Stop Measuring Content Marketing

Why are most sales people and small businesses struggling to generate leads online? Because they invest heavily in social media and content marketing-yet define success as engagement instead of sales. In fact, ask yourself: Are we measuring online content to justify more busy work?

Why are most sales people and small businesses struggling to generate leads online? Because they invest heavily in social media and content marketing—yet define success as engagement instead of sales.

In fact, ask yourself: Are we measuring online content to justify more busy work?

If you are struggling to create sales leads with LinkedIn, videos or blogs, you—or your marketing team—are probably very busy justifying. You’re probably investing time in what messages say and how they’re distributed across the Web rather than structuring or designing to turn messages into leads … creating response.

Yet, response is but a small part of something more important. The most successful B-to-B content marketers are using content to change the success rate of potential customers. Of course, they’re doing this in exchange for the chance to enter into a courtship with prospects.

It all starts with what you expect from content.

Start by Changing the Goal
Do you see content (words and images you put onto the Web) as a means to build your brand, gain attention and influence?

Successful lead generators and content marketers see it differently. They set the bar higher.

They apply blogs, videos, whitepapers, ebooks, etc., in ways that change the success rate of customers.

This is the biggie—the most effective of all lead generation ideas I’ve found. This idea can (if you let it) change everything for you.

No, this does not mean that branding isn’t important. It means brand is something given to a business via customers’ experience with products and services. Brand is not something marketers can manufacture anymore.

No, this doesn’t mean engagement isn’t worth doing. It means engagement is a doorway to producing outcomes for customers and your business—not something to measure that justifies more spending.

Update Your Design: Create ‘Results in Advance’
The best, most effective content marketers are updating how they execute it. They’re designing it for sales. They’re structuring blogs, videos and such to produce leads, not friends, followers, shares or engagement.

They also are giving valuable advice away online, in exchange for leads. Ultimately, they’re creating confidence in prospects in ways that give “results in advance.”

Are you giving away tips and/or samples of what prospects need to achieve things or avoid risks … getting blog readers or video viewers confident in themselves? Is the goal of your content to make prospects believe they can achieve something they want by giving them the tools to actually do it?

Give Them Confidence; Then Create Hunger for More
What’s the No. 1 thing you’ve got to earn from a buyer? If you’ve sold ANYTHING you know the answer: Confidence.

Social media experts claim you can earn trust from prospects based on what you say and how you say it.

Hogwash. Bullpucky. Nonsense.

The fastest way to earn trust in this world is to DO something for prospects that moves their needles—that has meaning. This gives prospects confidence in themselves. The best way to do this is give away a sample of actual results in advance of their investing in you.

For example, I empower prospects to make better decisions. Sometimes I teach them a new skill.

When doing this, I always plant a seed: give them reason to think, “Hey, could there be more to discover about ___?”

This makes buyers hungry for more of what you’ve got and primed for your call-to-action.

Ask Yourself …
“Are we earning sales by giving prospects access to content that changes our success rate? Is our content structured to provoke focused discussions with customers once they’ve consumed it?”

Do you (or your marketing team) see content and social marketing as a means to DO something with the attention content generates-capture a lead, nurture it and ultimately sell products/services?

Are you measuring online content to justify more busy work?

Let me know your thoughts and experiences in comments, gang!

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

One thought on “Stop Measuring Content Marketing”

  1. Interesting post Jeff. I think of this differently as I my role is a hybrid of social, content and demand generation. We have tremendous success pulling leads from across all of our social channels and content is the fuel that drives these campaigns. At the end of the day if you are not properly tracking lead source along with the touchpoints across the funnel that both social and content contribute, there are missed opportunities.

    Another important point to keep in mind is the growing importance of social signals. Those Likes, Tweets, comments, +1’s etc that lots of folks take for granted, are now key in determining relevance and rankings withing Google thanks to the latest Penguin update.

    I do agree with you though that confidence and trust are both key, but social and content plays a major role in how that relationship is built and nurtured.

    Jason Miller – Marketo

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