How to Justify Your Content Marketing Efforts and Prove It’s ROI


Tag Archives: Content Strategy

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How to Justify Your Content Marketing Efforts and Prove It’s ROI

Content marketing is a long game. It’s not something that can help you become an overnight success. Sure, there are cases when a single blog post literally spread all over the Web like wildfire, but that isn’t really content marketing. This sort of marketing technique is far more than that. It covers all sorts of different aspect that bulk up your brand awareness, stimulates user engagement, and influences your customers to create more conversions on your site.

Even though this is something that every single profitable brand out there desperately wants, people still tend to have problems with making their content really work for them.

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Content marketing requires patience. It takes a lot of time before it starts to bring in fruits of your labor. How come? – Well, because this practice requires continuity. In order to turn your website into a real content hub where people will intuitively come looking for tips and answers on how to improve their business – you need to generate a constant flow of smart and compelling content on your site.

That means that you need you focus on quality and quantity, as well. You cannot just publish a new post once a month and expect from people to come running to your blog. Nope. It doesn’t really work like that. Your job here is to be omnipresent, useful, and above all – relevant.

Naturally, this sort of thing tends to take a lot of time and lot of efforts, and yet again – it doesn’t really guarantee anything. You can set up all sorts of different goals for your content, but the thing is – its influence cannot be put in real and precise numbers. Most businesses really don’t like that. They believe that time is money, and every single second that is spent on something that isn’t really increasing sales is a valuable second wasted of their company time.

Thanks to that, a lot of marketers are still facing extreme difficulties while pitching content marketing to some of their clients. Even though most businessmen get that this sort of marketing is important for their brand, thanks to content marketing’s unclear accountability and revenue generation – most decision makers tend to look at this technique as something that isn’t really a top priority for them. 

You and me both know that this a terrible way to look at content marketing.

Why Should Anyone Invest In Content Marketing If Doesn’t Guarantee Precise ROI?

Despite the fact that almost every business out there is going all out in this department as well, and it’s becoming more and difficult to get your desired audiences to acknowledge and read your material – the demand for creating new and curating old content is still exponentially growing online.

How come? – Well, because today shopper’s decisions are dependent on information they find online. They’re in constant need of more and more material that helps them understand which products are a good fit for their particular needs and which are not.

It doesn’t really matter if they’re looking for a tv, a new cell phone, clothes, some sort of a digital tool, or even a type of pastry – people turn to the Web for answers. They start browsing through thousands and thousands of search results, looking for best solutions for their questions.

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This is where content marketing comes to shine. When you really strip it down to its core, Google is nothing more than an algorithm that finds the best answers to people’s queries. If we don’t continue to create answers that feed this engine with valuable information, that it later on distributes to those who are in need of solutions – then people will stop using the Internet. It will stop being valuable to them. 

Like I already said dozens of times on this blog – if you want to sell something to people, you need to make sure that they understand what exactly are you offering to them, how it works, and why should they even consider paying for your products and services.

Nine out of ten people won’t buy something just because it looks pretty. No, they need much more from you and your business. They need to be charmed and impressed. They need to clearly see how a certain product or services will influence their life for the better.

We live in a time and age where every single business entity is obligated to invest in marketing. But, unlike our grandfathers, we cannot solely get by producing generic ads and posters that ask people to visit our store or buy something from us. Nope. Those days are long gone, my friend. Today, your marketing needs to be smart, sharp, and subtle.

You cannot just aggressively stalk people around the Web and force your message down their throats until they finally cave and buy something from you. No. You have to be smarter than that. The only marketing that really works today is the one that subtly feeds its targeted crowd with information that influences their judgment.

People don’t want to lose control. That’s why you need to develop an approach that lets them see the value of your work and come up with the decision to give your business a go on their own terms of course.

That’s why it’s important that we, as individuals who are dependent on information, look at content marketing as something that is of crucial importance for our brand, and not just a luxury.

But Where’s The Money? How to Measure Success?

Even though content marketing is a long game and it tends to affect your brand on all sorts of different levels that are not really that easy to single out, in a way, some aspects of it still can be precisely measured, and thus – used to determine if your efforts are successful or not in this department.

If you set up your analytics right and learn how to read your data, you can clearly see and judge the performance of your content assets. You can identify your best-performing campaigns from a revenue perspective and you can even single out which post stimulated which sale or conversion.

It doesn’t really matter if you focus on landing pages, emails, images, blog posts, or videos – the influence of every type of content can be tracked and measured to the very last click or cent. Content marketing is nothing without data. It’s what help us see what’s working, what’s not, and what we need to tweak in our approach in order to improve our conversion rates.

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But, in order to track the success of your content, you must first sync with your sales funnel. You must create all types of different content that influence your site visitors in every stage of your buyer’s cycle. Next to that, you must make sure that every single one your content pieces is backed by intelligent CTAs that offer your targeted users a chance to make organically go for the conversion after or during a certain exposure to your content.

When calculating the ROI of my content marketing efforts, I usually take three different stages into consideration:

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Direct return: Where the complete credit to a certain sale goes to a particular piece of content or campaign.

Second chance: Where the credit to certain sale goes to more than one piece of content or campaign.

Collective effort: Where the credit for a certain sale is evenly spread among the various type of content throughout my sales funnel

Why do I keep track of such things? – Well, because following up on metrics like which post is converting best, which topics and types of content spark the most engagement, which one is generating the biggest number of clicks, time spent per post, etc. – I drawing a clear picture for myself and my employers what we need to do in order to grow our ROI in this department even more.

