Content marketing has become the buzzword of the decade. Businesses are starting to realise the value of attracting potential leads to their website, and understand that by providing high quality content, they can stand out from their competitors.

However, content marketing isn’t cheap or easy to undertake. Therefore you will need a budget, and you should expect to have to explain what value this budget will provide. Here are 4 ways to show the return on your investment on your content marketing.

Understand What Your Business Wants

If you are working with other people in a business or a consultant, agree KPI’s. What are you and your employers expecting from the content? Understanding what defines the campaign as successful is essential.

Often you will be able to set Primary and Secondary goals, and plan how you are going to measure them. It is very important to align your business goals with your content marketing objectives.

Primary: Sales – Conversions – Website Visits

Secondary: Brand Awareness – Cross Selling – Repeat Purchase

Define these goals and alter your content marketing strategy to match. Google Analytics is a brilliant and free tool to monitor your website visits and sales. For example you can set up a goal that monitors and reports on each touch point of visitors coming through to your content, to your main website and then contacting you. You can then use this data to see where people are dropping off in the sales funnel, and find out how to set up a goal on Analytics here.

Use Data to monitor your calls to action

There are so many tools available to track your conversions. One conversion type that many people forget about, particularly for high value products or services is phone calls. ResponseTap and other similar companies offer call tracking software that allows you to analyse which of your marketing channels is driving phone calls to your business and how many are leads or progress to sales.

This allows you to attribute value to your marketing more accurately. For example, although by looking only at web analytics you may think that your content is not leading to conversions, by using call tracking you can see the pages visited by the caller before, during and after the phone call, and this not only shows you that your content is being seen, but also which content is actually driving leads via the phone as well as online.

Tofu? Mofu..? Bofu….?

Don’t forget about your top, middle and bottom of the funnel content! True content marketing is about creating a little something for everyone, and targeting each piece to the correct potential customer.

For example, if you are a hand dryer distributer, it may appear that you are rather limited in the content you can offer which will really get anyone excited.

However, think about someone who could benefit from installing a hand dryer, what kind of content would they look for? As an example, let’s say a pub landlord provides paper towels instead of hand dryers. Why not write a piece of content looking at the cost and damage to the environment of paper towels used by pubs? The landlord may be looking for alternatives to paper towels online, and find your article. This offers value, and places your brand in the mind of this visitor.

Understanding your online sales funnel is essential to creating content that will resonate with your customers. Think outside of your niche and look at your vertical. Produce a range of materials such as case studies, white papers and price lists; this ensures that you have something for every visitor.

Work out ROI on organic traffic

Content marketing can be used to increase brand awareness or to create a community, but your ultimate goal should be the SEO benefit you will receive from relevant and high quality resources linking back to your website.

If you have correctly optimised your On-Page SEO, these links will give your website a boost of authority and ultimately allow you to rank highly on search engines for organic terms that you are optimised for.

In Google Analytics, you can set up a filter and monitor how many conversions you are making from organic traffic and how much value this is adding.

By monitoring how much the content creation is costing, including things like wages and other expenses, you can actually work out the return on your investment from a completely profit driven point of view.

The equation to do so is:

((Monthly Total of Organic Revenue in May – Figure for May last year) – Content Marketing Spend) / Content Marketing Spend = Percentage ROI

For example, if you made $2000 last year and $3400 this year, and currently spend around $900 per month on your content marketing, your ROI would be:

((3400 – 2000) – 900) / 900 = 0.55 therefore you will have achieved a 55% ROI

This is possibly one of the most powerful tools you have as a marketer to show others the actual bottom line value you are adding. Remember to explain that you are creating lasting value to your website which will ultimately give you a competitive advantage over your online competition.

It’s the future…

Google and other search engines are really rewarding great content, and therefore without content marketing, you will have to rely on other paid forms of advertising. If you get content marketing right, you are creating constant value and the returns on investment will be huge.

To Do…

  • Unify your business and marketing goals – understand exactly what it is that will allow you to be a success in your role
  • Use calls to action and monitor them using analytics software
  • Think about your sales funnel (draw it out if it will help) and think about different content for different customers. Do you have something for everyone?
  • Calculate your ROI to prove you are adding value

Jonathan Dempster is writing on behalf of Call Tracking providers ResponseTap who deliver innovative voice-centric marketing technology, which enables business to maximize their marketing success.