Content Marketing

B2B Content Marketing Tips for 2021 (Statistics and Research)

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“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is close to hearing it, can it be heard?” is a philosophical thought that can be adapted to B2B content marketing.

“If I create great B2B content but I can’t count it, does it work?” is the question traders ask regularly. What is the impact? Do I record all the effects? How can I optimize performance?

Measuring the impact of content marketing allows B2B marketers to optimize campaigns for better loyalty and more return on investment (ROI). But what are the strategies, tactics and trends behind measuring content marketing performance for B2B marketers?

To help answer these questions about measuring B2B content performance, Ascend2 and KoMarketing Associates participated in the Content Marketing Performance Marketing Survey between 17 – 25 February 2021. 193 B2B marketing professionals participated in the survey.

Research examines what B2B marketers do to measure content marketing performance. The research findings are available in the research report, Measuring Content Marketing Performance: A B2B Marketer Perspective.

Here are some key pointers in moving your B2B content marketing research forward.

Determining return on investment is the ultimate challenge for B2B marketers in measuring content marketing performance.

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing is vital to optimizing a strategy, but almost half (46%) of B2B marketers consider defining return on investment as a top challenge when it comes to measuring content marketing. 44% of B2B marketers also face a lack of budget and resources needed to effectively measure the success of the strategy.

Bar chart showing the top 3 challenges of measuring content marketing performance

Determining return on investment (ROI), lack of budget / resources and insufficient data are the top 3 challenges for measuring content marketing performance.

Why is it so difficult to determine the return on investment? The math is simple: revenue generated by content, divided by cost (production cost + distribution cost).

But for B2B marketers, how do you calculate the revenue generated? Do you allocate a number of revenue to each potential customer that is generated? Do you see the total sales revenue? How much did content marketing affect a sale? How do you rate activities such as email clicks, notifications, page views, average page time, etc.? How do you track the measurements you need and convert them into dollars that can be used to calculate return on investment?

See how you can overcome the challenge of determining your return on investment:

  • Describe a measurement strategy to follow
  • Find out what technology you need to track these measurements
  • Gather the data into one handy analytical tool
  • Decide how to assign value / revenue to your metrics
  • Keep track of your costs.

Start simple and create as you learn from the data you collect.

2. 66% of B2B marketers find it difficult to measure the performance of a content marketing strategy.

Two-thirds (66%) of B2B marketers find it difficult to measure the performance of a content marketing strategy compared to one-third (34%) who find it mediocre or extremely easy. 57% describe this difficulty as moderate, while another quarter (25%) of those surveyed report that measuring the effectiveness of content marketing is moderately easy.

Bar chart showing views of B2B marketers on the difficulty of measuring content marketing.

57% of B2B users find it difficult to measure content marketing performance.

Do not give up on the need to measure content marketing performance. Content marketing is an investment that influences your business strategy, brand management, audience loyalty and thought leadership.

We can all find instances of how content marketing significantly impacted a significant deal, reduced selling costs, or extended the impact of your brand. It can be difficult, but it is important to find consistent ways to measure and show impact on your leadership team.

2. 37% of B2B users use 3-5 tools to measure content marketing performance.

Content marketing usually involves the use of a wide range of channels in an overall marketing strategy. One in five (21%) B2B marketers report using six or more tools to measure content marketing performance. Another 37% of respondents say they use between three and five tools and 29% measure performance with two tools or less.

Marketing leaders need to embrace technology. A powerful technology stack provides you with more information about your audience, your customers (individuals or companies) and the impact of your campaigns. Technology also allows you to be more efficient, organized and flexible as you monitor performance and report performance to the team.

4. Analytics tools, CRM systems and marketing automation solutions are the most important tools for measuring content marketing performance.

What types of tools do B2B marketers find most effective in measuring content marketing performance? More than half (53%) of respondents placed analysis tools at the top of the list. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation technologies are also critical to overall success for 38% and 34% of B2B marketers, respectively.

Bar chart showing the most important tools needed to measure content marketing performance.

Analytics tools, CRM systems and marketing automation solutions are the most important tools for measuring content marketing performance, according to B2B marketers.

Content marketing is based on data. Get started with a consistent Google Analytics setting. Focus on four key areas: traffic, navigation, organic search and conversions.

5. Conversion rate is the most important measure of content marketing metrics, according to 50% of B2B marketers.

About half of B2B marketers agree that conversion rate (50%) and website traffic (46%) are among the most important metrics to consider when measuring the overall performance of a content marketing strategy. Loyalty on social media channels also ranks high on the list of important metrics for 39% of respondents.

Bar chart showing the 3 most important content marketing metrics.

Conversion rate, website traffic and social media loyalty are the top 3 most important metrics, according to B2B marketers.

Do not guess about the performance of your content marketing. Instead, divert your thinking to good things in life. Monitor and analyze performance to identify trends and tailor your strategy based on your findings. Marketing optimization is never complete. is an ongoing process.

Final thoughts

Content marketing is essential for successful B2B marketing, so measuring performance is a priority. Download Measuring Content Marketing Performance: A B2B Marketer Perspective for research-based strategies, tactics and trends for B2B content marketing next year.

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