When it comes to content marketing, figuring your ROI can be a challenge. The benefits may not be as immediately evident as a targeted marketing campaign and sometimes it’s not obvious which metrics you should measure to ensure success. How can you be sure your content marketing is delivering value?
There’s a widespread misunderstanding about what content marketing is…and isn’t. Most people understand that it’s about providing great content, but great content alone just sits there. Without the marketing part, no one will discover your content, no matter how great it might be.
So to start answering the question of content marketing ROI, we have to set, measure, and understand your content marketing goals. Consider the following goal criteria.
1. Building Audience
Follower count is a place to start, but your followers aren’t your only potential audience. When evaluating your goal, you should consider not only your audience, but the number of people your audience can reach when they share your content. That’s one of the primary values of quality content: extending your reach.
2. Earning Shares
Extending your reach is the reason you need to track beyond a simple follower count, and instead, watch how your content spreads across the web. If your content isn’t spreading, you’re not engaging your audience. To improve, you need to figure out why.
Some of the biggest mistakes in content marketing and social media:
- Interruption marketing: The idea of social media is to engage and be part of the conversation, not to disrupt a conversation to insert a sales pitch.
- Writing to the wrong audience: Number of followers isn’t as important as quality of followers. Find and connect to people who are interested in your industry or who already love your product. Write content for them.
- Not paying attention to complaints: Some companies focus on positive feedback and ignore the negative, instead of addressing it, fixing it, and making their audience feel they have a voice.
- Not being interactive: How many companies post a blog and then don’t respond to comments? How many never ask for an opinion?
3. Gaining More Site Visits
Tracking the number of web visitors is a critical measure of success, and once again, not the only metric. If visitors are clicking through and then clicking away immediately, you’re writing great headlines, but your content isn’t delivering. Headlines are your bait. Content is your hook.
4. Achieving Higher Search Position and Web Rank
As you add quality content, a number of things will happen to increase your visibility on the web. More traffic to your site, an increase in social signals, and quality backlinks from authors quoting your content add up to better compliance with Google search algorithm ranking factors.
It’s circular. Your content raises your search position, your website lands on the first page of the site, more people see your content…
5. Reducing Churn
Keeping your customers is always easier than luring in new ones—and a lot more lucrative. Providing content that answers questions and concerns shows your loyal customers you care about them and makes them feel like part of the process.
6. Overcoming Buying Objections
Good content assists your sales department by delivering more qualified leads. Customers who first get answers from your website waste less of your time. Content can do at least half the work for you. Some of your content marketing ROI can be measured in terms of increased productivity in your sales department.
7. Increasing Sales
Naturally, the end goal of content marketing is increasing sales. It’s not enough to drive traffic, you want to convert visitors to customers.
In the end, that’s your most powerful metric. If you provide valuable content to a targeted audience and use effective promotion methods, your sales will go up. That’s your real (and measurable) content marketing ROI.
Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.
You’ll learn how to:
- Increase Your Referral Rate
- Increase Your Social Media Reach
- Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
- Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
- Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource