It's a good thing marketers love to tell stories, because that's all the rage today. Brands say content marketing works, and it's why companies are finding new ways to tell their tales. Brands are becoming media companies, and it's one of the reasons IBM now has a 24/7 newsroom, Renee Ducre tells a group of C-level executives on Tuesday in New York during a B-to-B roundtable hosted by Target Marketing. Ducre, the global marketing director of IBM Social Business at IBM Corporation, spoke during "Just Business: Challenges and Opportunities in Modern B-to-B Marketing" held at The Union League Club of New York.
Just a day before, Rizvan Ullah of Ranktactics had walked marketers through how to grab ROI from the creative effort in his Problogger post, "Analytics for Content Marketers and Bloggers: What Do You Need to Track?"
Here are the steps Ullah advises brands to take with content marketing:
- What's the Desired Result? Marketers need to know what they want to achieve before starting. Ullah says the most common goals are "profit, traffic, social media buzz, subscribers or even advertising conversions."
- High-quality Content? Check. But How Much of It? Ullah says this is where analytics come to the rescue. The short answer is marketers need to produce enough content to "get a clear-cut reading into what content, landing page, queries have been producing significant results." (Basically, it'll be evident there's not enough content if marketers can't answer these questions.) Ullah suggests marketers connect Google Webmaster Tools to their analytics to see all the results at once.
- Monitor User Engagement. The higher the engagement, the more likely it is that the marketer will achieve the desired results, he says.
"These days, you have many options available which will allow a reader to engage directly with your content," Ullah writes. "For example, you have social shares, blog commenting, clickthrough, bounce rate and even opt-ins."
- Traffic Is the Most Important Metric of All. This proves the content is resonating with readers, he says. "I would analyze the highest performing pages ... and optimize those with banner ads, email opt-in forms or even affiliate links to increase conversions," Ullah opines.
- What's the Effect? Nothing beats conversions, he says. "This is why it's important to keep checking your statistics in affiliate networks, email platform[s] or advertising network[s]," Ullah writes.
How many marketers have already found the ROI of content marketing?