This post originally appeared on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.
Here are a pair of startling statistics pulled from the 2017 Content Marketing Institute report: Half of B2B marketers say their content marketing strategies aren’t working, and only 37% have documented their strategies.
Perhaps most startling, though, is that these are still issues. CMI’s research has, for many years, shown a strong connection between documented strategies and success.
With 70% of B2B organizations looking to produce even more content in 2017 than in the previous year, it’s now more important than ever to ensure you have the right strategy and advertising partners in place.
So let’s course correct with some best practices—successful tactics some of your peers are using—and make 2017 the year you wrestled the content animal into submission.
Best Practice #1: Leverage Social Media Content
Marketers are hardly ignoring social media content. In fact, 83% of B2B marketers use social media, making it the most popular content marketing tactic. And with 84% usage, social promotion is the second-highest paid tactic. But it’s easy to treat social as a box that needs to be checked. While social media is easy to automate, a “Field of Dreams” approach of merely building your page, investing minimal time in creative, and hoping people will come rarely works. In other words, when it comes to social media, efficiency does not always equal proficiency.
Effective social media means actually engaging with your customers and community. To do this, you need to be where your audience is. This is a big reason why 89% of content marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. It’s a strategy that works, too, with 71% rating LinkedIn as the most important social platform for content marketing success.
Best Practice #2: Align Your Strategy with Business Goals
If lead generation is your top content marketing goal, as it is for 80% of B2B marketers, your content strategy needs to ultimately generate form fills and inquiries. But not all lead generation is created equal. While high-quality lead generation increases revenue, low quality leads have the exact opposite effect. The sales team wastes time on unqualified prospects. The marketing team is forced to reevaluate lead criteria. And in many cases, you’re not just losing a lead, you’re losing the opportunity to nurture a future customer.
LinkedIn’s goal is to make it easier for marketers can proactively measure and act upon lead quality. Robust targeting and conversion tracking provides visibility into lead attribution. By knowing where your sales ready leads come from, you can properly manage performance to your targets. This guide to generating sales leads with Sponsored Content will show you how.
Best Practice #3: Analyze and Report on Metrics That Matter
While 79% of marketers lean on analytics tools to document performance, only 44% track bottom of funnel conversions. There’s little question, though, that more marketers would track bottom-funnel conversions if it were easier.
LinkedIn Conversion Tracking gathers insights into post-click and view-through conversions of your Sponsored Content and Text Ad campaigns. LinkedIn Conversion Tracking also gives you the ability to measure the full impact of your ads so you can continually optimize your campaigns and boost ROI.
Ready to start tracking conversions? Visit our conversion tracking page for step-by-step instructions.
Join us as leading B2B brands share their experiences in their global customer outreach efforts in the digital space and what it could mean for you and your brand. The LinkedIn B2B Forum at Advertising Week Asia is Wednesday, 31 May at 12:30pm in Tokyo Midtown: Room 7.