I remember many late nights at work trying to figure out how to show which individual articles on our website were working. By “working,” I mean generating quality new leads and engaging our already existing leads. My company challenged me to show ROI for our content marketing program.
We had the basic metrics down but they only tell a part of the story. We wanted to dig deeper to truly understand which content was resonating with our leads. After hours of time spent combing through leads manually to find which article(s) contributed to their conversion, I knew there had to be a better way to pull this compelling data.
Another pain point of mine was creating personalized emails for our various nurture campaigns and segments. There were so many times I just wanted to push it off to someone else so I could focus on the many other things that needed to be done on our small yet mighty team.
Not only creating the emails but also collecting feedback on emails that were intended to be sent to tens of thousands of leads became cumbersome. How many times have you come across an error in an email? Litmus says that in the past year, 50.6% of companies have sent an apology for a mistake in their emails. I’ve received so many that I’ve started to collect them in a folder in my inbox so I can use them in a blog post. Personalization isn’t just something consumers value, it’s something they expect. It’s part of the reason why automating personalized content recommendations are so popular. Developing email content for your many target personas is an incredibly daunting task that creates a bottleneck for most marketing teams.
If you’re like most marketers today, a marketing automation platform (MAP) or engagement platform is at the heart of your tech stack. You can become more efficient and do bigger and better things by supplementing your MAP with integrated technologies. For example, Content Marketers can specifically benefit from a content marketing platform (CMP) that complements and integrates with your engagement platform.
In this blog, I’ll outline two ways a content marketing platform can simplify your marketing life.
Email Creation and Review, Simplified
Email publishing makes your team more efficient and organized, facilitates email content creation, and ensures your content is brand-aligned and error-free by reviewing emails in a designated workflow. Using a content marketing platform with your engagement platform makes email review and approval much more streamlined. It can be a good way to create, review, compile feedback, and publish email content.
When my team had to review an email that was being sent to thousands of our clients and it needed changes, we’d have to copy and paste the email into Microsoft Word, track the changes, send the email back and forth among various members of the team, make the suggested edits, and then send the sample back to the team to make sure all feedback had been incorporated. The majority of marketing teams have three or more sets of eyes reviewing the emails before they are sent. With so many people reviewing the content, this process quickly turned chaotic. To increase efficiency, we’ve also encouraged the original author of the article to create supplemental content for the piece, such as emails and social media posts.
In addition to a grammar and spell check, a complete integration should be able to prevent the email from being submitted until certain guidelines are met. Should the subject line contain a certain number of characters? Should the email follow certain best practices, or be a certain amount of words, or have a certain number of CTAs or links? A sophisticated solution should show version history and edits made to the original submission, have a commenting feature, the ability to add the email to your marketing calendar and manage all the content for your various channels in one location.
We realized that our emails were being viewed by thousands of people but most weren’t going through a review process anywhere close to what it took for an article to publish on our website. In many cases, more people read your emails than your longer-form content, so why wouldn’t you want them to go through similar approvals and workflow?
Effective Content Analytics
Lead reports enhance your content strategy by helping you figure out which content is working. Just because an article is getting a ton of views, doesn’t mean those views are from your target audience.
Content marketers are constantly being asked to show the ROI of their programs, but they have limited ways to do so. Now that ABM is becoming increasingly important, we want to make sure leads from those accounts are engaging with our content and that we have the ability to capture that engagement.
A CMP can help take the helpful metrics from your engagement platform to the next level, and discover if you’re reaching the right people. It can tell you which articles are most effective at generating new leads, which of our writers were most successful at engaging with our lead database, which type of content drives the attention of leads, and which companies are viewing your articles most often.
Now, our managing editor, who doesn’t have access to our engagement platform, can view leads who are converting and engaging with the content he works so hard to create. He can view the lead’s email address, lead score, title, company, and lead status.
Creating emails for your various segments and showing robust lead reports can empower you to demonstrate content ROI and help you request and justify your existing or increased budget—with integrated solutions, you are able to share this knowledge to a broader internal user base and often view more functionally specific metrics. This doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Have you integrated a content marketing platform into your marketing plan? How has it helped you improve your engagement platform? I’d love to hear about what you’re doing. Tell me about it in the comments!