October 19, 2016
Content is still king. Inbound marketing requires quality content to drive traffic, visibility and leads. Content needs to exist for each stage of the buying process.
So, when asked “Does web content have an ROI?” illustrate the return on investment with these metrics demonstrating conversion and nurturing success.
“Marketing is like a friendship. There are lots of pivotal moments in a friendship, like parties, but you don’t get invited if you’re not part of the regular conversation.” — Mark Walker, head of content marketing Eventbrite
Marketers can focus their ROI calculations on each individual channel — social, email, organic, PPC — to identify gain valuable intelligence. Digging deeper, the marketer might also measure independent campaigns launched on each of the channels.
Tracking ROI on content marketing isn’t always easy, but there are metrics and tools you can use to get more in depth and provide evidence that web content does have ROI. Consider first what return you want to track to quantify content value.
Focus on metrics that highlight the number of qualified leads generated by content. For instance, you might track the number of blog readers filling out a form embedded in the post or following a Call to Action (CTA) to a landing page form.
You might also use information from marketing automation software to determine how email, video and social media are assisting sales opportunities. After all, content marketing is not only about putting together an ebook and posting it online. The marketing team should also be touting this ebook on social media or via email. That content call also be spun off as infographics, slide shares, videos or webinars.
Other marketing indicators to watch in examining content ROI include:
In measuring content success in lead generation, don’t focus exclusively on quantity; be sure to measure quality of leads (conversion rates) and engagement.
Visitor-to lead conversions are a start. But the key is determining how many leads are sales-qualified and how many actually progress through the funnel. Are they becoming loyal customers? Every blog subscriber or person who downloads a white paper that goes from a lead to a sale can be valued.
To best utilize time and money spent on content, identify top converting channels and landing pages. Look also to conversion assists to identify what content is helping convert leads and assisting sales. Finally, it's helpful to go a little deeper and study what content is being used to assist lead to sales opportunity conversions. Consider experimenting with using content strategically in the sales nurturing process to assist opportunities between calls and meetings.
The decision-makers questioning content marketing’s value can also be reminded of both content’s corollary benefits and ongoing value.
The primary value of content for the sales process:
Corollary benefits include:
Marketing software such as Hubspot, which can be easily linked to customer relationship management tools, can drive the kind of closed-loop reporting that helps discover the best lead sources and customer conversion content.
Related reading: What is Closed-Loop Marketing?
Plus, unlike product-centric content that can quickly become outdated, broader content marketing materials are often evergreen — meaning they help the company make money while making customers happy. Continuously generate returns with entertaining, educating and delighting content.
Bosomworth, D. (2016, June 30). KPIs for measuring content marketing ROI. https://www.smartinsights.com/content-management/content-marketing-strategy/measuring-content-marketing-kpis/
Procida, L. (2016, Sept. 16). Get Buy-In From Executives With These 6 Common-Sense Reasons. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/09/get-buyin-executives/
B2B Content Marketing [REPORT], 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America
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