Discover what content works in B2B social media using (non-paid) click-through rates!

After reading an interesting article from The Real Time Report last week I was inspired to share some of the metrics I know most companies won’t be tracking in the B2B space…


The report above, which looked purely at website analytics as a way of determining referral traffic and leads generated, showed that 82% of leads came from Twitter and the platform outperformed Facebook and LinkedIn by 9 to 1.  Whilst in some cases I am sure that Twitter is more effective, the results do make me wonder how sophisticated the lead generation strategies are – particularly as the analysis was focused on small and medium sized businesses.

For our clients, a considered co-ordinated approach using LinkedIn has proved very successful but by no means is it a one channel strategy. Whatever channel you use for your content marketing and lead generation strategy, it is vital that the approach is optimised.  Here is a great metric to use to determine what content is working:

Clicks per referral (CPR) or Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rates are standard place when working with paid media. On the assumption that links are being tracked using a URL shortener (such as the next progressive step is to also track the number of times you are referring to a URL. For example, if you are pushing out this link on Twitter and on your LinkedIn company profile in one day then this would be two referrals.

Tracking clicks alone is a good indicator of popularity but does not factor in the amount of times the link has been distributed which can create an unbalanced view of what content is popular.

Take this real life (and anonymous) example below for one of our clients in the last month.  In the process of promoting multiple whitepapers across multiple channels we track the number of times we refer to the piece of content, against the click-throughs. This is done per social channel so we can understand what channel is working, as well as which piece of content:


Total Referrals

Total Clicks


Whitepaper 1




Whitepaper 2




Whitepaper 3




Whitepaper 4




Whitepaper 5





As you can see, Whitepaper 2 has really caught the attention of the community on this social channel.  The stats above are actually combined stats for multiple “messages” for each whitepaper. So, a deeper level analysis would actually reveal which of these messages was most successful.

Now, if you combine this data with the number of whitepaper downloads (per landing page, per channel) and a conversion from “lead” to “sales qualified lead” you are really starting to talk about insight that can effectively help you to optimise your approach to B2B lead generation…

Food for thought?

Graph taken from blog post produced by Marissa McNaughton for Real Time Report .com

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