So, you’ve entered the realm of B2B content marketing. Congratulations! You’re probably busy building blog posts and publishing them. Or generating stories for a newsletter. Or creating cool, share-worthy videos for your brand’s Facebook page.

No doubt about it—producing fresh content on a regular basis takes time. So much so, you might forget to pause and check the rearview mirror to see where you’ve been. What’s working and what isn’t. And where you should go next.

Here are some quick tips for marketers who are already doing content marketing but have taken the time to gauge the success of their work:

1. Keep an eye on your target audience

Now that you have some history to consider, it’s easier to know what works and who’s consuming your content. That can teach you what your audience prefers, so you can build their favorite topics and formats into your editorial calendar in the months to come.

2. Take stock of the topics you’ve covered

Take a look back at the subjects your content has touched on. Is there overkill anywhere? Are there topics you haven’t even hit yet that are important to your target audience? Maybe there’s a challenge in their business that you’ve recently uncovered. Be sure to add it to the mix of topics to keep it fresh and relevant.

3. Check your channels

Where are people consuming your content? And which channels are duds? Remember, you want to reach influencers who like your stuff and share it with their vast networks. Are you reaching them on the right platforms?

4. Is your content creating new business?

The ultimate goal of content marketing is usually about growth—in customer base, in sales, in loyalty, in brand awareness. So, are you growing? If not, what needs tweaking? The path to your content, or the content itself?

5. Measure meaningfully

Do you have the right metrics in place to track your progress? One way to make sure you can see concrete results is to include a clear call to action in your content that points to a response you can track. For instance, at the end of a blog post, you might have a call to action to click through to set up a free consultation. You can measure exactly how many visitors go from reading to clicking to meeting—and then become your customers.

6. Keep in step with the current events

The news cycle never slows down—and the stories that break across different industries and markets can change the topic of conversation in a matter of hours—or minutes. Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest industry news so that your content is as timely and relevant as possible. Hey, it’s all about being part of the conversation!

7. Control the whole funnel

Sometimes, it makes sense to offer content that’s useful at multiple points in your brand’s buying cycle. Customers are doing more and more research before they ever contact you for the first time. So it’s critical to know the right moment to reach them.

Content marketing life-cycle

The bottom line

Content marketing isn’t just about publishing. It starts with a clear plan—and continual evaluation of your efforts. When you check the rearview mirror on a regular basis, you have a better sense of where you need to go next.

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