Chapter 5

Optimize your content based on reader insights

Measuring the return on content is fundamental to proving the value of your marketing efforts, yet it’s one of the most challenging things for marketers to do.

By leveraging the right data, the right way, engagement analytics can uncover a wealth of insights.

To make all this worth the effort and ensure you’re not throwing money down the drain, you should be able to gather insights that help you maximize not just downloads, but lead and, ultimately, sales opportunities and revenue.

Marketers are now challenged with not just measuring clicks and downloads, conversions, and quantity metrics but also quality metrics such as engagement and lead velocity. There lies a massive opportunity for the marketers that are ready to meet this challenge head-on being able to optimize campaigns based on quantity, quality, and velocity.

Below is a list of questions to get started with your content ROI

How many people downloaded?

This one's a no-brainer. If your white papers are distributed as links in emails or gated behind a form on a landing page, the number of downloads serves as a good metric to help you optimize your email copy, perform a/b tests on the CTAs, or remove extra form fields.

How much do they actually read?

Do readers get all the way to the end of the white paper, or do they give up a few pages in? The latter could indicate that your content isn't valuable, interesting, or that the reading experience is poor. Measuring the time they spend reading and the number of pages they get through is crucial for understanding your white paper's contribution to bottom-line results.

Which pages and topics do people spend the most time on?

Knowing which specific chapters or sections readers spend the most time on is not only useful for optimizing your content, but it allows you to segment your audience by their interests and use a tailored follow-up approach. You can use marketing automation to assign different readers to different sales teams based on the topics they focus on.

Which links and CTAs perform best?

Including CTAs in your white paper or Ebook is smart. Rather than waiting a few days to send a follow-up email, embedded CTAs encourage leads to take immediate action while they're still engaged with your content.

Measuring the performance of links and CTAs within your white paper is vital for succeeding with this strategy. You should continually test the CTA text, placement, accompanying description and destination, and optimize accordingly.

Which pages have a high exit rate?

High exit rates will give you clues about the quality of your content. It might indicate that your content is no good, but it also might mean readers found what they were looking for.

If readers exit, though, you want to ensure they're taking the next step you've planned for them. If they leave before reaching your CTA, for example, you may need to rethink the order of your pages. Like with all content, it's important to test different iterations for the best results.

How often is your white paper or eBook shared via social media and email?

As your content is passed along, you don't only get a better grasp of its value, but you get the opportunity to collect data from all those second-degree leads as well — as long as you've gated it properly with an embedded form.

Immediate access to metrics like those mentioned above will help you evaluate your content asset, optimize and perform a/b tests, save time and money in the long term, and make educated decisions without wondering whether your white paper or eBook is working or not.

Ready to skyrocket your lead generation?