I hope this post helped you understand your content marketing efforts and how to look for ROI that you can use to encourage your employees to keep on investing in content marketing.

That’s it for now. If you have anything to ask or add – feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below!

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YOU – The Most Important Ingredient in Your Content Strategy

As I already wrote dozens of times on this blog – content marketing is a long game that cannot really be hacked or automated. Every time you’re producing something for your brand, you have to invest 110% of yourself.

If you want people to convert through your content, you cannot fool around and keep piling up generic texts and posts that don’t offer any real value to your audience.

Nope. It doesn’t really work like that.

There are no cutting corners here.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re creating just another blog post, infographic, or a video for your company – if you don’t really apply yourself, you won’t see any significant results from your content.

Even if it generates a couple of shares and likes, it will still suck, and everybody will know it.

Why? – Well, because your readers will immediately see that there’s no real passion behind your work. They will instantly recognize it as another post whose sole purpose is to fill in an empty space on your site and social media accounts.

This sort of thing could break your brand and drive all your customers away.

That’s why most online companies go out of their way to figure out how to please their readers and serve them with content that’s actually important to everyone who comes into contact with their brand online.

Story Beats Data, Every Single Time

Even though most marketers praise data and call it our lord and savior when it comes to content marketing, the truth is – data means nothing if you don’t know how to leverage it right.

When it comes to creating content that sparks user engagement, a lot of marketers are prone to trying everything and anything before they take the time to deal with their best asset here – themselves.

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It doesn’t really matter how well you understand your niche and market, and how good you’re with turning data into results, you’re the only one that can make some difference here. Everything you are, like, know, and believe in – that’s the only thing that will sell your content.

That’s your honey pot. The only thing that can truly set you apart from your competitors.

How come? – Well, because most people remember stories far better than numbers and stats. And as we all know, the best stories are the ones that come from personal feelings and experiences.

Listing down important information in your messages without a proper flow, tone, persona, or story around it isn’t really content marketing. In order to make the most out of your data, you need to wrap it around a meaningful and engaging story that truly explains the power behind your insights. That’s why I do my best to insert as much of myself as possible in my writing. 

Presentation Is Everything

Through the years, we have seen numerous examples that masterfully showcase just how important storytelling and personalization is to marketing. The way how people will process your information is solely dependent on how you lay it down in front of them.

You need to share a real, living, and breathing face with your readers and offer them a scenario in which they can actually picture themselves if you’re interested in making the most out of your efforts. And what better face to present to them than your own?

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Stories are extremely powerful – they put everything into context and helps us digest certain information on a more personal level. Naked data cannot do that. Stories dig deep into our being and trigger those emotions and memories that inspire us to take certain actions.

But not all stories. What kind of stories help people truly relate with what’s being laid down in front of them? – Those that have real, colorful and likable protagonists.

Putting Your Audience In Your Own Shoes

People best learn by example. That’s a fact. That’s why we need to keep producing all sorts of different case studies that present our targeted audience with real life success scenarios.

Case studies are content marketer’s best friend. When you build something that works, take it apart, and put it back together in front of your audiences eyes – your value and worth instantly becomes undeniable. Nothing really influences your audience to go on and try your service like a detailed record of certain practices and principles used to reach real life goals.

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However, content writers often find themselves in situations where they cannot disclose certain information or company metrics, and yet, their (my) job still demands that they keep up coming up with new material that will continue to grow their brand’s audience, stimulate engagement, and keep those conversions piling up.

Back in the day when I was still new to this content marketing game, this sort of thing often stressed me out. There was a lot of pressure on me to generate some serious results, even though I had basically nothing to work with.

But then I started thinking: What can I do to make my users recognize the value in my products and service? – Paint a picture with me, as a relatable protagonist in it, of course.

The “This Could Be You” Method

In order to go for something, people first need to see themselves in a certain story. They need to feel like your proposal is something that can surely work for them. A well-told story pulls people in and persuades them to go ahead and chase that sweet picture that you painted for them. In order to complete a certain action or pay for a specific product and service, they need to see the future, to even the tiniest of details and feel good about it. The only one who can help them do that is you.

Naturally, you cannot just write shameless suck up content, and expect from your targeted crowd to buy your story just because you’re giving them everything they want to hear. No. You need to humanize your story and show the struggle, as well.

That’s what I do, and so far – it’s been going great for me!

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Even though most of my colleagues don’t really practice this sort of thing in their content, I focus on making my texts sound in my reader’s head like we actually met for a drink, and I opened my heart to him (or her). I share a lot of personal information in my writing and I think this sort of thing really helps my crowd sink into my words.

But, before you start to blab on and on about yourself in your content, you need to know that 90% of your readers don’t really care about you, as a person. Moderation is key here. Your audience only cares about themselves and how to get the most out of a certain deal. That’s it.

Sure, this isn’t something that most of us who work hard on sharing great stories want to hear, but hey – that’s how it is. And it’s ok. It keeps us grounded. Your role here is to serve as an avatar, with real problems, interest, and flaws, to help them connect the dots and see themselves as a person who can replicate your success. Nothing more, and nothing less. That’s why it’s of crucial importance to figure out how to keep your content concise, relevant, and personal and entertaining at the same time.

A little too much of anything can drag you down here. Allow people to meet the man behind the words, but make sure that you don’t turn your company blog into your diary. Stay on track, follow your goals, but remember that people buy stories, not products.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope it helped you breathe some new life into your content. If you have anything to add or ask – feel free to write your thoughts in the comments sections below.

This is where we part ways.
‘Till next time – take care!
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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