3 Ways To Optimize The Performance Of Your Resource Center
April 20, 2017
The resource center is often the pride and joy of every B2B marketing team. It represents all of the time, effort, and hard work you have put into your content and campaigns over the years. Whether someone is looking for a solutions overview sheet, a product spec breakdown, a third-party analyst report, or an aspirational whitepaper, your potential customers can access to all of your content-y goodness in one place.
That’s why it’s entirely strange to me that so many resource centers are left untended. They are often poorly managed, not updated with current material, and take a back seat to landing pages, product pages, and the blog when it comes to the audience experience. Let’s be honest. When was the last time you optimized your content treasure trove? I am willing to bet it has been some time.
I hate to break it to you, but your resource center isn’t all that!
Too many resource centers have become content dumping grounds where little thought is put into the experience your audience is going to have:
- How do potential customers find your resource center?
- What are they most often looking for?
- How do they navigate all the content it contains?
- Does that navigation mirror the path they need to take on the way to purchase?
These are all important questions most marketers fail to answer about their resource centers and websites.
Frustration about resource centers is commonplace in my discussions with fellow marketers – some incredibly advanced in the way they manage these content hubs, and others who don’t have the time or resources to leverage their content repository in meaningful and actionable ways. Throughout these discussions, three key optimization needs have become apparent:
1. Benchmark analytics
As a marketer, I always found it maddening how hard it was to get any kind of meaningful data out of my resource centers. I’d have to ask our Web Ops person to try to pull together metrics, and he or I would have to spend a lot of time digging around in Google Analytics for something interesting. Ultimately, we’d decide the data we pulled was useless.
One key component missing in this stage of seeking realistic measurement was understanding what we wanted to set as a benchmark for analytics. What did we want to measure and would it provide the right insights that we could repeat on a consistent basis? There was only one way that was going to happen, and that brings me to my first conclusion…
Optimization tip: Create a comprehensive benchmark analytics plan to consistently measure your current content within your resource center. Figure out which metrics really matter to your business, your team, and you as an individual marketer, and track them on a regular basis so you can compare current numbers to historical data.
2. Performance metrics
A simple question like “How did eBook X perform versus eBook Y” isn’t always so simple to answer after all. Any marketer who is responsible for getting the most bang for their content buck has had to tackle this math problem at some point or another during annual content audits. After all, how do you determine which assets to update and which to retire?
Not all content is created equal. It’s often impossible to answer these questions when different pieces of content are used for different personas or industries at different stages of the buying process, and they’re distributed through various channels and audiences. It becomes even more challenging when some assets are gated and some are not. Often clicks and form fills are overvalued, while other important data, like whether they actually looked at the asset, how far through it they got, and how long they viewed it, are ignored.
Optimization tip: Go beyond the form fill. Measure engagement data for individual pieces of content and use that data to understand which topics, formats, and channels are really resonating with your audience. Use those insights to optimize your content creation and distribution process to ensure better results in the future.
3. A hub for multiple channels
One last surprise to me was the lack of definition in how marketers used their resource centers. In most cases, it was simply used as the “place where we put all of the content” – a dumping ground of All The Things people can access if they want. I found this to be interesting as most people, in my experience, will check out more if they are brought to a place that provides a path for them to consume more. This begged the question: Why not make the resource center not just a destination but THE destination for multiple channels? Whether you bring in social engagement programs, demand generation campaigns, client success enablement, or event channel partner journeys, these can be directed through an optimized resource center!
Think of your resource center more like a curated experience for the individual visitor and their respective needs. Netflix does this by offering up content that is relevant to what you have shown interest in by leveraging benchmarks analytics, your individual performance metrics, and by giving you access across multiple channels to keep you coming back for more!
Your resource center CAN be all that if you put the time in to optimize and make it work for you. You’ve put so much time into creating meaningful, engaging content, it would be such a waste to not close that loop and make sure that you gain all the valuable data and insights you possibly can from it.