There’s a crisis of confidence a lot of businesses have with content marketing. Over three in four companies use content, but only about a third of them think they’re good at it. That’s true for B2Cs, B2Bs, mid-sized, enterprise and small companies.

I think what it comes down to is our ability or inability to set up clear goals for specific content, create it with intention and then measure it according to what its supposed to do. On one end of the spectrum, it’s easy to think your content is failing if it doesn’t get 3,000… or 300… shares. On the other, you might feel a piece is useless unless it measurably influences lead gen or eCommerce. But if you understand what’s expected for each piece before you publish, you’ll have a stronger grasp on success.

What business challenges can content solve?

Forget metrics and marketing objectives. Ask yourself what business challenges the marketing team is accountable for solving. Then, set the content performance indicators based on the ultimate results you want to bring to the table. Not every type of content will resonate with all audiences at any stage in their buying journey. That’s why you need a strategy.

As you approach content marketing, set your priorities before you decide on formats or frequency. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do we need to build more brand awareness, because buyers don’t even know who we are? 
  • Do we need to get more traffic to our website?
  • Do we need to do a better job of engaging online visitors?
  • Do we need more email subscribers, and more contact names for sales?
  • Do we need to do a better job of nurturing our leads, or cross-selling products to our customers?

When you’re solving business problems with your content, the kinds of metrics you’ll hold it accountable for are clear. And it becomes easier to narrow down the kinds of content you should use.

Strategy: Building success for the future

New research from The Economist shows leaders are assessing their marketing department’s worth based on strategy. It’s a top skillset, closely following digital engagement. And if you and your content provider get this right – your team is covering both areas.

Content strategy is the topic of Brafton’s latest webinar – all about building a content strategy according to the different stages of your buying funnel.

Check them out, and connect with Brafton on Twitter @Brafton if you have a good strategy story, or a question.