Content has always been king, but now the kingdom is much larger and more powerful than ever. The importance of content in marketing has skyrocketed. Online media channels—possibly serving as the only source of information leading up to the purchase—allow your target audience to self-educate and become more-informed buyers. As a result, your audience is now less reliant on sales-oriented interactions with your company.

In this environment, content marketing can be extremely influential in driving high return on investment (ROI). But its greatest impacts can easily be missed if unmeasured and unmanaged.

Research has shown that content-oriented marketing initiatives that engage and educate are considered most effective at driving "high value leads most likely to convert to sales" (2010 Lenskold Group / emedia Lead Generation Marketing ROI study).

Though the impact of content marketing is equally important to B2C companies selling through retailers or direct, this research with B2B lead-generation marketers finds that ratings of effectiveness (Top 2 scores on a five-point scale) favor content marketing:

We'll now go through the three steps you can take to achieve higher ROI:

  1. Prioritize the right metrics for content marketing
  2. Manage key decisions for content marketing
  3. Improve performance and ROI

1. Prioritize the right metrics for content marketing

Think about the key strengths of content marketing and how they ultimately contribute to incremental sales, revenues, and profits. Content helps to shape buyers' needs, provide deeper knowledge of products and services, and support customers in gaining greater value from the relationship.

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image of Jim Lenskold
Jim Lenskold is founder and president of Lenskold Group (, a consultancy that delivers a comprehensive approach to marketing ROI measurement and management. He can be reached at