Everyone is now creating content. After all, content is king. You cannot rank highly in the search engines, attract the right visitors, or acquire true leads, conversions and sales without high quality, fresh and unique content. But where does your content budget go? And how do you evaluate the return on investment to ensure your content strategy is accurate?
Even if you are creating all copy in-house, content creation does bear a cost. Firstly, there is the time spent discussing what content to write, and then the copywriting and research all takes time too. For those who are outsourcing copywriting, there is an additional cost, although this can prove to be well-spent if copywriting is not your forte.
You may be publishing solely on your own blog or website, but that has cost you for design and build, as well as ongoing running costs, such as hosting, designers and developers. The content you publish there has to contribute to the return on that investment, by attracting qualified traffic and helping to achieve conversions or leads.
Content Marketing & Promotion
Once published, it is essential to market widely to reach the audience your content has been crafted for, and to achieve your objectives. Even free social media marketing is not, strictly, free. Someone has to run your social media profiles, engage with responses, track down the influencers and use their reach to extend your own.
You may be sending out email newsletters to deliver your content to your email list, or using ads in offline media such as magazines, radio or TV. You may be spending money on PPC (Pay Per Click) or sharing your content as advertorials and guest posts on high traffic sites. Courting journalists to get articles into the press can be a time-consuming task too, but can bring substantial rewards if you target your journalists well.
Your content marketing strategy must also include monitoring, measurement and analytics, or else how will you know what works for your company? Even the most basic signals such as ReTweets, shares, likes or +1s can indicate whether your content is performing well, but gathering that data eats up time. You can set up a fully automated monitoring service, but that too comes at a cost.
You must return to your strategy over and over again, not just once in a while. It is possible to throw your budget at creating content that simply does not work if you are not careful. So you should be regularly, if not constantly, assessing the value and return of all you do with your content.
By assigning a monetary value to each visitor action that results from content publication and marketing - be that signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, spending a long time on your website reading your content, and so on - you can begin to see which content triggers the most valuable actions for you.
You may be pleasantly surprised about the results that this analysis reveals. Often, it can be an unexpected post on quite an offbeat topic that brings in the most visitor actions or attracts the most responses. It helps to be flexible with the content you create, rather than remain fixed to a rigid schedule and subject matter.
You may also find that the ROI appears from a tangent. Perhaps in a saving rather than a sale? For instance, if your leads are better informed by the time they reach the sales team and it takes fewer interactions to reach a sale, your team can then focus on customer acquisition in the spare time generated and become more productive.
Creating content is not as easy as simply putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. However, a well thought-out and skilfully executed content strategy can bring dividends and pay back your investment manifold once you understand precisely how to assess the ROI for your business.
Not sure if your content strategy is the right one for you? Still wondering about your content ROI? Talk to us at MintCopy. Call 888-646-8003 or send us an email.