Using marketing automation to optimise your content strategy
If you are a marketer looking to maximise your marketing performance, in this blog you will learn how to use marketing automation to optimise your content strategy, why and how to track your content performance, as well as report results.
Do you ever find yourself wondering whether the topics and content you produce for your marketing materials are influencing sales? Perhaps a particular topic is trending in your industry, or there is a new buzzword that all your competitors are bidding on. If you’re going to devote time and resources to specific content themes you should consider devising a content scoring strategy to track performance vs business objectives.
5 reasons you should be tracking content performance
- Discover which content is driving the most sales opportunities
- Discover which content is generating the most revenue for the business
- Discover which content results in the most lost opportunities
- Discover if there are seasonal variations in content popularity and build your marketing calendar around it
- Discover trends in content and divert resources to content and topics that are popular and generating revenue
The scoring process is very simple, but it takes some groundwork to make the results useful. You will need a marketing automation platform that is capable of lead scoring and tracking behaviour of prospects for this to work.
Agreeing on the content categories to be tracked
Starting with a maximum of 10 categories makes it simpler to begin the model, this can be expanded over time, but these categories should represent key topic/product areas that all marketing and sales content can be split into. There may be subcategories but sticking to headline areas is useful to start with.
A retail business for example might split its content into the following categories:
- Loyalty schemes
- New products
- Guides and tips
- Product blogs
- Abandoned basket
- Product suggestions
Once defined the next step is to build a scoring process with a scoring field created for each of the categories, then utilise tracking technologies to increment the scores with each interaction.
Activity tracking methods
- Website visits – To track website activity you will need a marketing automation platform capable of tracking web activity against individual records in your database. This will often require a user to perform an action such as completing a form, logging in, or clicking a tracked link to connect the record to the activity. With tracking in place there are two ways to monitor content performance:
- UTM/Query string - a common method for tracking web behaviour and can be very useful for content linked from other sources.
- Web pages/domain paths for each category – helps to use your sitemap to plan out the tracking structure.
- Email opens and clicks – Using your automation platform and an appropriate naming convention you can listen out for interactions with content types.
- Forms and interactive processes - This could be a list of actual forms or use a naming convention to listen out for those forms. If the activities can be tracked within the same platform, your scoring processes can listen out for relevant interactions.
How it works
With your activity tracking in place and your category scoring fields created in your marketing automation platform, you can start scoring. Every time a tracked user interacts with a piece of content from your selected categories, it should increment that score by 1 point. Let the process run for a month and then compare the overall scores for each category. For example, if 47 users interacted with your “Guides and tips” content just once, then the score for that category will be 47. Total up all the scores and you can compare categories against each other and easily see which ones show the most interactions.
See example diagram for how these scores may add up.
Comparing content scores to sales and revenue
By connecting your automation platform to your CRM or sales platform you can pass back sales and opportunity information to those user records that have interacted with your content. Using this information, you can filter your list of content scored records based on the following:
- Sales qualified
- Opportunities generated
- Opportunities won
- Opportunities lost
- Opportunity value
With these filtered lists you can compare the content scores for each grouping to understand better how your content is driving sales and revenue for the business.
Depending on the automation tool you may be able to report on the content performance within the platform or by exporting and using an external tool. To get the most out of the model it works best to use cumulative scores over time so you can compare the performance of content categories over a longer period. This is even more useful when tracking against slower sales cycles.
Anthony Konarski is a Senior Marketing Technology Consultant at WoolfHodson. You can learn more about him here. If you would like to find out more about how our team can enhance your marketing performance and improve business operations, contact us today at email@example.com