The act of publishing content that has been created for spreading word about your brand and teaching readers about the product and services rendered is called content marketing. Lately, it has become the talk of the town with almost 88% B2B marketers making it part of their overall marketing strategy.
It helps not only to make everyone aware of your brand but also plays a major role in lead generation.
However, one facet that still is a problem with content marketing is definite calculation of ROI.
According to Content Marketing Institutes’ report, 25% of the B2C marketers do not measure the ROI of their content efforts.
Many confuse ROI and successful content to be different concepts. The fact is that they are in fact, interrelated and interdependent. One will definitely play a hand in the other’s success.
While successful content focuses on quality and originality of content, ROI focuses only on the money and time that was spent creating and promoting the content along with the returns that one gains from the content.
Thus, it is obvious that for a higher ROI, a good success rate is needed. Only if you can market your original and insightful content appropriately, your returns will be fruitful.
Many factors can feature in both return as well as investment. Another important factor is that some are quantifiable while others are not.
Coming to content utilization, you must make sure that your content is used and shared as much as possible otherwise ROI will always run in negative.
According to Sirius Decisions reports, at least 60-70% content goes unused.
That’s a big number, especially if you are outsourcing your content marketing. If you are outsourcing your content marketing, make sure it brings you quantifiable results with the following tips:
Promote content on a Few Channels
Content needs promotion for better ROI. But that does not mean that you need to promote it on every existing channel. A content piece that works on channel A might not do so well on Channel B. Publishing such content on Channel B would not only be a waste of time, it will negatively affect your ROI.
According to Neil Patel, Facebook and Twitter with his email list is all he needs for his product QuickSprout.
So it is important to understand and do a little research about which channel is relevant to the content you are sharing. Once you understand which channels best for your business, you can begin focusing solely on them instead of wasting time on multiple channels.
Create a table to understand which channels are the best for promoting your content. This table will let you analyse your past content and provide the number of visitors you got the last time.
Here is an example of how the table might look like:
Content is the important part, as based on that ROI can increase. Content is of two types:
Evergreen content can be used for a long time as it stays relevant for a long time.
Temporary content needs to be upgraded as it will lose relevance soon.
If you have created evergreen content then there is no challenge, but if you have created temporary content then the case is not the same. There is a probability of the content losing its viewership with time. So you will need to keep upgrading it to keep viewers interested.
There are a number of advantages of upgrading content regularly:
- Continuous conversations with your audience.
- New material to share in newsletters and social media.
- Requires less effort than making content from scratch.
People want themselves to look good to others so they will never share old content because it is outdated. Upgraded content will definitely get more shares.
Never Stop Promotions
As established earlier, content promotion is a great way to improve ROI. Good content sitting on site/blog/social media post will not bring in viewership if not promoted. So you need to invest a significant portion of your time and efforts towards promoting your content.
Top marketers spend about 80% time promoting the content and 20% time creating it.
True initial promotions will boost traffic inflow but over time it will dwindle down. So if you are looking to improve ROI you will have to look for ways to promote your content every now and then, even your old content.
Repost your content on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter from time to time.
Google alerts can be a great way to engage your audience. It alerts you whenever someone is talking about the topic your content is based on. Take advantage of this and pop in to engage with your targeted audience and nudge them towards viewing your content.
Make Content Good not Great
It has been established that unique content is bound to improve traffic but it might not mean amazing ROI. This is because to create the unique content you had to spend a reasonable amount of money and time creating it.
For example, you might have spent $200 creating content that is good and spending another $100 would make it great. So now you have to consider whether spending that extra $100 pay off later.
It is a tough decision but needs to be made as it will directly affect your ROI.
So how do you decide?
Make sure content is better than that of competitors but try not to go over-board.
Outbound Marketing Strategies
It is a common notion that advertising is good for improving ROI, but some inbound marketers may feel that outbound marketing strategies are not worth the time.
Facebook and other social media platforms do help in advertising your content but the percentage of growth in traffic is quite low. Whereas, for outbound marketing strategies it is much higher.
All you need to do is find a balance between the both, and you will see greater ROI gains.
Optimizing the Funnel
It is obvious that to improve ROI you will need to improve sales.
So you need to set up a sales funnel that starts with lead generation through email marketing or social media posts followed by more intricate forms of communication that finally lead to a sale.
If you think you have optimized your sales funnel then re-check once more to find out if there are any missing links. If conversion rate is not improved, then ROI will never improve.
The Return-On-Investments is governed by a number of factors. So you need to understand and calculate your ROI. Once the calculations are complete, you need to go ahead and measure it against every piece of content that you created.
Failing to measure ROI will take away the chance to gain insight into which content topic or promotion technique can improve ROI.
Thus a measurement of the ROI is of great importance. So here is how you could successfully calculate ROI:
Creating content requires money and time. Good content can bring in good returns as well but it is important that you find out whether your returns are greater than investment.
The tricks that have been mentioned above can help you to turn your negative ROI into positive ROI. So go ahead and use them with your content creation process to see your ROI get a boost.