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Lee Odden

Measure and Optimize Your Content Marketing Performance

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The obstacle in front of most large, or mature companies of any size when it comes to digital and content marketing, is the battle with status quo. From strategy to tactics and especially measurement, change is often seen as interruptive and risky vs. adaptive. But without adaptation, we can hardly evolve, can we?

As Tom Fishburne implies in the cartoon above, change isn't risky, safe is risky.

Companies evolving from Stasis to Production and into Utility and Storytelling modes ofcontent marketing maturity begin to broaden the scope of what business goals content can deliver for a company.

Because content touches all aspects of business communications, measurement amongst channels, between departments and across target audiences can get complex and even confusing. Part of my job is to simplify the explanation of the chaos that is digital and content marketing, so our readers that are in the midst of evolving their content marketing efforts from quantity to quality to creating better content experiences, might appreciate an easy to understand and impactful mode for keeping content marketing accountable and measurable.

Heck, if Justin Cutroni, Analytics Evangelist at Google, likes it, it must be good right?

Usually with content marketing, you get goals and measurement lists like this:


  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement
  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Sales
  • Customer Retention & Loyalty
  • Customer Evangelism
  • Upsell and Cross-Sell

  • Benchmark lift of company awareness
  • Benchmark lift of product/service awareness
  • Cost savings
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Inbound links
  • Customer renewal rates
  • Qualitative feedback from customers
  • Sales
  • Sales lead quality (e.g., sales accepted leads)
  • Sales lead quantity
  • SEO ranking
  • Subscriber growth
  • Time spent on website
  • Website traffic
These are great and certainly better than not know exactly what you're trying to achieve with content marketing efforts beyond just making more content to see what sticks. The thing about lists like those above is that they are not really organized according to the experience most companies are trying to create in combination with how buyers discover, consume and act on digital content.

It's not really a right or wrong thing, but I think organizing measurement closer to the activities that best represent buyer and brand interactions through content will help us better measure content performance, but also to keep content accountable and especially to reveal performance indicators that allow us to optimize performance at any given time.

Attract Engage Convert - TopRank Marketing

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About the Author:
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a provider of innovative Internet marketing consulting for progressive B2B companies ranging from Marketo to PRWeb to McKesson. Odden has been recognized for his expertise with enterprise social media, SEO and content marketing strategies by The Economist, Advertising Age and Mashable. He writes a monthly column called Social Media Smarts for ClickZ and his blog at has an active community with over 46,000 subscribers, 12,000 Facebook Fans and has been rated the #1 Content Marketing blog 3 times by Junta42. He is also the Author of "Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing" published by Wiley.
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