Content Marketing: Where Should Your ROI Be?

The most famous adage of the marketing world is as follows: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This conundrum changed dramatically when digital marketing rose to prominence, as our ability to measure the efficacy of our efforts improved greatly with the arrival of analytics.

Content is King

Indeed, in the digital marketing universe, content marketing—or the use of online material such as blogs, videos and articles to stimulate interest in a brand or idea, rather than explicit ads—has become a popular way to increase the efficacy of a company’s marketing and advertising. Consumers are fatigued with conventional marketing that is heavy on sales and overly promotional. Content marketing has come to  stop that gap and reach online consumers in a more nuanced and subtle way.

“Does it Work?”

Many companies invest a lot of money into content marketing. They often invite prominent influence or writers to create content for them, or invest their talent and resources into it. But the question that dogs all marketing remains: does it actually work? And what are the best ways to measure if content marketing is doing a better job of engaging your demographic and converting your potential customers than conventional marketing techniques?

This ambiguity around measurement seems to be a pervasive problem in the content marketing world. Many businesses go to great lengths to leverage content marketing without putting an equal amount of effort into seeing if it’s working.

As one Forbes contributor put it: “Lots of businesses get into content marketing because it is the ‘in’ thing to do online. You can ask those businesses what their goals are, and you will get answers like exposure, social shares, links, leads and sales. But when you ask those same businesses how they measure their content marketing to find out if they are achieving those goals, you will get a less straightforward answer. Some may not even have a basic analytics tool in place.”

So how should you be measuring the efficacy of your content marketing to avoid falling into the “I don’t know which half” trope? Here are some ways:

Engagement Metrics

This is the simplest form of measurement: how many people are clicking on your content and where are they coming from? This past question is key, as if you’re getting a high click through rate on Twitter but none at all from your email newsletters, you may need to look into what’s working in one spot but not in another.

Social Share Metrics

Conversions

Content is king, but every king needs a kingdom.
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