Shane Barker

In a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 89 percent of B2B marketers report using content marketing, and 85 percent attribute their marketing success to quality content creation. However, 30 percent of the respondents did not have clarity on what a successful content marketing program looks like.

This could be because businesses have trouble measuring the ROI of their campaigns, failing to understand what needs measuring. Determining the ROI of your B2B content marketing campaign helps you truly understand what’s effective, what’s lackluster and what to adjust moving forward.

Here are five metrics you can use to measure B2B marketing ROI:

1. Social Media Performance

There are two ways to measure social media ROI.

The first is using Google Analytics. Under “Acquisition,” go to “All Traffic” and then select “Channels.” This will help you understand how well social media is performing in terms of traffic generation.

The other way of measuring social media ROI is by monitoring mentions and awareness of your campaigns. Use social listening tools that track metrics such as brand sentiment, reach and engagement to better understand your social media performance.

Apart from your website and blog, your social media channels are where you should be engaging your audiences.

LinkedIn is a great social media platform for B2B companies. 89 percent  of B2B marketers distribute content on LinkedIn. However, you can use other channels like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube as well. Twitter is used by 77 percent, Facebook by 76 percent and YouTube by another 59 percent of B2B marketers, respectively.

Although a majority of B2B companies may want to prioritize tracking LinkedIn performance, the priority also varies by company. What’s more important is that you focus on the social media platforms on which your audience is most active and engaged. Under “Acquisition,” go to “Social” and select “Network Referrals” to see which social media platform is performing the best for you.

2. Employee Advocacy ROI

Another interesting strategy being used by many B2B marketers today is using employee advocacy programs on social media. This is based on the idea of using your employees as brand ambassadors who can spread social awareness about you. All they need to do is share your content on their social channels and help you engage your target audience in a more personal and effective manner.

But how do you measure ROI from employee advocacy? By comparing the earned media value to your campaign spend. The earned media value is calculated by combining the number of employees who share content, the number of shares, number of clicks and cost per click.

Some marketers still measure reach as their main metric, which can be misguided because reach alone does not create actual value. Instead, it is better to focus on metrics that show user actions such as clicks and reactions. However, obtaining a monetary value per each metric is also important, as it allows marketers to compare different initiatives such as employee advocacy versus cost-per-click ads.

The easiest way to do this is the Estimated Earned Media Value (EEMV), which essentially measures how much it would have cost to buy the same amount of clicks through cost-per-click ads as has been generated by employees. Tools like Smarp are excellent for analyzing the results of your employee advocacy campaign, as it helps you track metrics such as shares, unique clicks and reactions.

3. Landing Page Conversion Rate

Another important metric for B2B companies to measure is conversions. It’s not enough that people are visiting your landing pages. It’s not enough that they stay for a while and check out some of your other pages. What matters is whether they take the desired action or not.

You can easily track all of this from Google Analytics. Go to “Behavior” and select “Landing Pages.” This will display the performance of different landing pages. You’ll be able to see metrics like “Goal Conversion Rate” and “Goal Completions.” These are the metrics that help you understand how well your different landing pages are converting.

4. Email Marketing Performance

Email marketing is a popular strategy used by many B2B marketers. Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers consider email to be the most important channel for content marketing success.

But simply sending out hundreds of emails isn’t going to get the job done. Unless your audience opens those emails, your campaign won’t be effective.

At the same time, just opening your email doesn’t mean people will convert. So it’s crucial to measure your email marketing performance in terms of people who click through from your email. These are qualified leads and they help you determine just how effective your campaign is.

Platforms like Pardot or MailChimp can help you analyze the open rates and click-through rates of your email campaigns.

5. Lead Conversion Rate

The ultimate objective of any marketing campaign is to generate sales. Content marketing can be a great source of driving relevant, qualified leads to your website.

But only when these leads convert can your campaigns be deemed successful. That’s why lead conversion rate is important.

However, conversions can take many forms and are not limited to just sales or revenue. For example, eBook downloads, newsletter sign-ups, demo or consultation sign-ups are all important conversions. Instead of simply benchmarking against the industry average, analyze your conversion rate with respect to your campaign goals.

Can you think of any other metrics to measure B2B content marketing ROI? Let us know in the comments below.