Really in-the-know

Learn the latest B2B marketing industry trends, techniques and news stories on our B2B blog to stay ahead of your competition

Are you using B2B marketing content as a conversion assist?

Posted by Kenneth Connolly on 08-Jul-2015 16:43:00

It’s no surprise to find that B2B marketing content is continuing to grow in popularity. With the promise of higher quality leads and reduced costs compared to outbound channels, content ticks all the right boxes. Over the past two years, content has gone from being an after-thought on marketing campaigns (if there was still budget left) to becoming a major player in marketers’ multi-channel campaigns. However, there was always an issue… measuring ROI.

B2B Marketing Content Scrapbook Cover

Only 21% of marketers are successful at tracking ROI – Content Marketing Institute

At a recent marketing event I attended, it became clear that many marketers had opted to simply sidestep the question of content ROI and instead focus on other metrics such as downloads or page views. But this doesn’t need to be the case.

The direct approach

This is the first and easiest way to determine the ROI (and ultimately the success) of your B2B marketing content. This is a process which may not happen often, but one that is easy to manage when it does. Let’s say that you have content which is hosted on a gated landing page. You have written related blogs and social media posts and ensured they all link back to the landing page. Now, imagine this:

B2B-Content-Process-Chart
This is a textbook example of how a piece of marketing content can attract a prospect, turn them into a lead, and drive them towards a sale. When this happens, the measurement of ROI is simple – all costs related to the content can be subtracted from the total sales value of that lead, and the result is pure profit. 

The indirect approach 

The indirect approach is more likely to be the case when using B2B marketing content, but don’t fret, you can still see if your content is working. As we all know, the key to success is a multi-channel campaign, using a range of inbound and outbound activities such as email, direct mail, PPC, content and social media. But with so many opportunities to ‘touch’ prospects and leads, how is it possible to know which were successful? The answer is… attribution. 

With the aid of marketing automation software you’ll be able to watch closely as a prospect converts to a lead and then goes on to become a customer. Once this has happened, it’ll be time to review their entire sales cycle and analyse it in full. Now, unlike the direct process mentioned above, newly converted customers may have initially received an email, this then prompted them to download a piece of content, and then they went back to email correspondence and telephone calls before meeting with a salesperson. 

Given that the initial touch with this customer was email, surely this is the channel which had the biggest impact on their conversion to sale? Well, maybe not. The fact is, they then went on to read the content and continued corresponding with email and phone calls after the initial touch, so it all mattered equally to help push them through the sales funnel. The fact is then, that there were multiple attributing factors to this customer’s conversion to sale, and content was one of them. 

A conversion assist 

This brings us neatly back to the title of the blog - Are you using your B2B marketing content as a conversion assist? Few marketers can comprehensively measure the ROI of their B2B marketing content, which means it’s only a matter of time before they stop dedicating budget to it. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Not only can content ROI be measured, but it plays a highly valuable role in assisting other channels in their conversions. For example, if an email or piece of direct mail has little impact on a lead, a piece of content may be used to keep them engaged and within the sales funnel, until they are ready to convert to the next stage. This ability to prevent the lead going cold and help push them through the sales funnel is a highly valuable asset, and one which very few channels other than content can perform adequately.

For this reason, content shouldn’t just be considered for a campaign because of its ROI potential, but also because of its ability to assist other channels in the lead generation and sales conversion processes. 

To find out more about creating innovative content that helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace and engage your prospects and leads like never before…

Download 'Creating Unique B2B Content: The Ultimate Scrapbook'

Topics: B2B Lead Generation, B2B marketing, B2B Marketing Content, marketing content, B2B Content