This is the second of two posts on B2B and B2C content marketing challenges. Read about how to produce engaging content consistently in the first post.

In the CMI/Marketing Profs annual Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends surveys, B2B and B2C marketers identified the challenges they face. Measuring content's effectiveness was #1 for B2C folks, and #3 for B2B. Producing a variety of content was also an issue, ranking #5 for B2C and #4 for B2B.

Here's how we address these challenges.

1. Measuring Content Effectiveness

Analytics shed light on many important factors related to content--and we all love looking at our little dashboards and seeing how the needles move. But these data points only tell us so much about content that engages. We can know what content engages customers and how they engage, which is super-helpful. But beyond type and formatting, it's hard to operationalize those data points into feedback content producers can use to create more great stuff. For a full measure of content effectiveness, we need to factor in more qualitative metrics, too.

We take a look at top-performing content metrics-wise and then analyze it from a more creative perspective, and we use a tool developed for K-12 classrooms, so we know smart marketers can master it. It's called the 6 Traits and it's the best way I know to understand the characteristics of content that works (or doesn't). This method allows us to understand the traits of individual pieces of successful content and to identify larger trends about the traits the the audience truly values.

Your Action Steps:

2. Producing a Variety of Content

We love to consume all kinds of content, and so do our customers. And some content is of higher value at different times in the sell/buy cycle. Figuring out what mix of content to produce doesn't have to be tricky, though. When trying to drive business, talk to sales and customer service team members about how they get customers to buy and what questions/objections customers have. It's also helpful to find out ahead of time what problems customers may have been having.

With this information, you can build content that addresses these most effectively, like a set of data points for people ready to decide and seeking validation, a video demo of the product or service in action or trouble-shooting a common problem, or a first-person testimonial for people still researching. Thinking about the audience's needs is an easy way to figure out the right variety.

Another approach is to brainstorm ways to "atomize" existing content, like a whitepaper or article, into all kinds of other related content. For instance, we wrote an article on how to buy an ergonomic backpack and an accompanying anatomy of a backpack infographic, along with a companion article on backpack "personalities". All this content was created from one set of interviews and research. The social team shared tips on choosing and links to the infographic across all channels.

Your Action Steps:

Tackling even one of these big challenges will produce positive results for your content marketing initiatives. So what are you waiting for?

And if you want some help, drop me a line.