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John Hayes
By
March 13, 2014

How to tell whether you are getting value from your content marketing to engineers?

A dollars and cents framework for scoring content campaigns.  

dollarscents2This post will lay out a dollars and cents framework for scoring the metrics of your content marketing campaigns to engineers.  It’s hard, because there are multiple steps in the buyers’ journey from your content piece to a new industrial customer signing a deal with your sales team. 

With so much separating your marketing efforts from the eventual purchase, you might be inclined to follow the crowd and conduct content marketing because everyone else is.  But that approach won’t make you CMO. 

The CMO has to decide how much budget to allocate to branding as well as to lead generation activities.  Your content marketing efforts contribute to both so you need a sound method to measure the success of each.

What content marketing metrics can you measure?

There are a number of indicators as to how your content is performing.  Let’s try to put some dollar figures on them.  Here are some measurements to gauge success at various stages of content consumption:

  • Page views
  • Engagement, including comments and social shares
  • Clicks on your calls to action
  • Conversions on your landing page

The dollars and cents from a lead perspective

Let’s say you’ve already done some analysis and concluded that conversions on your call to action are worth $500.  If your conversion rate is 20%, then it stands to reason that clicks on your CTA are worth $100.  Backing up from there, if your CTR on the piece of content is 3%, then a page view is worth $3. 

You can validate your math by checking to see what the value of a click is on Facebook, Google Adwords and LinkedIn.

If all you are measuring is lead generation, then you can stop right now.  Your campaign can be measured in page views and clicks in the first week and then validated by conversions over time.  Your job is then to find distribution channels where engineers hang out and getting your content amplified to those audiences.

Measuring the value of branding

There is also a branding value to page views, even when you are running a lead gen campaign.  These page views represent introductions to your brand for new visitors and re-engagement for people who already know your product. 

2014.03.13picTo arrive at a fair value for a page view, consider how much budget your company allocates to your web site development, content creation and to social media.  If you were to divide that budget by the total number of pages that your web site generates, then that can give you a rough approximation of the value of a page view.  Say your total budget for those activities is $1M and your site sees 500,000 page views per year.  In that case, a page view is worth $2.  For many of our clients, this figure can be up to 100X higher. 

Social shares and comments drive additional page views. Shares are good indicators that a piece of content is building brand value that will pay you back in more revenue at a future date. 

In a survey of online retailers, Addshoppers determined that the value of a social share ranged from as little as $.85 on Twitter up to $5.08 on Google+.  The value of B2B content shares is likely to be higher due to the higher average transaction value, but let’s just attribute an average value of $3.50 to any and all social shares. 

 

Getting to the total

For a branding campaign you would only count page views and shares.  Let’s use the example in the image above:

Page view value is ($2) x number of page views (7,000) =                                       $14,000

Share value is average social sharing value ($3.50) x number of shares (102) =        $357

Total is Page view value + Share Value =                                                              $14,357

For a lead generation campaign, you would add the value page views for leads (say $3 per page view in the above example) to the value of the branding to get the total.

I could go on about this indefinitely, but it would be better to hear your thoughts on it.  So let me hear from you in the comments.

John

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