Our Tips to Prove ROI on Your Content Campaigns

Proving ROI

How much did that blog, article or social media post motivate your audience to convert with you? We all know that effective original content takes time, planning and expertise, but how do we know if it’s worth the effort? Content creates the foundations for every single one of your marketing channels but a study conducted by CMI discovered that just 21% of B2B marketers are actually successful in proving the ROI on their content campaigns. Considering ROI is crucial for businesses when determining profit margins and content strategy, 21% is remarkably low!

When it comes to content marketing, you’re in it for the long run. It takes time to capture data, generate leads and sales, and with a combination of complex interactions, engagement and external influences playing their part, there’s no wonder that measuring results accurately can seem near impossible. As a marketer, you will recognise the importance of effective content such as an innovative social media campaign, but you may not know how to show its value to the business.

How to prove ROI on your content campaigns

Before you can successfully and accurately prove ROI on your content campaigns, you must first understand the objectives behind the campaign. There are a multitude of metrics to track when measuring ROI, but different companies have different goals they want to achieve. Choosing which metrics to track depends on your objectives which are commonly linked to increasing brand awareness, lead acquisition or customer acquisition. For example, tracking your social engagement could be to achieve further brand reach, blogs could be created to increase your organic ranking or email campaigns could be used as lead nurturing.

Setting tangible metrics to prove what you are doing is working, is the first step in proving your ROI. If you want to know if your campaigns are actually driving revenue, you must consider attribution. There are many ways to assign value to campaigns, but attribution can help you map the journey from the lead to the customer taking every touchpoint along the way into account.

Before you can successfully and accurately prove ROI on your content campaigns, you must first understand the objectives behind the campaign. There are a multitude of metrics to track when measuring ROI, but different companies have different goals they want to achieve. Choosing which metrics to track depends on your objectives which are commonly linked to increasing brand awareness, lead acquisition or customer acquisition. For example, tracking your social engagement could be to achieve further brand reach, blogs could be created to increase your organic ranking or email campaigns could be used as lead nurturing.  

The importance of attribution to your content campaigns

Content marketing is all about nurturing the conversion, rather than actually converting. You can use micro goals and assumed conversion rates to generate an ROI model rather than trying to show ROI based on only last-click attribution. ROI is often around generating revenue, so a certain level of focus needs to be given to attribution. It’s important however to choose the right attribution model based on your objectives that will allow you to consider the full customer journey. Content plays a key role in encouraging people to visit your website or convert in another way, making it integral to attribute.

Let’s say your business invests a large amount of money into display ads across social media channels which are designed to boost brand awareness and direct traffic to your website. After being exposed to the advert on Facebook, the individual types your website into their search engine, navigating to the site and therefore converting. Where does the attribution go? Does it all go to organic search traffic, or is some of this credit shared across your display ads and social media channels? This is where attribution helps to connect the dots, showing you exactly what is working and what isn’t, so you can direct your spend to the most valuable channels.

Proving ROI on content campaigns can be made a lot easier through considering attribution and following our tops tips:

1. Consider your target audience

Content is essentially useless if the right people don’t see it at the right time. Developing personas before creating and sharing content ensures your efforts are in line with your target audience while supporting the conversion journey with an enjoyable user experience.

A study found that 67% of businesses create buyer personas to help them target and understand their ideal customers while a vast majority of marketers invest in tools and methods to gain knowledge around their target audience. If you don’t collect audience data to build personas prior to creating your content, there will be no way of showing the true ROI behind your campaign.

2. Consider your promotion

The day and time content is promoted also plays a pivotal role to its success, if the right people aren’t seeing it, you have fallen at the first hurdle. For example, it’s futile promoting content about shopping at 3pm on a weekday or content about B2B services on a weekend as your customers are less likely to consume content at these times. Consider your content promotion times with your target audience in mind.

3. Web traffic

Website traffic is the foundation behind content marketing success. If your website is not gaining any traffic, then it’s likely your revenue will drop. If the aim of a content campaign is to raise awareness around your brand, analysing your website traffic is fundamental. Platforms such as Google Analytics can help by collecting data around traffic to individual pages, traffic sources, landing pages and exit pages. It can also tell you whether your content was read, how many visits it received and how long the user was on that page for.

A clever tool, Google Analytics can even track the path of that visitor once they’ve finished with your content. Did they click through to a different page, subscribe to your newsletter, purchase a product, make an enquiry or leave your website? This helps create an understanding around how responsible your content was for a lead or, hopefully, a sale.

4. Email performance

Email content is a great way of encouraging individuals to visit your site for more information or to make contact. When email campaigns are sent, you should consider the click-through data, open rates and unsubscribes. This data highlights your engagement, indicating content quality and appetite around the topic which will help nurture visitors further down the sales funnel.

It’s also important to consider content type within the bigger picture. For example, your email campaign may contain impressive content but the click-through rate to your website may be surprisingly low. In this case, it could be the email template that is letting you down or too much detail is provided in the email itself. Review the email heat map and consider running A/B testing to decipher what performs better in terms of email format, subject lines, copy and Call to Action (CTA) placement.

5. Social media engagement

When content is created, the natural process is often to share it across your social media channels. Each platform usually offers its own analytical tool such as Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Analytics or Twitter Analytics. These tools make it easy to collect information on your post’s engagement including how many times a post was viewed, shared, clicked, liked or commented on, helping you understand how successful your content was in influencing your target audience.

6. SEO

Content can also improve SEO and an increase in your organic rankings is a great measure of ROI success which can be tracked using Google Analytics. There are multiple benefits of writing content for SEO purposes. Doing so, allows you to expand long-tail keyword reach and capture traffic higher up the funnel. A direct benefit of content is increased organics rankings; however, content also creates commercial opportunities. This ties back to the importance of attribution as content needs to get the recognition of indirectly helping to increase the bottom line.

Additionally, in line with the August 2018 Google E-A-T update and to help you rank higher on the search engine, your business should be offering content that satisfies the search enquiry, providing expert knowledge that your users can trust. Providing content rich in depth around your services helps to prove that you are an expert in your space.

As a marketer, you will understand the benefits of content marketing, but getting buy-in from senior management may be more of a challenge. You must know how much you are investing in content marketing and what the return is before you can prove the worth and track the progress of your efforts. If you can’t attribute ROI to your content, then your efforts are essentially wasted.

Our team treat content marketing as a mix of art and science; creativity backed by data. Creating content that takes audience data into account makes calculating ROI a much simpler task. Contact us to find out how you can benefit from our results driven content campaigns.

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