B2B Content Marketing Goas_Prepare1 Image

Are you measuring your B2B content marketing efforts?

If so…Which B2B content marketing metrics are you measuring?

Would you like to know what the most effective B2B companies are doing and measuring?

In fact, some of the top challenges for B2B content marketers is measuring the effectiveness of content and the ROI of their efforts.

More often than not when asked this question, marketers fall back on soft marketing metrics like “page views” and “shares,” or anecdotes about how their content is working by way of feedback from the sales team.

Content marketing has come a long way in the past few years. Every year Content Marketing Institute conducts their annual study on content marketing. There are now definite content marketing metrics to answer this question, along with technologies that help quantify the return on your content marketing investment. 

GOALS AND METRICS

The latest report by Marketo reveals that 65% of marketers publish content at least once a month. According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Study, marketing spend is on the rise for the third consecutive year. Yet Kapost’s B2B Customer Experience Benchmark Report reveals only 12% of B2B marketers rate themselves as “very effective.”

Where’s the disconnect?

It’s time to connect your content efforts to real results.

  • 80% Will focus on lead gen as a content marketing goal over the next 12 months.
  • 78% Use website traffic to measure how well their content marketing is producing results.
  • 75% Can demonstrate how content marketing has increased audience engagement.

Looking at metrics as a whole can be an intimidating task. To make it easier to identify the content marketing metrics most relevant to your business, it helps to break them down into distinct categories.

If you look at the various content marketing metrics, you can answer many of your most pressing content marketing strategy questions:

  • Consumption Metrics:
    • How many people are consuming your content?
    • Which channels are they using?
    • How frequently and how in-depth is their consumption?
  • Sharing Metrics:
    • Which of your content pieces are being shared?
    • Who is sharing them?
    • How/where are they sharing?
    • How often are they being shared?
  • Lead Metrics:
    • How is content supporting demand generation in terms of lead generation and lead nurturing (middle-of-the-funnel)?
  • Sales Metrics:
    • How does your content influence bottom-of-the-funnel results?
    • Which ways does your content drive revenue?
    • How does your content fill the pipeline?

ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

B2B Content Marketing Goals

  • 80% Will focus on lead generation as a content marketing goal over the next 12 months, followed closely by brand awareness. Engagement is third, not too far behind.

Interestingly sales is 5th, businesses are recognizing it is a process that leads prospective clients through in order to achieve sales. Yet, what I find interesting for most small businesses, they don’t tie any social media to goals and metrics.

Typically a younger person will be doing the social media, which is what most love to do, yet they don’t have the business knowledge and experience to make any real progress for most businesses. Most get lost in the noise. Be sure to tie your content marketing efforts to your goals and objectives for the business.

CONTENT MARKETING METRICS USAGE

B2B Content Marketing Metrics

There has long been this debate about what is the hub of your content marketing. Is it rented land like Facebook and others? Or is your website the center hub and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are just spokes?

This would indicate that most businesses are relying on their own website traffic to measure their content marketing efforts. Sales lead quality jumps to #2 for metric usage and in a virtual tie is social media sharing.

Your Website is Your Hub_Prepare1 Image

So how are you to be found in a noisy social media world?

Consumption Metrics

Consumption metrics can answer the following types of questions:

  • Are people consuming my content?
  • Which channels are they consuming my content on?
  • What are their content consumption behaviors and preferences?

Let’s take a look at what the different consumption metrics are by channel.

SITE & BLOG

For a site or blog, the most important consumption metrics are page views, unique visitors, and average time on page:

  • Page view analytics tell you how many and which of your content pages your visitors are consuming.
  • Unique visitor analytics help you get a sense for the overall size of your audience and how much of your traffic is repeat visitors.
  • Average time on page analytics give you insight into how people are consuming your content. Are they reading or viewing the content thoroughly or are they quickly skimming?

 Each of these statistics is easily available via Google Analytics or a similar web analytics tool.

MEASURABLE RESULTS

B2B Content Marketing Metrics Results

It appears that website traffic is the true measure of results for your content marketing efforts and comes in at #1 which matches up with expectations.

What is a clear disconnect is social sharing. While it ranks #2 in as a metric to track results, B2B companies are saying the truly measurable result for social sharing drops to #8. Ouch!

One of the reasons might be is not enough social sharing going on with their content? Possibly.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media SharingComments and shares

Engagement is important in social media and the best way to measure it is through the comments and the shares on each post.

