5 Building Blocks for Connecting Content to B2B Revenue Growth

The connection between content material and income has by no means been straightforward to discern. But content material advertising and marketing’s current rise in significance will seemingly convey extra scrutiny to each greenback spent.

The perfect is a content material technique that engages an viewers and leads a lot of them to grow to be prospects and are available to depend on and possibly even evangelize your model’s providers.

But how do you show that your content material does any of that?

Phyllis Davidson, vp and principal analyst at Forrester, shared a course of that ought to assist in the course of the current Content Marketing Institute webinar Show Me the Money: The Role of Content in B2B Revenue Growth (out there on demand).

Connecting content material, buyer expertise, and income

Organizations create content material to assist their prospects and prospects. Unfortunately, a very advanced buyer (and content material) expertise typically will get in the best way.

According to Forrester’s research, B2B consumers usually discover enterprise content material lower than useful. Some of the distinctive and highly effective knowledge factors embody:

  • 55% of respondents name the fabric they get from companies “extraneous” and sought content material from different sources to affirm its validity.
  • 61% say they obtain an excessive amount of materials from companies.
  • 63% say the content material is extra targeted on fashion than substance.
  • 67% of respondents say they worth aggressive comparisons – and so they aren’t getting it from distributors.

But Phyllis says one discovering underscores content material’s function in driving income: 69% of respondents say they’re unlikely to develop contracts if the content material they obtain from a enterprise isn’t helpful or useful.

“I can think of no better point to make in this discussion about content and revenue growth than that,” she says.

But advertising and marketing groups typically overlook this income alternative. “No matter what you’re selling, chances are you need to focus on retention. And that means the content journey has to continue,” Phyllis says.

“We find, however, there’s always so much pressure on marketing to sell that the pre-customer stages of content planning get more attention.”

Customers drive income. Content influences, attracts, and engages prospects.

If your aim is to enhance the client expertise, then enhancing the content material that aligns with your entire buyer expertise ought to make a major influence. After all, content material is a vital a part of the client expertise that drives {dollars} to your enterprise.

According to @Forrester research, 69% of #B2B buyers are unlikely to expand contracts with a business if the #content they receive isn’t valuable, says @PhyllisMusings via @GregLevinsky @CMIContent. (*5*)

5 constructing blocks for content material intelligence

So, how do you be sure to deal with the content material that has the perfect probability of influencing income? As typical, all of it comes again to technique. Without one, you’re simply creating property – not worth.

And that content material technique have to be based mostly on the wants of your potential consumers and prospects. You additionally want to know the place they go for data so you can also make certain they discover your content material there.

But you possibly can’t start to present content material’s connection to income with out having these course of and operational parts to assist your technique:

  • Resources and alignment
  • Asset administration
  • Metadata and taxonomy
  • Infrastructure
  • Measurement

Here’s how Phyllis explains the significance of every aspect and the way it all ties again to income.

1. Resources and alignment

Resources, expertise, and tradition drive any content material plan. That’s why Phyllis recommends that each one organizations have these parts (and govt assist for every):

  • A devoted content material operations crew
  • Content strategists
  • A cross-departmental content material council

The content material ops crew needs to be multi-skilled. Some of the roles and duties on the crew might embody:

  • Audit and stock administration
  • Asset administration
  • Content knowledge and analytics
  • Tagging and taxonomy
  • Content expertise

If you don’t have a content material operations crew, make a pitch for a content material ops headcount, do a content material expertise evaluation, and create a content material council. From there, centralize your content material operations and develop the required expertise. But regardless of the place you’re beginning, the one factor you possibly can’t ignore is the necessity for content material operations.

“Someone has to be responsible … Increasingly, you need operational people who can architect your content journeys,” Phyllis says. “There’s an increasing need for sophistication around that.”

The content material ops crew ought to take possession of the sources and expertise for content material creation and making a tradition of innovation targeted on digital transformation and the client expertise.

2. Asset administration

Asset administration isn’t the sexiest a part of content material creation, however the influence of poor administration reverberates. Many B2B advertising and marketing organizations waste time, effort, and cash as a result of they don’t handle their content material property nicely.

According to the Forrester State of B2B Content 2022 examine (gated), 65% of B2B advertising and marketing organizations battle with important content material waste.

More than half of survey respondents report that findability contributes to content material waste. Another 30% say an absence of customizability contributes to content material waste.

A robust asset administration technique begins with a content material stock, primary tagging, and taxonomy. From there, content material groups ought to analyze gaps in property, consolidate the asset library, and optimize tagging.

Once you’ve gotten a stable asset base, you possibly can create a world content material library and common taxonomy technique. Asset administration additionally interprets to gross sales and, in flip, the enterprise’ backside line.

