Courtship and Content Marketing: How to Measure Your Success

Marketing is simply another form of courtship. As marketers, we court our prospects with the hopes of winning them over with our charm and beginning a lasting, mutually profitable relationship. You see, in this analogy, we’re not dealing with a one-sided, dysfunctional romance, but a win-win situation for both parties.

Continuing the analogy, traditional marketers and content marketers represent two kinds of wooers: the short-game players and the long-game players. Each type of marketer must track their success in different ways, but before we get into that, let’s explore the distinction between the two.

Traditional Marketers: Masters of the Short-Game

These are the more aggressive go-getters. They put their offer on the table in a take-it-or-leave-it type approach, often with a narrowing window of opportunity. Their pickup line is to the point and leaves little room for “maybes,” usually eliciting an immediate “yes” or “no.”

Yeses in traditional marketing come from people who have been adequately prepared to take the leap and become a lead, whether by happy circumstance or deliberate prior conditioning through content marketing.

How to Measure Traditional Marketing Success

Tracking your success with traditional marketing is a simple matter of counting up the yeses, or leads. How many people filled out your contact form? How many calls did you receive off of the new landing page? How many clicks did you get off your PPC campaign?

Content Marketers: Pros of the Long-Game

Content marketers play a game of patience, opting for the trust-building technique, which takes more time but creates more payoff. Not only may your efforts end in a lead or sale, but your prospect will learn to trust you as an authority, confidante, and/or friend in the process.

The relationship a content marketer is trying to build is noncommittal, even passive. You want to build something long-term and loyal, but you’re not making demands or asking for anything right out of the gate. That’s the traditional marketing approach. Your priority is to disseminate useful information and media for their consumption and education. You also want to learn about your prospects through fruitful interactions via blog comments, webinars, surveys, and more.

Just like an attentive date, you understand that a healthy long-term relationship is built off of solid two-way communication and benefit.

How to Measure Content Marketing Success

It’s tempting to only track clicks, downloads, and views as your measurement of success in content marketing, but the real measurement of success will come outside of individual pieces of content or media.

What you really want to know is how well your content is motivating your prospects to take action. This can be accomplished by tracking prospects versus content. It will involve asking targeted questions of your prospects and sales team. You’ll need to find a way to track what your prospects are consuming and where they go after that, and what they do.

For example, if a particular prospect has downloaded a whitepaper on cloud computing for big business, and has visited your cloud computing product page a number of times, sales can be informed on how to approach that particular prospect and what content they may be interested in viewing next.

By tracking your prospects’ progress through the courtship process and learning all you can about them, you can take away actionable insights that will allow you to prove your success and recognize areas for improvement.

How do you track the success of your content marketing efforts?


Balik, Rachel. “To Successfully Measure B2B Content Marketing, Get In the Friend Zone.” (July 29, 2014.)

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