Likes may still prove that your content was appreciated by your audience, but as they are more common signs of approval, the other two are appreciated more, as they require further actions.

It’s not just about clicking on the Like button, as users proceed to additional steps, whether they want to express their opinions over the topic through comments, or share the post to their own feeds.

This is the best type of approval and it shows that your target audience appreciates the content enough to feel the need to be involved in it.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a completely accurate way to measure how many people viewed a particular social media post. Some social platforms and third-party management tools provide “reach” or “impression” stats. These attempt to measure how many people your content was potentially exposed to.

But just because a piece of content could have been seen, doesn’t necessarily mean it was seen. Things move fast on social media feeds, content shelf life is short, and many posts go unseen by the majority of users.

You can, however, measure how many people clicked a link within a social media post, which serves as a fairly accurate measure of consumption. The easiest way to measure click-throughs is a link-shortening tool with analytics capabilities such as bit.ly. I’m a big fan of bit.ly and have been using it for years.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Set up and implement a dashboard that includes all the marketing metrics you hope to eventually measure. Start by implementing the ones at the top of the funnel (retention, engagement) and work down. Once all metrics are consistently measured, you can create the following changes to content marketing operations:

  • Incentivize your team. Hold your content marketing team accountable, right down to individual writers, for achieving not only a certain level of content output, but also a certain level of content performance.
  • Marry goals to social media.  Ensure whomever is doing your social media marketing and content distribution to align that with the companies goals and objectives. Just posting to post is wasting everyone’s time.
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot. Content marketing metrics let you effectively diagnose when things don’t go as planned. For example, if your data tells you content is effective at the top of the funnel, but isn’t producing high quality sales opportunities at the bottom of the funnel, this may indicate you need better calls-to-action.
  • Create alignment between divisions. Walls between different functions suddenly crumble if there is a singular focus on one ROI-based content marketing metric—particularly if team members are compensated on it—and teams find new and more effective ways to collaborate.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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7 Ways to control your mental life_Prepare1 image.

Does all the daily noise get you off track?

Is Social Media distracting you or are you using it for attaining your goals and dreams?

Psychology often discusses mental health — but what’s not often discussed is a clear definition of mental strength and focus. Mental strength and focus means that you regulate;

  • Your emotions
  • Manage your thoughts
  • Behave in a positive manner
  • Despite your circumstances

Developing mental focus is about finding the courage to live according to your values and being bold enough to create your own definition of success.

Mental focus involves more than just willpower; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s about establishing healthy habits and choosing to devote your time and energy to self-improvement.

Think about yourself, in a casual and relaxed way, as the person, career and business that you would like to be, with all the qualities you would like to have.

Begin imagining what life would be like, what your home would be like, what your work would be like, what your health would be like, and the standard of living that you would most enjoy. 

Allow yourself to fantasize and luxuriate in the daydream and in the feeling of achieving your goals. This activity is the first signal that a new direction is being programmed into your thoughts.

1. VISUALIZATION 

Perhaps the most important way to control your mental life.

You ability to visualize images will become your new reality. They intensify your desires and deepen your beliefs. The challenge today is to slow down and set aside time. We are constantly engaged with our phones, social media, family, work and activities that most of us fall exhausted into bed at the end of the day. Only to start the cycle all over again the next day.

There are four elements of visualization.

  • Frequency

How often you visualize a particular future event, goal or behavior has a powerful impact on your thinking, feeling and acting. People who accomplish amazing things visualize their desired results continually.

  • Vividness

This refers to how clearly you see something in your imagination. Unfortunately for most of us, we’ve stopped dreaming when we got older. It’s time to challenge those habits and beliefs.

There is a direct relationship between how vividly you can see a desired goal or result and how rapidly it appears for you. Social Media is a clear reminder how visual images play a part in our thoughts and engagement.

Finally, when you can close your eyes and see it in complete detail, it materialized in your world. This is the way you achieve most goals.

As most of you know, I love sports. When I was in high school, all I could think about, and visualize was winning championships. We were fortunate to win State in Football and Basketball. However, I still wanted something more…something that I could say I did on my own.

That’s where Track and Field entered into my life. I was a natural jumper so I gravitated to high jump, long jump and triple jump. However, it seemed easier for me to visual high jump. I was fortunate to win the AAU championships and set a state record. I would lay in my bed at night with my headphones on with music playing and do that for long periods of time. Little did I know at the time how much visualization played a role in my success.

  • Intensity

This refers to the amount of emotion that you combine with your mental pictures.

