Is your content marketing growing your business? Here’s a checklist to guide your thinking.
Reflect, for a moment, on your organization’s marketing efforts over the past year. You identified your target audience, laid out a content strategy, created (and produced against) an editorial calendar, and distributed that content out across your preferred platforms and channels. Hopefully you even followed our five-step process to improve your content marketing results!
But… was it successful? Some marketers may be quick to point to visibility metrics like pageviews or impressions as a shorthand for a campaign’s success, but we can take that a step further. The right question to ask: are you meeting your core business objectives?
For most organizations, this question is more nuanced than any one metric can answer. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist to help you evaluate whether your content is helping to grow your business.
And if you would like a printable worksheet to take down qualitative notes on each question, we’ve put together a checklist that you can fill out with you team. Share it with colleagues to see what they think about your content marketing efforts as well!
Step #1: Assess Top of the Funnel
For most content strategies, getting people in the door is table stakes. What is more important is figuring out how to get them to return — either organically or via a nurture campaign of some kind.
- Are you seeing consistent growth in website traffic since the beginning of your content marketing efforts?
- Are you getting a steady stream of subscriptions into a nurture campaign, your organization’s newsletter, or another form of communication?
- Are these visitors and subscribers mostly within your target audience?
Step #2: Evaluate Bottom of the Funnel
Content should not just help bring people into the funnel — it should also help push them through the funnel. In a best case scenario, your sales team is both using content in their own outreach as well as getting inbound leads that can be attributed directly to your content marketing efforts.
- Are you seeing an uptick in inbound leads since the beginning of your content marketing efforts?
- Are you able to attribute any sales meetings (or progress toward meetings) to specific content campaigns?
- Have any lead conversions been driven by shared content?
Step #3: Determine If You’re Reaching New Audiences
Even if your funnel is optimized, there are other ways content can still help your organization. Content marketing campaigns can also help to reach aspirational audiences to expand your business’s reach.
- Are your content marketing efforts helping you reach new markets, audience segments, or categories?
- Is your content reaching the “audiences of your audience” (those people that might influence your true target audience)?
- Is your content being referenced by media or trade publications?
Step #4: Secure Stakeholder Buy-in
The best content marketing machines get buy-in not just from the marketing and communications team, but throughout the organization. This buy-in ensures you’re getting the full value out of content your organization creates.
- Are you seeing consistent buy-in from internal stakeholders across the organization?
- Are stakeholders participating in the content creation process (either as advisers or as SMEs)?
- Have you identified successful use cases of your content marketing efforts in all the departments in your organization?
Step #5: Drive Client Engagement
Once clients are already bought into your organization, content marketing should still help keep them engaged, either as a periodic reminder of value, or — in a best case scenario — helping to upsell them on future sales opportunities.
- Are clients proactively bringing up your content in project conversations?
- Are your content marketing efforts helping to reduce churn among your clients?
- Is your sales team finding success in using your content to spur both renewals and upsell opportunities?
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