Consumers are shifting their attention to their screens, and you’re doing the same with your marketing techniques. In order to stay up to date with current marketing trends, you have to flip your entire strategy around.
Your business knows what traditional strategies have worked in the past, but digital marketing strategies are more confusing. What is the value of a blog post? How much money should you put into optimising your website and producing content marketing? Use this guide to get a better sense of how understanding the purpose of your content can help you understand what returns you are getting from your investment.
How To Get a Better Idea Of Your ROI
Learn What Converts
So often we rely on revenue and sales to calculate ROI. This is an easy monetary value to pop into our equations, but does not exactly tell us where to put our investment in the future. Relying strictly on revenue and the final purchase also ignores the work that we put in to generate and nurture leads and brand awareness.
Let’s look at blogging. A high-ranking blog can generate traffic and leads, but blog posts are rarely the step that secure the sale. Does this mean they are not worth our investment? Absolutely not. Blogs contribute to ROI indirectly, even if they are only generating leads. These leads do have a monetary value, especially when you consider the insights that they can provide your business.
When you assess ROI and zoom in on your blogging strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my blog posts driving traffic and contributing to the overall rankings of the website?
- Can we use information from these blog posts in other posts? Do they create good backlinks?
- How often are we writing evergreen content vs. recent content?
- What types of blog posts are generating leads? What are the value of these leads?
- What information is considered most valuable to high-quality leads?
If you can get a better idea of how your early-stage content converts into leads and customers, you will be able to get an idea of what blogging practices are worth your investment.
Ramp Up Data Collection
Google AdWords and other forms of PPC advertising can produce solid numbers related to ROI. Keyword research and AdWords can give you a good idea of how much you are spending per click and per acquisition automatically. So why can’t you do the same on your website or with your content?
The answer? Data collection.
Let’s go back to the blogging example. You cannot put a blog post into an online tool that says how valuable your blog post is, but you can gather data from different sources about how the blog post is performing and what website visitors are doing after they visit your blog. If you are not using tags or analytics to collect specific data on your blogs and related content throughout your website, you won’t be able to answer some of the more revealing questions about your blogging ROI.
You should be able to record the following information about how website visitors interact with your content:
- Session duration
- Bounce rate
- What pages users visit after reading initial blog posts
- Where they leave their contact information
- What CTA buttons they are clicking
- What actions they take after originally visiting your website (visiting your social media pages, conducting searches for your business, etc.)
If you cannot pinpoint the moment where your website visitors are converting and becoming leads or customers, you won’t be able to get an idea of what is producing the best return on investment. Once you have enough data to determine the value of a conversion, you can get a better idea of the ROI of your entire content marketing strategy.
Segment Investment By The Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Content should be created with each stage of the buyer’s journey in mind. Not all of this content will convert, but not all of your content has to convert. If you can separate your content by your goals, you will be able to assess how much money you should expect to invest for
Quick Tips for Increasing Your ROI With Content Marketing
Even if you do not have a solid ROI numbers or are just starting to build a content marketing strategy, you can make moves to decrease your investment while still seeing a return from your content. Follow these quick tips to work smarter, not harder.
Create and Distribute More Evergreen Content
Evergreen content can be recycled and shared throughout multiple marketing campaigns, reducing the amount of work your time has to do to produce content. This content usually takes the form of case studies, blog posts, or ebooks. The more informative, in-depth, and relevant you make this evergreen content, the more you can share it to generate leads.
Turn Your Focus To Distribution
Churning out content can be a big task, and it is worthless if no one is seeing your content. Assign time to your team throughout the week for distributing content. Is your content showing up on social media and in email newsletters? Are you reaching out to influencers and content creators who could share your content with their audience?
Break down the visual and text elements of your content. Don’t just distribute the link to your overall post. Distribute your infographics and video content throughout social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. (Design your infographics to assist your text and work as standalone content.)
Continue the Conversation
This applies to any social media platform, from Instagram to LinkedIn. Engagement is one of the top metrics for measuring ROI (80% of marketers say this is their primary success metric.) Comments and “sharing” content reveals the most about whether users are responding to social media posts. But initial engagement can be a one-click process. If users click “share” and keep scrolling, all you have done is put your name on their newsfeed or timeline for a few days.
Keep your brand relevant by continuing the conversation with your customers. If they comment on your Instagram post, respond. Answer their questions or respond to compliments with gratitude. If someone is leaving a negative comment, reach out privately. When you respond, you give the person another chance to engage with your content and see your name pop up in their feed once again.
Ask for User Generated Content
Leave content creation to someone else – the very people who are buying and engaging with your products. User generated content (UGC) expands your creative team immensely. Running an Instagram contest or asking for reviews doesn’t require more than a post or two, but can generate content that you can use for months to come. User generated content saves you on investments like photo shoots and encourages conversions with social proof. If you are not making an effort to gather UGC, you are missing out.
Understand Automation and Artificial Intelligence Possibilities
This is another example of working smarter, not harder. Marketing automation is a time-saver that helps you reach your leads and customers with consistent content at optimal times. Email marketing automation sends out personalised reminder emails before a special event. Once you set up these campaigns, you just have to sit back and collect the results. And you’ll get results. According to Campaign Monitor, automated emails can boost open rates by 86% and generate 320% more revenue than emails that are sent out manually.
Artificial intelligence and automation is working to make marketing easier than ever before. Chatbots are the future of customer service. Optimising your content for voice search will put your ahead of your competitors and prepare your content for the new ways that customers are searching for products and information. Stay on top of AI trends to get the most return out of your marketing tactics.
Segment Your Audiences
You have the data to know what makes certain demographics convert and what types of content they want to engage with. Now it’s time to use this data in your content marketing plan. Segment your audiences and distribute different types of content based on what you know about these different groups. An ad campaign on Pinterest or Google AdWords, for example, can contain a handful of ads that appeal to segmented groups. Organising your audience based on what they will respond to will save you money on ads that won’t convert. Your team will get more from putting $100 into five ads for five segmented groups than from throwing $500 into a large audience who have different interests and are at different steps of the buyer’s journey.
Hand Over Your Investment to an Outside Agency
Condense your task list and increase your ROI by handing your digital marketing strategy over to an agency. Outside agencies have the experience and connections to create and distribute content to the right platforms. And when you work with Digital Squad, you can create an SEO strategy with Auckland’s top SEO experts. We have spent over 8,000 hours researching the Google algorithm, and the work that we put into our SEO strategies are seen and they convert website visitors into leads and customers.
Reach out to Digital Squad to learn more about creating a digital marketing strategy that delivers a maximum return on investment.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.