3 Lessons on Measuring and Sharing Content for B2B Startups

Einstein once said “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Your content is the same. If you’re sharing and measuring thought leadership content by how much organic traffic it drives to your site, it’ll often look like it isn’t succeeding. Even if it's fueling sales conversations, driving engagement on social, and establishing your brand as a trusted source of industry insights.

Here, I’ll detail how B2B startups can use thought leadership content across marketing channels – and (literally) illustrate how that content reaches and influences your intended audience. Interested in this wordsmith’s attempt at visual storytelling? Then sit back and enjoy some comics.

1. The Best Content Comes from Marketing and Sales Collaborating

The Content Marketing Comic:

Why This Works

Sales and marketing departments too often operate in their own siloes with their own goals and their own metrics. That means if marketing is tasked with, for instance, increasing the company’s domain rating, they’re not incentivized to write content that addresses questions a niche audience may ask. These questions are often unearthed by sales teams, who end up explaining the same concepts over and over.

When sales and marketing collaborate, it helps sales deepen connections with prospects who ask these one-off questions. A former client of ours takes this educational approach one step further and measures the internal use of marketing resources; i.e., how frequently team members rely on marketing collateral for knowledge.

In addition to measuring organic traffic to the blog, they also measure internal utilization of every post (like the use case depicted above) and understand that the pieces that drive the most traffic may not be the most useful to the sales team and vice versa.

(As someone who worked in sales before starting at Propllr, I can’t tell you how many times I used the marketing team’s guides and blogs to fuel my own understanding of the industry – they were a godsend.)

2. Content That Resonates Will Have Some Critics – and That’s Good!

The Content Marketing Comic:

Why This Works

Taking a stand drives engagement. If you’re only publishing content that’s so neutral people can’t disagree with it, you should probably ask yourself why you’re creating content in the first place. Strong, well-researched opinions power social media. Promoting your own ideas is a tactical way to get in front of your target audience and contribute to larger conversations in your industry.

We recently had a client share a blog on LinkedIn that was reshared and commented on by a leader in their industry. The blog laid out a theoretical framework to address a problem in the industry. The commenter offered a different perspective: why that framework doesn't yet work in practice.

What may at first seem like a misstep is proof your idea holds weight, that it’s reaching the right people, and that it is, ultimately, contributing to solutions. After all, marrying the ideal with the real is how we solve most problems.

3. Let Your Newsletter Make an Impact by Playing the Long Game

The Content Marketing Comic:

Why This Works

A B2B brand’s newsletter should, first and foremost, engage its readers. At its best, a newsletter offers relevant insights, nurtures relationships, and, occasionally, prompts people to learn more about the company sending the newsletter. 

But to create a newsletter that delivers on those goals, companies need to view newsletters as what they are – opportunities to stay top of mind with prospects – and not what they aren’t – a tool that must deliver X conversions each month.

Take one of our clients, for example, who wanted to start a monthly newsletter after launching a content program with us. After presenting various newsletter strategies, we landed on a newsletter that functions as a Reader’s Digest for professionals in the client’s industry. The result: Various recipients forwarded the first newsletter to someone else.

For Meaningful Engagement, Take a Quality > Quantity Approach to Content

If you’re taking the time to create thought leadership content, then it’s important you measure it the right way. Like I (or, rather, Einstein) said in the introduction: don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.

Your thought leadership content might not drive the most page views or highest open rates – but there’s a good chance it helps elevate your brand and equips your sales team with resources that move outreach forward. This happens because thought leadership content helps your target audience identify, learn about, and solve their pain points more quickly.

Want to learn more about the benefits that specific, thought leadership-driven content can bring your startup? Let’s talk! If there’s one thing we love more than comic strips, it’s discussing how to make your content sing.