Content publishing is the most powerful marketing tactic available to B2B marketers. Brands are churning out content at an incredible pace, and 38% of marketers are publishing new content at least weekly, if not more often.
Most brands, however, aren't great at understanding how to maximize their content’s ROI. A paltry 6% of the respondents to Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 B2B Content Marketing report said that their organization measures and scales content efforts effectively.
It’s time to fix that. Today’s tools make it easier than ever to know what to create, successfully engage the right audience, and bring in leads from it. Let's explore how you can leverage technology within your existing content marketing process to get the best possible ROI.
1. Gear Content Toward Your Unbranded Search Traffic
Be deliberate about attracting unbranded search traffic. Branded searches, or those with your name or brand attached to them, are considered high-intent searches – these people already know you and are therefore likely relatively advanced in their buyer journeys.
Unbranded searches, on the other hand, involve generic terms that speak to people’s pain points, or the types of solutions that they have in mind for addressing those pain points. In other words, unbranded search referrals are people who click through from SERPs to your pages having limited familiarity with you or your products. These are your fresh opportunities, and it’s important to make sure your search footprint is deep enough to send enough of them your way.
It is, of course, far easier to rank for branded search terms than unbranded ones. Check your web analytics to see what keywords are sending visitors to your content, and make sure that you’re attracting a healthy share of both types of people. Track the number of people coming to you for each of your top-performing unbranded search terms, and multiply that amount by the value of your average sale. This will give you an approximate value for that keyword referral.
Wheelhouse Digital Marketing Group offers a useful “Google Analytics Non-Brand Traffic Estimator” to help you get around your “(not provided)” challenges. The tool’s landing page also includes handy instructions for building a custom segment in Analytics to filter out branded and hidden keywords.
Need more unbranded search traffic? Improve your discoverability by creating more content for the unbranded search terms that are already referring you the most qualified visitors. Create evergreen content so people will keep coming to it. Over time, your payoff can be well worth the time investment, so focus on creating quality content that’s optimized for relevant, high-volume, low-competition searches. Put forth the necessary time and effort to provide real value and you’ll start to see the results in your ROI.
Of course it's important to remember there are other factors that contribute to your ROI, such as brand awareness and customer loyalty. The more people see your content, the more they'll become aware of your brand. Even if they don't click through right then and there, you're becoming more visible and more credible, smoothing the journey from discovery to purchase.
2. Repurpose The Content That Performs Best On Social
Easily see what's trending and who's engaging via a dashboard that gives you a holistic view. Tools like Cyfe make it easy to create a comprehensive social media dashboard where you can keep track of the metrics that matter.
So, what should you keep an eye on?
- Follows and fans – What content is driving the most micro-conversions within social channels?
- Content relevance – What content is being shared the most and clicked on the most?
- Brand exposure – What types of content posts are being shared and therefore expanding your reach most? What’s driving the most comments?
- Keywords that are working (and those that aren’t) – Are there certain keywords that appear in the content that’s performing the best? This is where you should focus your content creation efforts.
Social media metrics – and in particular, keyword metrics – are powerful for understanding your audience and what they want to see. Look to your top performing social posts to inform better content creation moving forward. Give people more of what they want.
Check your analytics, and then repurpose your best performing content into gated, high-value content resources, to maximize your lead generation. It can likewise be a good move to iterate and drill down into these topics, so as to keep your blog and social media feeds dynamic. Providing this helpful information to your audience is a sure-fire way to build trust, credibility and loyalty.
When you see those results, focus on creating more content, or repurposing existing content, around the content that is doing well. Stop wasting time on what's not performing well, and adjust your strategy to include more of what you know your audience likes and responds to.
3. Leverage Tech To Capture More Leads
Today’s B2B buyers prefer to do their own online research for purchase decisions, so there’s a solid chance that your best prospects have already visited your website. If you do a good job of driving the right kind of traffic to your squeeze pages, it's easy enough to get leads from the content you keep under lock and key. The challenge now is getting more leads from your ungated content.
You can offer content upgrades, like downloadable checklists, templates, and more, to any blog post that calls for it. You can use tools like Callpage to offer free callbacks and get more of your website visitors on the phone. And there are plenty more lead capture tools you can leverage to gain access to the anonymous people visiting your site.
Why does this matter? Timing is everything in sales. If they’ve been on your site already, then in a sense, they are in your funnel and ripe for more in-depth content and deeper connections.
We know publishing is the most powerful marketing strategy for those in the B2B space. And while it has absolutely been proven to work, many of us still struggle to maximize our content ROI. Leverage technology to analyze what’s working, then use that data to create more of the right content and pull leads from people who are visiting your website.
This is how you maximize your efforts and make your content work harder for you.
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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com