When you intensely desire something, when you are excited and enthusiastic about your goals, or when you have deep faith that you will realize a goals that you are working towards, it occurs much faster.

You must determine what you want! Most people have challenges deciding on what they want. Then most of us don’t believe we can attain it or don’t desire it.

Increasing the amount of emotion, accompanied by visualization is like stepping on the accelerator of your potential. This is perhaps why Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

  • Duration

This refers to the length of time you can hold the image of something you want in your mind. WOW…in today’s nano second attention span this is hard. Yes! However, like anything over time if practiced consistently, your attention span will improve.

When you combine the elements of frequency, vividness, intensity and duration with your visualizations of anything you want to behave or do in the future, you actually supercharge yourself and accelerate your reality.

2. AFFIRMATION

Affirmations are based upon the three “P’s”.

  • Positive

  • Present Tense

  • and Personal 

One of the most powerful and effective influences on your mind is what you say to yourself and believe. You know…that small inner voice you hear saying you can do this…or is it saying you can’t do this. No one in your family ever accomplished anything.

So start by saying affirmations to yourself;

  • I can do it!
  • I earn $XXX per year
  • I weigh XXX pounds

ALL CHANGE IS FROM THE INNER TO THE OUTER.

All Change is Inner to Outer - Prepare1 Image

3. VERBALIZATION

You must verbalize. Do this out loud, with family, friends, or alone. Do it in front of a mirror.

One of the most powerful ways to build your self confidence is to say “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!”

Sports teams use this method of verbalization with others to get them mentally prepared before a game. You’ve heard the chants and cheers before they go out into competition.

4. ACTING THE PART

Walk the Talk

Act exactly as if you were already the person or business you desire to be. Behave as if you already achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself.

The power of this technique is explained in the Law of Reversibility.

It states, when you feel positive and optimistic, your feelings will generate actions and behaviors consistent with them.

Your feelings and behavior are reversible. 

5. FEEDING YOUR MIND

What are you filling your mind with?

In today’s world of news, whether on TV or Social Media is it positive and uplifting? Or is it negative and dragging you down?

positive-in-a-negative-world_prepare1-image

What you feed your mind will manifest itself in your daily life.

So choose wisely when reading Social Media or anything.

Always be learning. Become a student and learn something new.

6. ASSOCIATE WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE

Remember when you were a child, your parents telling you to hang around good people. Or to stay away from that kid, he’s going to grow up to always be in trouble.

It’s true, show me your friends, and I’ll show you where you will be in five years.

So get around the right people.

Associate with winners. Fly with the eagles rather than scratching with the turkeys.

Dr. David McClelland of Harvard found, after twenty-five years of research, that the choice of negative “reference group” was in itself enough to condemn a person to failure and underachievement in life. Your reference group ad the people you identify with, the ones your work with, and socialize with.

Like a chameleon, you unconsciously adopt the attitudes, behaviors and opinions of the people with whom you most closely associate.

Baron de Rothschild’s advice is to “make no useless acquaintances” To meet new, positive people, you usually have to stop associating with your old group. Especially, get away from negative people. They are the primary cause of most unhappiness in your life.

7. TEACHING OTHERS 

You become what you teach. You teach what you are.  

IN fact, you only really know something to the degree to which you can teach it to someone else and have them understand and apply it in their own lives.

Developing new, positive habits of thought and behavior is not easy. It requires eternal determination. You must forge ahead with your new habits in a strong manner. Exceptions will creep in, but never allow them to take root until the new habit is formed.

Your number one job is to keep your mind focused intently on the direction you are going, on your dominant goals, and on the new person you desire to be.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s a noisy world out there and only getting noisier. What you focus on you will attain.

focus_prepare1 Image

Select one positive habit pattern or behavior that you would like to develop, and for the next twenty-one days, discipline yourself to be laser focused, think, visualize, verbalize, affirm and behave in a manner consistent with the new habit your want to develop.

Whatever your goals and ambitions, think and talk in terms of their accomplishment. Read, study, learn, visualize and affirm your goals. Think in terms of “HOW” you can achieve your goals. Act is if they are already a reality. At the very least, behave in every respect as if achieving your goal were inevitable.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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7 B2C Success Content Marketing Tactics_Prepare1 Image

Do you know where the B2C content marketing industry is moving or why?

Which channels does your organization use to distribute content?

How will you adjust your own B2C content marketing strategy for growth?

