Marketers must measure their efforts in order to manage and optimize them. This is an eternal truism across all functions within a firm, and it is just as important when it comes to content & community marketing.
That said, our findings indicate that most B2B marketers are not measuring what matters when it comes to their branded content and communities.
In order to gauge which activities are working and which are not, a marketer needs to have a measurement framework in place that aligns with the business’s high-level goals.
In later stages of social marketing maturity, marketers will have a unified dashboard that shows historical benchmarks, progress toward objectives, and comparison with a competitive set.
Over 50% of all respondents said that, while they don’t have a dashboard, they do measure basic metrics, such as Likes, Comments, and Shares.
Unfortunately, these basic metrics are not easily translatable to a dollar value, except by using attribution models reliant on calculations that often attempt to equate correlation with causation.
Lack of a credible dollar value on KPIs eliminates the opportunity for Marketing to make the quantifiable business case for their social marketing efforts.
More and more, B2B marketers will be required by the business to define and document their social marketing measurement framework, starting with top-line revenue goals like lead generation.
Then, they will begin to see progress in marketing effectiveness based on dashboards which show content performance, community health, quarterly objective progress, and derive competitive insights.
These dashboards will not only provide transparency and alignment within Marketing, but will become a vital component of the monthly C-Level Business Update covering overall business performance.
In 2016, firms will invest more heavily in social analytics platforms, in-house analysts, and outside consultants to build out custom social measurement dashboards to ensure that the team’s efforts are tied to the firm’s overall top-line and bottom-line business goals.
Click below to learn more about The 2015 State of B2B Social Marketing whitepaper and to get a copy of the report.
Jed Singer is the President of Socialight Media Marketing. He has been keeping his clients at the forefront of social marketing since 2006. He has worked with the world’s largest brands, including P&G, MasterCard, ESPN, HBO, and Humana. His team crafts award winning campaigns and designs strategies for content marketing, community building, customer engagement, and lead generation that connect social to sales.