Content marketing sounds like an exciting endeavor to add up to your digital marketing mix. But as it requires a steady flow of content creation, marketers and salespeople may often ask if it's really worth the money.
You may have heard about the wonders of content marketing, an approach that centers on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract a very clearly defined audience. Ultimately, that leads to driving profitable customer action, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Rather than pushing for the products and services, your marketing campaign provides orientation, education, and help, to address the pain points and concerns of your customers.
Up to that point, heads of marketing and sales get it. It is an interesting approach to reach out for potential leads by providing them content that nurtures them.
And then it comes.... the time-consuming question. Why would I have my people writing articles instead of selling, and writing blogs instead of pitching?
Because it is worth it.
When you’re running a content marketing operation, you’re adding up to your brand, providing consistency in its message.
"We’re a clinic, and we’re worried about your health".
Well, prove it.
Give your potential patients advice about preventing heart disease and running a healthy diet. You’re strengthening your brand and adding up to your reputation.
When content marketing is pitched to a CFO, the inevitable question arises...
"What’s in it for the company? What’s its Return on Investment?"
The ROI. Three of the most threatening letters for a marketer….
Let me rephrase. Three of the most threatening letters for a legacy marketer. The type that said, “I’m wasting half of my marketing budget, but I don’t know which half.”
The Content Marketing Institute gives three benefits for companies who use content marketing:
If you want to know that, you’d better run your own calculations. But we can give you some guidance.
Imagine you’re a B2B software company trying to build a hype of your new suite. Your marketing team realizes that as your customers run a considered buying process -that is, they run quotations and online searches for the best options available in the market- you need to build a presence on the web and social media.
You’ve calculated your numbers:
Your CFO realizes the numbers don’t add up, and you need to run preemptive measures quickly.
The quickest way is to invest on the web: buy Ads on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and create a campaign focused on your product suite.
You bid US$5,000 with some specific keywords and a very well-defined demographics, and your numbers skyrocket:
Was that worth it?
You’re still wasting a chunk of your marketing budget.
You ask sales "why was there such a low closing rate?"
Most of the 250 people were looking for a B2C software solution.
Your company was clear about whom you wanted to target. Was your potential customer clear about that as well?
You pitched a product online, instead of providing information about it.
After you finish your one month trial of Google Adwords, your numbers plummet, and your return to your usual, customary 2,000 visitors a month. It was an illusion.
Imagine you invest in building a content marketing team in-house or at an agency, and you spend the same US$5,000. They run an Inbound Marketing strategy that includes a robust set of content marketing practices:
We run those numbers on an ROI calculator, based on estimations of HubSpot’s 2015 ROI report.
What do we get?
What is then umber of customers? We'll leave it as an open-ended question.
However, if you have 270 leads for 7,400 visitors, that’s a much larger conversion rate! That may mean a series of things:
The chances of converting those leads into customers are higher. You're nurturing them in their buying process. They’re becoming aware of your solutions without receiving a single call of a sales rep (yet), simply because they’re educating themselves through you.
If you keep feeding this content machine through time, your numbers will rise, as your SEO positioning will increase and your social media presence as an industry authority will get rapport.
It is a steady, more sustainable way to building a name in digital marketing. What you need, though, is patience and perseverance. Because building this presence requires time. But trust me, it is totally worth it.
Struggling to calculate the ROI of content? Send us your comments.