new customers closed are major indicators.
But all businesses are not created equally, and just because your business is slower to close new clients than others, how do you know how good you are at creating B2B content marketing that impacts your business?
How Are You Strategically Deploying Gated And Ungated Content?
To gate or not to gate? That is the question. This comes down to your marketing goals and marketing strategy. If you want to create awareness for your brand, company, product or service, ungating is the way to go. Why put up a roadblock or extra friction for people who are trying to get to know you?
But if leads are your mission, gating at least some of your content is required. Once you gate some or all of your content, only those people serious about learning, watching or reading your content are going to complete the forms. But you will have that new contact information to nurture and turn people from lead to sales opportunity and eventually to a new customer.
This is also where your overall marketing strategy is important toward helping you make the decision around gating. Gating isn’t all or nothing, either. You can choose to gate key pieces of content and leave others ungated. Just know that for every piece of content you leave ungated, you’ll be losing the opportunity to collect contact information that can be helpful down the road.
How Much Content Do You Have On Your Website?
How much is too much? How much is not enough? The answer to these questions has a lot to do with the complexity of the people you’re trying to attract, engage and convert on your website and with your overall content effort.
If you have more than one or two target personas, you’re going to need more content. If your buyer journey is extra complex or long, you might need more content. If you’re going to be fanatical (and you should be) about providing all of your content in context to a prospect’s journey or their specific challenges, this might mean more content over time.
You should also have a constant grooming effort where you’re removing older content that is no longer performing and replacing it with new content to see how well it performs. You may have high-performing content offers that stay on your site long term, but by constantly cycling in new pieces and cycling out older pieces, you’ll be optimizing the conversion rates on your site and your visitors’ experiences with your content.
What Is The Site-Wide Conversion Rate?
Want to quickly see how good you are at content marketing? Look the site-wide conversion rate. Assuming you’re using a fair amount of gated content, you can see quickly if your rate is under 1%, which means you have a lot of room for improvement. If you’re between 1% and 3%, you’re pretty average at using content marketing to drive leads. If your site is above 3%, you’re in the top 25% nationally, and you have something to make your mother proud.
Site-wide conversion rate isn’t just about content. So before you get crazy and start scheduling the parade, understand that site-wide conversion rates also have to do with website experience, landing page copy and design, form fields, CTA buttons and more. While content has an impact on site-wide conversion rates, other marketing variables influence that performance. Keep that in mind when evaluating your content and website stats.
Are You Using Different Types Of Content Formats?
Different types of people prefer different types of content formats. The more you match these formats to your personas’ content habits, the better your conversion and engagement rates. Video, podcasts, infographics, blog posts and surveys are all different types of content formats.
Make sure you understand your personas intimately enough to know what content format fits their profile. Engineering and accounting types like to read. Marketing and creative types like to watch. Some profiles like and need content in a variety of formats. Your content production plans need to match these perfectly.
Are You Nurturing Your Leads With Additional Content?
People in the advertising world will tell you that you need to advertise to someone seven times before they get the message. That may or may not be true, but what is true is that it’s highly unlikely someone will download a whitepaper and five minutes later buy your product or service. More likely, they’ll be somewhere in that buyer journey, and your content will be helping them continue that journey.
This is why lead nurturing is such a big part of content marketing. You need to stay in touch and continue the conversation with anyone who downloads your content. In addition, that nurture campaign needs to be strategic in nature. It needs to help continue a buyer journey and help them move forward in that process with your company. Offering them additional content options helps you to create a sales process designed to get them to know, like and trust your company.
The better you nurture and support their journey, the more likely they will be to select you and make that selection quickly. Closing more sales opportunities more frequently and doing it in less time are two big indicators that your content marketing strategy is working.
These are just a handful of content-related questions to help you gauge how effective your content might be right now. In the content grader, we have more questions to completely assess your content marketing efforts and compare those efforts to your peers. We’ll let you know how you stack up to other people who have had their content efforts graded. Once you see how you’re doing, the grader report will provide recommendations on how to improve your performance and use content to generate more leads, sales opportunities and new customers.
Content is part of so many marketing- and sales-related initiatives these days that it’s hard to know how it contributes and how it’s impacting your ability to hit your revenue goals. The metrics associated with views, downloads, conversions, CTA clicks, landing page visits and shares on social are all great places to start. But ultimately, high-quality content marketing should be leading to more new customers, a higher close rate and a shorter sales cycle. If you’re not seeing these kind of results, you have improvements to make to your content efforts.
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