The rise of content marketing (part 2)

Tony Hallett

Tony Hallett

Managing Director

February 2, 2012 10:34 am

This post follows our last one based on the 2012 Content Marketing Report, where we noted the main methods clients are using as we entered the new year and some undeniable trends.
Here the focus is on goals and measurements for content marketing, based on over 1,000 B2B marketers interviewed.

Top content marketing goals
68% – Brand awareness
68% – Customer acquisition
66% – Lead generation
61% – Customer retention/loyalty
56% – Website traffic
55% – Engagement
55% – Thought leadership
47% – Sales
39% – Lead management/nurturing

– While joint top of the list, use of content marketing for brand awareness is on the decline, the study found. So too is use for customer retention/loyalty and use for sales purposes.
– For all the other categories – except engagement – its use is on the rise.

But how do marketers judge effectiveness?
Key content marketing measurement criteria
58% – Web traffic
49% – Sales lead quality
41% – Direct sales
41% – Sales lead quantity
40% – Qualitative feedback from customers
40% – SEO ranking
30% – Inbound links

Taking away the top and last criteria (we’ll come back to them in a second), it should be noted most of the other criteria for success are within 10 percentage points, so they’re statistically not that far apart.
The last two items on the list in many ways can be bundled. (Though we recognise inbound links aren’t all about SEO.)
And while the list in general comes out well on qualitative metrics, it is notable that web traffic leads the way.
A future post will look at the pros and cons of measuring using this criterion – mainly cons – but it is likely to remain an enduring measurement tool for some time.

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