“If you want to talk about how content impacts revenue, figuring out what sales uses is key,” Phyllis says. “Winning sales reps use content and use it more than compared to their average colleagues.”

Want to explain how #Content affects revenue? Figure out which pieces the sales team uses, says @PhyllisMusings via @GregLevinsky @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Metadata and taxonomy

Understanding content material effectiveness is inconceivable with out metadata and taxonomy. Developing them takes time and devoted effort, and constant software throughout all content material repositories.

Phyllis provides this instance to illustrate their significance. Say your company content material crew created a superb e-book that will get translated into a number of languages. Local workplaces throughout the globe characterize it as totally different content material varieties. One says it’s a white paper, however one other calls it a brochure. Without the correct metadata and international taxonomy, your organization can’t precisely measure the influence of this content material.

To clear up any confusion round these phrases and their roles, Phyllis affords these definitions:

  • Taxonomy is a database of ordinary phrases or labels you utilize to tag your content material.
  • Metadata is structured knowledge that tells techniques and customers info about content material traits (corresponding to meant viewers, subject, format, and {industry}); when offered on the element stage, this metadata makes modular content material attainable

Semantic AI is beginning to assist with these duties. This set of applied sciences contains ontology, information graphs, pure language processing, and machine studying.

Many platforms use AI for auto-tagging. Though these applications aren’t good, their growth will solely develop.

Once your group develops a common taxonomy, component-level metadata automation, and AI at scale, content material customizations grow to be attainable with out as a lot handbook work.

Phyllis returns to the e-book instance to illustrate the probabilities. Say that e-book was developed round a theme. As you create the final model, you additionally create industry-specific modules for the piece. AI detects the web site’s customer’s {industry} and delivers the industry-specific model of the e-book.

Providing that type of expertise requires all three parts: taxonomy, metadata, and AI.

4. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the technological basis for the content material machine. Unfortunately, many organizations lack the important parts to assist efficient content material creation, scheduling, scale, workflow, asset administration, and measurement.

While some overlap between capabilities exists in sure techniques, documenting a course of may also help streamline adoption throughout the group. Integrating current expertise is as vital as including one thing new into the fold.

Start by taking a list of the expertise supporting your content material and matching it to enterprise necessities. From there, assess any new obligatory investments, together with piloting and adopting AI to do a few of this work.

5. Measurement

Achieving 360-degree content material reporting permits for clever, data-driven content material technique, creation, and insights. But many organizations make the error of solely on the content material’s capability to appeal to a lead, advance a lead, or shut a deal.

That’s a mistake within the Forrester analyst’s view as a result of no single piece of content material causes any of these issues.

“Content does not sell your solutions, but it can have a significant influence,” Phyllis explains. “Marketers need to teach the organization what influence means and why it’s so important.”

What ought to content material advertising and marketing groups measure? Phyllis recommends course of and efficiency metrics. “Process plus performance equals content ROI,” she says.

Process plus performance equals #Content ROI, says @PhyllisMusings via @GregLevinsky @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Just be mindful who wants to see which knowledge.

Metrics round content material actions, manufacturing, auditing, and tagging present advertising and marketing leaders you’ve gotten the appropriate parts in place. You additionally want to monitor how a lot content material you create and the way a lot will get activated (i.e., how a lot will get utilized by gross sales and different groups).

Creating reporting dashboards with a big selection of content material metrics helps inform your content material crew story. Analytics assist inform your content material technique alongside the best way.

For instance, if gross sales makes use of a content material kind greater than others and that kind is linked to closed enterprise, you do extra of it (or repurpose different varieties into that format.)

Phyllis recommends approaching content material reporting the identical approach your group approaches gross sales reporting: Make it a quarterly exercise evaluating the identical course of and efficiency metrics.

For efficiency metrics, the content material metrics ought to align with targets. So, if progress is the aim, the content material plan ought to present how content material will assist obtain that aim. Then, the quarterly reporting exhibits what the crew tried to gasoline extra engagement with purchasers within the progress space and the way nicely these efforts carried out.

A hypothesis-based evaluation may assist. Phyllis provides the instance of a speculation through which your contacts who consumed content material closed quicker and at a higher-dollar determine than offers the place content material wasn’t consumed. Figure out which metrics will let if that speculation holds up.

Get strategic about connecting content material and income

Strategic content material is a vital driver of B2B income progress. But connecting these dots includes greater than monitoring efficiency metrics. You want every of those 5 constructing blocks to develop the content material intelligence you want to marry content material and money.

Learn extra about connecting content material and income throughout ContentRev, a free digital occasion, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022.


Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute