Measuring the performance of a content offer is one of the hardest things to do in digital marketing. Why? Because there are a million and one factors that play into a visitors decision to download your offer... and another million that contribute to whether or not they take action after.
In this blog post, I'll take you through the vast majority of these factors and explain how they fit into the performance of your content offer. At the end of this post, you should be able to accurately assess the performance of your content offer and break down which areas of your campaign need attention.
The Pieces of a Content OfferA content offer is an informative and relevant piece of content that you offer in exchange for a visitors personal information. This can be an ebook, a how-to-guide, a free trial or demo, or a tool or other resource.
For a content offer to be successful, there are many other things that should be created including (but not limited to):
- A CTA Button
- A Landing Page
- A Thank you Page
- A Promotional Email
- A Social Promotion Campaign
- A Follow-up Email Campaign
Content Offer Clicks - CTA Buttons, Social Ads, Email Promotions
One way to measure the performance of your content offer is with clicks. How many CTA clicks does your content offer have from your various avenues of promotion? This is not an indicator in itself of how well your content offer is performing, but rather an indicator of how well your ads, promotional emails, and CTA buttons are performing. What this can be an indicator of in regards to your offer is whether or not your idea hit the mark. How well is your offer resonating with your desired audience?
A lack of clicks may represent poor promotional material, but it may also represent a missing of the mark. Conversely, a high number of clicks could indicate great promotional material, but it could also indicate an interest in the topic/tool/resource you have provided to your intended audience.
It is up to you to look at your content and assess which is likely to be true.
Content Offer Conversions - Landing Pages, Forms, the OfferWhen reporting on the success of a content offer, many digital marketers immediately jump to conversions. If the conversion rate is high, the content offer is a success.
While lead conversion is often the primary reason for creating and publishing a content offer, the line of thinking above isn't very logical.
High Conversion Rate ≠ Content Offer Success
A good content writer can make even the most mundane and useless content offer seem exciting and worthwhile with a little copy writing finesse on the landing page.
On the other hand, a bad landing page or a form that sets too high a price may lead to the failure of a riveting and informative offer.
What does this mean for your performance metrics? Conversions really don't have a lot to do with the successful the offer itself is.
Customer Conversions (and other lead actions)
One last way many measure the performance of their content offers is with the actions leads take after interacting with an offer. How many visitors interact with the offer and then become customers? How many leads spend a significant amount of time on site after receiving the offer? How many take another step in their buying journey after receiving the offer?
This metric, like those listed before it, has its complications. Your content offer might not be directly responsible for any of the actions your leads choose to take after interacting with it.
Their intent to take a specific action may have existed before they chose to download your offer. If you have a lead nurturing campaign in place, it could also be responsible for the lead taking action.
Any way you slice it, you can not directly correlate a leads actions (after downloading your offer) with the quality of the offer (this isn't 100% true, but we'll touch on that in a second).
So How Do you Measure the Success of Your Content Offer?Like many other digital marketing efforts, a content offer is just one piece of a much larger picture. The success of the CTA button, the landing page, the form, and the follow-up email campaign are all the success of the content offer. And each piece tells you something new about your offer.
Your promotional materials - social and paid ads, CTA buttons, etc. tell you how marketable your offer is. Your landing page and form give you some insight into whether or not your audience is interested in the information or the tool you have provided, and the follow-up campaign tells you how good of a job your content offer did at guiding your leads down the sales funnel.
Looking at all of these metrics is important in assessing the overall performance of your content offer. And when evaluating individual aspects of your overall digital marketing strategy, you should consider what role they play in the grander scheme of things. That being said, there are a few things you can do to assess the performance of your content offer itself.
- Hypothesize, test, measure. Let's say you aren't receiving any form submissions on your landing page. You believe the copy is the problem, so you change it - you see no change in submissions. You reevaluate your landing page, and you believe the design is the problem. You change the design - still no change in submissions. Finally, you conclude that your form is just asking too much of visitors. You get rid of a couple of form fields and... still nothing.
The problem might be that your offer is not as valuable as you believed it would be. Hypothesize, test, and measure the difference. This will lead you to a conclusion about your offer.
- Provide a next step on the offer itself. If you give users a direct step to take at the end of - or in the middle of - your content offer, you can rate its performance based on how many individuals take the step provided.
- Sometimes assessing success is as simple as a survey. Yeah, it's that easy. Just send a follow-up email to those who interact with your offer asking them to rate it - better yet, ask them to rate it right there at the end of the offer or on the thank you page!
Getting direct feed back is a sure fire way to know if your offer is successful. Regardless of how many clicks, conversions, and customers a content offer can be associated with, a bunch of one out of five's will point you in the right direction.
- Start with a clear goal in mind. I don't think I need to tell you that having S.M.A.R.T goals recorded is important when launching a content offer. Hopefully, this post has helped you nail down the M, but regardless of what you have learned here, if you have a specific goal in mind, measurement is easy. Did you reach your goal? If no, then your offer under performed. If you met or succeeded your goal, then it looks like the offer did its job.
I know that is egregiously simplistic, but this isn't a post about setting goals.
Conclusions we can draw about measuring content offer performance
It isn't easy to measure the performance of an offer, but if you look at all of the different pieces that contribute to its success, you should be on your way to creating an amazing campaign. For the best results, remember to go through every possible cause for an outcome befoe making any changes.
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