Reasons to Track Your Clients’ Online Content Downloads

By | March 12, 2013

We are hearing a lot about content marketing these days.  Much of this is being done online, but have you thought about how your clients’ online content can drive their investment in print?

According to the Content Marketing Institute:

  • 26% of B2B marketers’ total budgets are spent on content marketing
  • 60% of B2B marketers plan to spend more money on content marketing

Of these content marketers:

  • 58% of those plan to use case studies
  • 51% of those plan to use white papers
  • 31% plan to use print magazines
  • 20% plan to use print newsletters

Yes, I’m fully aware that many of the case studies and white papers are downloadable PDFs. I have a hard drive full of them myself.

But I remember a speaker at one of the Print Solutions conferences a few years back making a great point. He pointed out that online content can be used a powerful filter for investment in print because it becomes a proving ground. If you have content that is wildly popular online, it justifies the expense of producing the print version.

For example, if your clients are attending a trade show and are using downloadable case studies or white papers in PDF format, they might want to print out 500 copies of the top three or five to distribute at their booth. It’s worth the investment because they know that the content has power for that target audience.  (Also think personalized versions for key prospects and clients.)

How about “best of” booklets to give away to clients, prospects, or long-time, highest value customers? Canon/Oce´ is currently doing this with Digital Nirvana blog content — collecting the most widely read posts into a “best of” booklet for print distribution.

If you aren’t tracking your clients’ online content downloads, this is a great reason to start. Even if they aren’t tuned in to the value of knowing those metrics, as a PSP, you certainly should be.


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One thought on “Reasons to Track Your Clients’ Online Content Downloads

  1. Mike Porter

    Great points, Heidi. I’ve had clients that distributed the case studies we wrote for them as printed trade show collateral in addition to electronic channels, just as you described. They paid for the case studies once and found multiple ways to use them.

    Another way online content can drive print is through fulfillment. Prospects that have shown enough interest to download a whitepaper or case study have separated themselves from anonymous web site visitors or the contacts on your list that do not interact with your brand. Spending a little more money on this group by including them in drip programs that include direct mail marketing or sending them content that lends itself to printed material such as a booklet or wall chart might be a good way to spend print/mail dollars.

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