Clicks, impressions, unique visits.
They’re all standard metrics marketers use to gauge content performance. But while these metrics may paint a sufficient picture and, with it, steer future business to consumer (B2C) campaigns, these data points likely aren’t enough for a business to business (B2B) marketer.
Think about it. A B2C marketer can simply track unique links, attributing actions taken to a specific piece of content. From there, they can develop a holistic view of individual customer journeys as well as collective trends, understanding that piece of content’s impact on a host of KPIs, including cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA).
B2B marketers don’t necessarily have this luxury. While most have data in their CRM and from a web analytics platform, there’s a level of technical expertise needed to connect the dots and devise an actionable consumer profile from this information.
Likewise, it takes more extensive analysis and testing to fully understand and deliver meaningful experiences during the customer journey. It’s not uncommon for B2B customers to engage on one channel, act on another, and convert on a third — they read a white paper, reach out via phone, and purchase from a sales rep, for example. If your brand can be present and deliver relevant touchpoints as customers move through the pipeline, you’ll be better positioned to drive action and conversion.
A new approach to B2B metrics
Given the diverse touchpoints in a B2B customer journey, it’s easy to miss that the white paper — or blog or social content or podcast — started it all. This, then, makes it more challenging for B2B marketers to understand how a given piece of content has influenced the consumer journey.
However, by leveraging smarter analytics solutions B2B brands can visualize and analyze the entire consumer journey, from first touch to final sale. This will help marketing teams effectively and efficiently steer future content and meaningful customer engagement.
Granted, this doesn’t mean ignoring core metrics — there’s always a place for clicks, impressions, and views in B2B and B2C analytics. That said, these data points should be considered in the context of real revenue and ROI — specifically, by collecting and interpreting revenue and content analytics.
In this sense, revenue analysis enables marketers to analyze deals, sales pipeline, and leads, all within the context of the content engaged with or viewed by a particular consumer. On the flip side, content analytics looks at cumulative revenue and deal size, cumulative sales pipeline, and potential revenue based on considerations such as author or media type.
Making the most of B2B data
Armed with these critical B2B analytics, marketers can move the customer conversion needle in a big way.
Being able to look at data at the deal level or sales pipeline level gives any marketing organization a clearer picture of the value and business impact that’s being driven by a specific piece of content. It also helps show tangible value that can drive organizational buy-in for a content program from the top down — everyone wants to see that their content efforts are paying off and, if they are, it’s easier to generate financial and resource support to do even more.
Beyond that, though, this data can be used to improve content development and distribution. Knowing what type of content closes deals or decreases the sales cycle can give brands a foundation for future testing. Do people who view specific social content convert days or even weeks faster than non-viewers? Are more deals closed from people who subscribe to our newsletter versus those who don’t? This information, together, helps drive future campaigns and helps B2B brands do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Analytics are crucial to great content marketing, but simply looking at clicks and impressions doesn’t give B2B marketers the best view into content performance and attribution. Smarter analytics can empower B2B marketers to create more effective content programs that drive value and true impact for their business.
Learn more about Stoke Pulse, and see how your company can better leverage insights and analytics to drive engagement and action.