Without a doubt, content marketing, done correctly, can produce dramatic results for your business.

But, it takes time and focus to become effective at it. 45% of B2C marketers report that they’re effective in their content marketing efforts.

If brands can develop an effective strategy for creating content based on proper understanding of their target audience, they’ll not only drive leads but will also increase sales.

Unlike other lead generation strategies, content marketing gives to prospects, instead of asking them for something.

With content marketing, you’re giving valuable information away before asking people to buy anything. Even when you sell a product through content marketing, your ideal customers will be happy you did, because they feel more valued and understood.

Business to consumer (B2C) content marketing covers the methods and best practices used to promote products and services among consumers through the use of useful and engaging content.

Unlike businesses, end consumers tend to seek a specific solution that solves a known problem. B2C content marketing can help meet those needs and increase interest in your products.

For B2C marketers, content marketing takes time to show real results, but is faster than marketers in the B2B space. But, it’s a strong, short term as well as long-term approach to improving your brand’s visibility online.  It also helps you nurture a stronger relationship with your customers.

While you can see quick returns on traditional or native advertising, content marketing will help your business continue to thrive in the future because today’s customers will continue to depend on you for great information.

Let’s take a look at the most recent study conducted by Content Marketing Institute about B2C Content Marketing.

B2C Marketers’ Content Marketing Tool Usage

Which content marketing tools does your organization currently use?

B2C Content Marketing Tools

 

The number one tool is analytics tools. Check out the best 44 Marketing tools for B2C. I have found having a Social Media Calendar a helpful tool, especially when it comes to topics to write about and themes.

Techniques B2C Marketers Use to Learn About Audience(s) for Content Marketing Purposes

Which techniques does your organization use to gain knowledge about its target audience(s)?

B2C Techniques Content Marketers

Website analysis and Keyword search were statistically tied for number one in the B2B space. While clearly keyword research is leading the way for B2C Content Marketers. What are you doing about keyword research and then using that in your content marketing strategy?

Keyword research can be overwhelming for businesses. In its most basic form, keyword research will almost always consist of a spreadsheet of hundreds, of words and phrases, or “key phrases.”

Mapping keywords to B2C buyer behavior

There will always be a set of keywords that a client wants products, solutions and the organization to be aligned towards.

Mapping keywords to steps in the buyer’s journey makes SEO more important in ongoing marketing initiatives and also shows leadership that there are steps in the process for achieving results in the most critical keyword opportunities.

Starting with defining core sets of keyword opportunities, next are two phases of keyword prioritization:

  1. Assessing objectives in search intent on a per-keyword basis.
  2. Confirming applicability based on client-specific sales objectives and procedures.

Keyword-related search objectives need to be defined to understand the type of content marketing assets that resonate best for users and through Google search.

Once marketing has reviewed and agreed upon direction, this information needs to be brought back to sales for perspective and further review and agreement.

Expected Change in B2C Content Creation (2016 vs. 2017)

Compared with 2016, do you expect your organization to produce more, the same amount, or less original content in 2017?

B2C Content Marketing Creation 2016 vs 2017

Consumers aren’t looking for more content – they’re looking for better content. With so much content out there, you need to find ways to stand out.

With over 2 million blog posts published per day, it’s easy for your content to get buried. And that’s something you seriously want to avoid.

A whopping 73% of marketers are producing more content than they did the previous year. It’s good news, but only if your content is more helpful and of higher quality.

To make a difference, you have to create more in-depth and visually-appealing long-form content. This type of content will not only impact your search rankings, but also get shared more.

B2C Marketers’ Content Marketing Tactic Usage

Which content marketing tactics does your organization use?

B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage

Tactics Used That B2C Marketers Say Will be Most Critical to Content Marketing Success in 2017

Which content marketing tactics that your organization uses will be most critical to its overall content marketing success in 2017?

B2C Content Marketing Tactics Most Critical to Success in 2017

The answer is more social media B2C content and blogging. A reported 80% of B2C marketers include blogging in their marketing strategy. Yet, there is still massive room for growth and improvement in the sphere of B2B blogging.

When asked about the future of their marketing efforts, another 51% of B2C marketers admitted that they expect blogging to be one of their most critical tactic for success in the coming year. However, Social Media Content was the clear winner at 58%,

Choose Quality Content Over Quantity

With such a big push toward filling that content calendar, the quality of B2C blogs and other content can quickly go downhill. While it’s important to keep that content flowing, you never want to lose sight of the quality of your content.

