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3 Steps to Maximize ROI from B2B Content

In the last post of our three-part blog series derived from conversations at our annual Marketing Madness event held in March, we’ll discuss how to maximize the results from your B2B content. (Read part one on key takeaways here and part two on creating killer content here.)

Marketers know that qualified leads matter most to sales teams and ROI to executives. This forces them to tie bottom-line growth to specific activities, placing immense pressure on tracking content’s performance. Despite knowing this, many B2B marketers find that their content falls flat and fails to deliver the ROI they’re looking for.

To maximize ROI from B2B content, the campaign should always start by establishing the marketing objectives, strategies and tactics. After that, our Marketing Madness event attendees agreed that there are three key next steps all marketers should master:

1. Understand your audience

Attendees at the table led by Tom Williams, VP of Marketing at CCC Information Services, pointed to a common fundamental problem companies face when executing a content campaign: they are targeting the wrong people.

To ensure you’re targeting the right people, start by creating or honing your company’s buyer personas. A well-developed persona will define what your prospects are looking for, along with how and where they’re looking. By referencing your personas’ underlying buyer motivations and objectives, you can ensure you’re reaching the right people with the right content. After all, a great piece of content may result in hundreds of leads, but if you’re not targeting the right people in the first place, those leads won’t deliver the ROI you’re looking for.

2. Establish a multi-channel approach and measurement

Once you understand your audience, it’s time to set the strategy for actually reaching them. Prospects don’t consume content in just one place, so it’s essential to reach your audience through a strategic mix of earned, owned and paid media. Attendees at the table led by Emily Johnson, Senior Marketing Manager at Salesforce, also stressed the value of momentum when promoting content and highlighted the importance of retargeting someone after they interact with a gated asset. By providing more content to your prospect after the first touchpoint, all united by a singular call to action, you can keep them engaged throughout the sales process while nurturing them through the buyer funnel.

After your promotion channels are established, it’s time to set your measurement in place. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) related to your channels to allow measurement of the content campaign’s effectiveness. KPIs across brand awareness, lead generation and sales enablement will allow you to get a robust picture of the success of a campaign and can be measured through a combination of marketing automation campaigns, CRM campaigns, Google Analytics and lead attribution tools.

3. Iterate with data

With a robust understanding of your audience, a multi-channel promotion plan in place and KPIs established to track the campaign’s success, it’s time to launch. But, the work doesn’t stop there. It’s vital to consistently measure the effectiveness of your content campaigns post-launch to identify where your efforts have the most impact. Today’s marketers need to be agile enough to meet consumers’ changing needs, and with the right KPIs in place, you can continually measure the effectiveness of your efforts and use data to iterate on an ongoing basis.

Best of all, once you know what content works well, you can make the most of it. Attendees at the table led by Alicia Johnston, Content and Communications Manager at Sprout Social, agreed that many marketers are missing an opportunity by not fully leveraging the content that works well and instead quickly moving onto the next big thing. Take what’s working and squeeze every bit of juice you can out of it by repurposing and promoting your successful content in new ways – which you can do strategically with data.

For more content marketing methodology and tips on how to use content to convert leads, increase profit margins and strengthen customer loyalty, read our Seven Steps to Generating ROI with B2B Content report.