Measuring the success of content marketing programs is a fundamental challenge for many B2B marketers. Beyond the typical volumetrics (e.g., page views) how can marketers successfully measure content marketing in a way we can understand its impact on business. Here are three tips to help your marketing team measure content marketing success.

Tip #1: Measure in Context

Different types of content require different tactical measures. A tent-pole research white paper and an article for SEO have two different goals. And they should be measured differently. The former’s consumption is determined by your distribution strategy, while the latter is designed to get as much distribution as possible. Your measures should look at reach by audience segment for the research paper, but pure volumetrics for the SEO article.

Not only does the type of content and its distribution strategy impact the way you measure content in context, but also the role that type of content plays in your go-to-market. Some content pieces are designed to drive awareness, while others are designed to create affinities with readers, and others are designed to purely inform for further down the consideration funnel. Make sure you measure content’s contribution to the aligned part of the customer journey. This will allow you to measure content in context.

Tip #2: Sentiment Scoring

Measuring a content’s sentiment is very helpful to understand the role content plays in your marketing mix. Sentiment can be predictive of the fluctuations in NPS, especially in PR. This is important because NPS historically is a survey-based question (self-reported insight) but the sentiment is a calculation (behavioral insight).

At TBM we advise clients to create a “Brand-Health” Metric that includes PR coverage sentiment, NPS, and house content sentiment by consumption by the audience into a blended measure to uncover the reality of the perception of your brand in the marketplace. Each of these measures combined into a hybrid metric will improve the predictability of “Brand-Health” to pricing elasticity and brand favorability.

Tip #3: Consumption Metrics by Audience Segment

Most marketers track content consumption (e.g., How many white papers were downloaded?). But the reality is that consumption should be recorded by audience segment or ICP. This is important for two reasons. One, consumption by audience segments allows you to see consumption patterns within that segment and across segments. This is vital to expose areas of content improvement and evaluate the impact that the content is having on your important audience.

Second, if you are measuring consumption by audience segment and sentiment by audience segment, you can start to analyze the impact content is having on your overall marketing goals. If you just look at broad numbers of consumption, you will not be able to isolate if the content is changing hearts and minds for particular segments.