Don’t give them a reason to seek content from your competitors — always strive to give them consistently high-quality content that keeps them coming back for more.

Channels B2C Marketers Use to Distribute Content

Which channels does your organization use to distribute content?

B2C Content Marketing Channels used to Distribute Content

Email is not dead! It continues to grow and marketers are using it more than ever. However, some businesses and marketer’s are more effective than others. Check out

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

Channels B2C Marketers Use to Distribute Content Rated by Importance to Overall Content Marketing Success

How important is each channel your organization uses to its overall content marketing success?

B2C Content Marketing Channels used to Distribute Content for Success

If you’re looking to make an impact with B2C email, don’t expect to break through with just one punch. Interestingly enough B2B email was the #1 channel of choice for success as well.

A strong series of messages, with clear calls to action and a sense of urgency, is the best way to connect with prospects.

“Do two or three emails—you need the repetition to break through,” says Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer, Wilde Agency.

And in those emails, make the call to action simple and clear. “We’re still seeing clients trying to force two or three different calls to action in one email. Sure, you have lots of great content, but don’t try to get them to download the whitepaper and view the video in one email. A single call to action is the way to go—multiple calls to action decrease response.”

What works in B2C email creative?

Simple straightforward messages with a certain amount of urgency work well, says Harhut. Often, in a series, the third email with a “final notice” tone drives the message home.

FINAL THOUGHTS

B2C Content marketing, and particularly the increasing adoption of visuals, customization and interactivity as ingredients in content, continue to change how prospects and customers receive and consume content. A good content marketer knows this–and knows how important it is to stay on top of trends.

If you want more leads and customers, it’s not a question of where to find them. They’re everywhere, from social media platforms to just down the street.

Key Points to Remember…

  • Show a more human, emotional side to your company
  • Showcase your company’s culture and personality
  • Be more transparent in your pricing, and simplify the buying process for your clients
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks in your marketing plan

The real question is, how do you create the right content with the right tactic that will inspire them to click on your site link, visit your site and subscribe to your list?

This is the ultimate dilemma faced by most people working in content marketing.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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7 Successful B2B Content Marketing Tactics

by Blair Evan Ball June 1, 2017

Do you know where the B2B content marketing industry is moving or why? Which channels does your organization use to distribute content? How will you adjust your own B2B content marketing strategy for growth? Without a doubt, content marketing, done correctly, can produce dramatic results for your business. But, it takes time and focus to become effective […]

Read the full article →

5 Tips for a Successful B2C Content Marketing Strategy

by Blair Evan Ball May 25, 2017

Does your organization have a content marketing strategy? Would you like to know what other B2C companies are doing? What elements should I include in a content marketing strategy? There is an increasing demand for content among marketers, but how can you ensure that your content marketing strategy is effective? It’s impressive that 76% of B2C marketers […]

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5 Tips for a Successful B2B Content Marketing Strategy

by Blair Evan Ball May 18, 2017

Does your organization have a content marketing strategy? Would you like to know what other B2B companies are doing? What elements should I include in a content marketing strategy? There is an increasing demand for content among marketers, but how can you ensure that your content marketing strategy is effective? It’s impressive that 89% of B2B […]

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How to Make Epic Happen in Your Life

by Blair Evan Ball May 11, 2017

Would you like a positive change in your life? What if I told you that you could make Epic Happen? Are you ready to read something positive and uplifting? We are living in truly amazing times. In our hyper-connected, hyper-local and increasingly global world of do-ers, makers, tinkerers, innovators, disruptors, and creators, now more than […]

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Three Successful Ingredients of Self Concept in Business

by Blair Evan Ball May 3, 2017

  Did you know that businesses also have a self concept? What do you think the components of the self concept are? From small business to large organizations, everyone and every division or group forms the self-concept. It is the overall personality of the people when they’re together, or when they think of themselves as […]

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Why Your Business Should Start With Why

by Blair Evan Ball April 17, 2017

Why do you do what you do? What makes employees and customers buy into you and your company? According to Simon Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.” Simon Sinek explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change. He’s the author of […]

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8 Tips for Better Live Video Broadcasts

by Blair Evan Ball April 13, 2017

  Thinking of going LIVE on Facebook? Wondering how to get the most out of your Facebook Live broadcast? With Facebook Live, you can show your expertise in real time, take people behind the scenes, and much more. THE RISE OF LIVE VIDEO A common denominator that unites all platforms is the goal of total audience […]

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