As you might expect, I spend a lot of my working week talking to people about content marketing. For me the most important question to ask, right at the beginning is "What does success look like?"

I’ve written about Return on Investment, Cost of Inaction and various other topics around the bottom line, but in all cases there is very little chance of a content strategy succeeding if no one involved knows what success actually looks like.

In Jodi Harris’ excellent article that I have linked to below, the data suggests that 81% of marketers are blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, but 55% of the sample don’t have a clear idea of what success looks like!

From experience, it’s very difficult to work out what metrics to use when quantifying the impact of your blogging; in part because it’s difficult to quantify the success of something you haven’t done before and in part because success looks different for every company in the B2B space.   

We have an excellent case study on our website at that illustrates some of the results of a successful content strategy, but your industry might be different or your CEO might have unrealistic expectations.

What success looks like is going to hinge on you, your audience, your ongoing strategy and your willingness to adapt. There are pointers out there, pick a competitor that is doing really well in the content stakes and see where they are succeeding, look at parallels from other (similar) industries. Ultimately, if you don’t start with at least an idea of what success looks like, you are not going to succeed!