“When creating content, be the best answer on the internet.” – Andy Crestodina
As a content marketer, of course, you want your content piece to be “the best answer on the internet”. So you craft a killer piece of content, it’s all rainbows and sunshine when you see it come alive, published with beautifully designed images. What next? How do you figure if it’s “the best answer on the internet”?
SEO rankings being the obvious answer to that question is a myth. Content marketing goes far and beyond writing a content piece and letting it go. It’s not a single, stand-alone campaign that you write for, it’s a commitment that you’d create several content pieces, each one better than the last. Enter – Content Scoring.
With a view to create exceptional content that converts, building and implementing a content scoring system will make you believe that you’re ‘marketing for the now’. Let’s find out how, shall we?
Understanding the Premise
Standard content marketing metrics like pageviews, impressions, time spent on a page, etc, can give you an insight into how your content is performing but they don’t necessarily tell you why your content is performing.
In content scoring, you assess and quantify the true potential of your content by tracking down how individual content pieces perform in terms of generating and converting leads. Different types of content provide different value to customers when they’re placed strategically across different stages of the funnel. For instance, a blog post would be more relevant to a new website visitor, and an eBook or a case study would have more value for prospects that have already moved further down the funnel.
How to Score Your Content
Content scoring relies completely on the sales funnel. Let’s take an example of a buyer journey, from being anonymous to being a qualified prospect. Let’s say, there are 4 touchpoints:
- Reading a blog post
- Watching a video on the homepage
- Reading an article
- Subscribing to the monthly newsletter
After engaging with these touchpoints, let’s say the prospect signs up for a product demo and becomes an MQL.
Each of these touchpoints has played its part in pushing the lead further down the funnel and so each will get a number. Each MQL has the value of 1, that is in equal distribution, each content piece would be worth ¼.
Most marketers give more credit to the first touchpoint and the last touchpoint considering that the first one helps them attract the attention of the prospect and the last one is the final nudge they need to become an MQL.
Scoring, in this case, may look something like this:
- Blog post = 0.35
- Video = 0.15
- Article = 0.15
- Newsletter = 0.35
Like most things in content marketing, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy does not work when it comes to scoring. Here’s how you can create a functional content scoring strategy:
1. Standardize content types: Standardizing your content types across the organization is step one for establishing a solid content scoring system. Each business unit must have an understanding of the type of content the organization creates – whitepapers, datasheets, solution documents, blog posts, etc.
2. Audit content: In this step, you identify the content pieces that are relevant, engaging, and have brought in significant traffic. It’s similar to cleaning up your database. There may be content assets lying in your content repository that are redundant, trivial, or just outdated. It may be hard to clean up your content repository after years of generating a ton of content, so set a number of assets you want to assess periodically, say about 30 per week.
3. Create a scoring model: As we’ve established, content scoring goes beyond basic user tracking. To make content scoring worth your while, focus on its 3 C’s – context, consumption, and consequence.
- Context: This is the kind of engagement or situation the content is used in. Extract prospects’ information like industry, location, competitors, stage in the buyer journey, etc, and you’ll know who and where the prospect is.
- Consumption: This helps you understand how the content was consumed, used, or shared. It can be further broken to how your sales reps used the content – was it to prepare for the meeting, was it presented during the meeting, or was it sent as a follow-up?
- Consequence: Here’s where you drill down on the true impact of your content piece and if it helped improve a certain business outcome. Consider questions like – did it improve the deal size, did the customer ask for a certain use case in relevance to the original content piece, or did it accelerate the sales cycle?
Assign scores to each content piece on the basis of the 3 C’s and insert those scores in your content management system.
4. Evaluate Consistently: Evaluate content that works by segregating your high-performance assets. Quantifying content can be difficult but once you establish a performance pattern, you can focus on creating similar, relevant content for different target audiences.
Content scoring may look and feel like a daunting task but it’s definitely worth your time. It may not bring you an immediate increase in leads but it will be fruitful, slowly but surely.
Not many marketers have understood the hidden potential of content scoring, don’t let that marketer be you. Get cracking on content scoring and leverage it as the content marketing trojan horse it’s meant to be.
Get the power of content scoring in your corner!
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