In 2020, the world of marketing is more complicated than ever. Beyond working from home, we are experiencing constant industry changes, increasing privacy regulations, and new emerging tactics – marketers have a lot on their plate. With this in mind, we wanted to put a spotlight on some essential marketing metrics that can help you stay on track in 2020.
Authority & Search Engine Optimization Performance
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more important than ever in the digital age, used right it will help people find you and your content as well as will help search engines recognize you as a trusted topic source. Google previously shared what was known as their “PageRank” information publicly. However, this stopped several years ago. This has opened the market for new tools such as SEMRush or Moz, which are rising in popularity. These tools aim to help marketers achieve better SEO results by measuring authority (in theory, similar to how Google does) among other web metrics. But what exactly is authority, and how do you measure it? Essentially, authority is looking at how valuable a specific domain is in the terms of ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Calculations of authority typically look at the number of backlinks, referring domains, organic search traffic, and other data. Tracking this gives insights around how your content is resonating, potential keyword opportunities, and additional areas marketers could look to improve upon.
Conversions and Engagement
Just as important as how potential customers find you is measuring what happens once your target audience engages with you. It sounds simple to measure your conversions as an essential metric, with tools such as HubSpot, Marketo, or a number of alternatives, you have the ability to easily analyze submissions, form views, conversion rate, etc. But even with this data, it’s not always easy to get your target audience to take the action you would like. According to the recent Technology Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report, 89% of technology marketers have used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness in the last 12 months; however, fewer than half (44%) have used it to build a subscribed audience. This is where your marketing tech stack becomes essential to taking action off of data you collect. Through tools such as attribution reporting within your platforms, you can actively measure which content key members of your audience interacted with in a variety of different models. Answer questions such as what content plays the biggest role in overall in your buyers’ journey, and when? This information can help improve landing page experiences and encourage visitors to take desired actions, such as subscribing for ongoing communication.
Lifecycle Stage Progression
As you gain insights around your content and when your target audience is engaging with certain resources, tracking lifecycle stage as an essential metric becomes increasingly important. This metric gives visibility on what stage a prospect is in from new lead to customer and allows for better communication both externally and internally. For example, understanding when to consider someone as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) in their lifecycle stage can be greatly influenced by findings you’ve had through analysis of your engagement (like what?). Once you understand what type of lead should be considered sales ready, discuss this with your sales team to get feedback. This will help ensure what they consider a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is aligned with your efforts as well. In your content development, you can use lifecycle stage insights to guide someone through their journey and provide greater data-based personalization around what content is the most useful to someone at that stage and maximize the benefit you can provide.
How can you turn hard-earned engagement into a direct metric either your team or sales can gain immediate insights from? This is where a lead scoring model can help. Through KPIs and understanding the purpose of what you are trying to measure, you can build a scoring model to highlight key contacts for your sales teams. While lead scoring metrics can both be unique to specific businesses, and represent vastly different things, there is one consistency with this metric. A lead score should have an end goal/purpose. That purpose could be to define when an ‘MQL’ is ready to go to sales, for example. Or another could be to reflect when contacts have more recently engaged in key marketing efforts. In 2020, some tools are even leveraging newer predictive scoring that incorporate machine learning to predict the likelihood someone will close business based off past customer data. Lead scoring helps organizations turn general audience engagement into actionable next steps.
Content Marketing ROI
In the end, marketers should always be looking to track return on investment (ROI) on everything they are doing. It’s easier said than done – we understand! But setting goals for what you’re looking to accomplish and how you intend to track it from the start of your campaigns can help significantly when it comes time to judge success. Tracking revenue and pipeline growth stemming from leads generated from your content campaigns is an extremely powerful metric to show marketing success. However, improving upon it will only become easier by taking the steps to track and understand how your audience is finding you, engaging with content, progressing through their individual buyers journeys, and then communicating it to your team.
IDG can help you enhance your lead generation, content, and marketing strategies using our robust 1st party data. Contact us to discuss how we can help you reach your marketing goals in 2020.