Measuring the success of our content efforts is one of the most pressing challenges marketers face today, particularly at enterprise B2B organizations.
What’s working? What isn’t? Which assets are salespeople using to close deals? How much of our content is aligned with our strategic plan?
These are all important questions. If we can’t answer them, we risk pouring limited time and resources into content that ultimately doesn’t drive revenue. Luckily (or perhaps, overwhelmingly), there are a slew of MarTech tools out there to help you navigate the numbers. But perhaps some of the most overlooked are those living within content marketing platforms (CMPs) themselves.
CMPs won’t manage all of your content marketing analytics, and there are many point solutions you may wish to consider to deepen your understanding of your content and its impact. But content marketing platforms offer a great jumping-off point, first and foremost because they has the immense advantage of being pulling metrics from the same place you already create and plan your content. That means no CSV exports, no questionable data integrity, and no complex integrations.
But not all CMPs give you the same insights into your content’s performance. Here are five questions you should ask potential vendors to find out whether they have the capabilities you need:
1. How does your software help me assess the performance of individual assets?
Why it matters: Though no platform will replace the wide array of other data you likely collect on your content, a good platform can supplement and centralize your reporting. The most valuable insights CMPs can provide are those that shed light on the way content is used throughout the funnel, especially by customer-facing teams. Understanding which material sales leans on to close deals can help strategists make informed decisions about future work.
2. How can I use your platform’s insights to better operational performance and increase efficiency?
Why it matters: Every marketing organization wants to do more with less. Your content platform should help you do so by allowing you to assess current processes and make informed decisions about how to collaborate more effectively, work more efficiently, and plan more strategically.
Be sure to press vendors and make them explain not only how their platform helps streamline processes, but also how it helps make them better.
3. How does your CMP let me visualize and audit my entire content inventory against my core messaging and strategies?
Why it matters: Marketing is about so much more than a single eBook launch or email campaign. It’s about the full picture; the story you’re telling your audience across every touchpoint.
The quality of individual assets is largely irrelevant if your entire library fails to act as a cohesive whole. “Good” content isn’t just well-written/designed/produced/engaged with—it’s part of a complex network that moves well-qualified buyers through the funnel.
The best content marketing software allows you to see how (or whether) your content works together, identify coverage gaps, and plan with the entirety of every customer journey in mind.
4. Does your content platform integrate with third-party BI tools?
Why it matters: Business intelligence tools are important for attaching dollar amounts to your efforts and proving the value of content.
The best vendors offer a partnership as well as software. They should help you to visualize a roadmap to an effective content operation and continue to ensure investment from your organization in the tools you need to succeed.
5. Are there KPIs or other benchmark data your CMP reports to demonstrate performance and justify ROI?
Why it matters: Because it’s so difficult to draw a direct line from content to profit, it’s important to build a robust case for content operations with data. Understand how a vendor defines success, and whether your executives are likely to agree.
Ready to go find the CMP that will help you measure success? Before you go, grab a copy of our full guide to buying a content platform. It will walk you through how to build a buying group, as well as all the questions you should ask to ensure you find the best possible platform for your business.