Editor’s Note: This guest post about closed-loop analytics for your content marketing was written by Kara Tiernan, a content strategist at Highspot.
Content: our inboxes, social media streams, and wearable devices are full of it these days. And although having quick access to knowledge is beneficial, it also makes it difficult for marketers to grab buyers’ attention.
For the best shot at standing out from the crowd, it’s crucial to provide relevant content — and luckily, we have tools that can provide insight into the content our prospective customers want and need. Thanks to Google Analytics, Salesforce, and a number of sales enablement and marketing tools, we can measure what content gets shared, what content engages buyers the most, and how relevant content translates into sales. Tools with closed-loop analytics capabilities are helping us remove the guesswork from our content marketing efforts.
In this post, we’ll review how leveraging tools with closed-loop analytics can help you gain key insights into content performance throughout the buyer’s journey and level-up your content game.
1. How do you know if you’re creating relevant content?
It’s crucial to identify and deliver the right content to your customers — but it can be difficult to measure relevance and effectiveness if you don’t have the tools, resources, or time to measure it. Instead of hoping that you’re creating content that resonates with prospects, wouldn’t you rather know? By understanding what’s helping your team, you can continue refreshing and creating content that lands more sales.
To gain an accurate understanding of how content performs, savvy marketers are leveraging content marketing tools that offer closed-loop analytics capabilities. These tools compare data between two or more analytical tools, which typically include an audience-tracking tool (such as Google Analytics) and a CRM (such as Salesforce or Highspot).
By leveraging this data, closed-loop analytics provides insight into the entire customer journey from when a prospect first interacts with you to when they become a customer. This allows marketers to focus and report on their contribution to the business pipeline instead of focusing only on top-of-the-funnel lead generation activities. It also helps improve sales and marketing alignment because you can pinpoint which activities are most likely to convert a lead into a customer, “closing the loop” on your marketing efforts.
Closed-loop analytics allow you to track open rates, downloads, and shares of your content, giving you visibility into what content your customers are spending the most time on and what is performing best. It not only helps you understand which assets are most popular — it also enables you to track how effective every page of that eBook or case study is. With a holistic understanding of the messages that resonate, you’ll make smarter decisions about where to invest in future content.
2. Identify outdated content and ensure your message lands
Once you have a grasp on what content resonates with buyers, it’s time to update the old, stale content that’s hiding in the dark corners of your marketing asset collection. There’s nothing worse than seeing outdated content in drip campaigns or sales decks — I know I’m not the only one who sees old messaging, retired products, and outdated branding floating around!
Keep track of outdated content and ensure your sales team has the latest and greatest decks for every buyer persona by using analytics to track which versions of your marketing assets and presentations are being used. Analytics provide the insight you need to measure content freshness and determine when your content was last updated. You can easily identify assets that need to be updated, rewritten, or retired and identify gaps where you need to create more relevant content.
While sending outdated messaging is terrible, sending the WRONG content is even more disastrous. Your buyers are busy, and spamming them with content that isn’t relevant to their needs or stage in the buyer’s journey is almost guaranteed to lose trust and, ultimately, a sale. Ensure you’re delivering meaningful content that resonates with your audience at every stage of their journey by measuring performance and leveraging analytics.
3. How to start using closed-loop analytics to improve your content
If you aren’t measuring the effectiveness of your content, you can start by using closed-loop analytics. Tools that provide accurate analytics capabilities allow you to track and analyze all content that’s used throughout the customer journey, giving you a solid understanding of your content performance and the impact it’s having on driving sales.
If you’re already tracking your marketing campaigns using an automated solution like Act-On, that’s awesome! Your sales team is also probably tracking their prospects and leads using a CRM platform. Closed-loop analytics provide insight by measuring metrics that BOTH your marketing and sales teams rely on in order to get a holistic view of the customer lifecycle.
When you can track which content performs best, you’ll give sales the edge they need to move prospects through the sales cycle more quickly. This data helps both sales and marketing ensure they’re always sharing the most effective content with your users and prospects, establishes authority, and builds trust in your brand.
Companies that implement content management and sales enablement tools that track analytics are already seeing big results. In a recent study, 80% of respondents who use sales enablement tools reported that these tools increased their company’s success.
Using analytics to create relevant content is a game-changing marketing strategy that will allow you to fast-track your content success and ensure you’re always sharing the most engaging content with your buyers.