How do you measure the business value of your content?
It’s a question many marketers have been struggling with over the past few years. We’ve previously looked at shares, engagement, time spent on page (which are all important in their own right), but how can we demonstrate real ROI?
Fortunately, there are real calculations you can use that prove your content is delivering business results. Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group and former VP of Marketing & Content Strategy at SAP, was kind enough to be our guest for a webinar called “The Content Formula – 10 Steps to Content Marketing ROI.”
I’ll be sharing some of the highlights with you here, but if you’d like to take a deeper dive into content ROI, I suggest downloading the full webinar. It’s available on-demand here 🙂
Marketing Has a Marketing Problem
Before even beginning to measure success, I think we need to measure failure. By that I mean we need to be looking at what doesn’t work for marketing – and then drop it ASAP.
Does anyone out there actually enjoy autoplay video ads? Are there people out there who, when preparing to read an article say “ah – that narration! I better listen to what this ad is offering, it could be TOTALLY relevant to me.”
…I’d wager that’s a no. Most people scramble to find that tiny little X and continue to read. Or worse, they close the page because they’re annoyed. Their experience has been totally disrupted!
So why do we think these disruptive strategies work? We need to start asking ourselves whether they deliver real value. And if not, ask why we’re continuing to invest in these strategies.
We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.
Breaking Through the Noise
One of the main challenges marketers have been facing is having their voice heard. The sheer volume of content being created is becoming overwhelming, and it’s even harder to stand out.
So how do you make your content stand out? The secret, Michael says, is to be the answer to the question that your customers are asking.
The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.
It’s your job to correctly identify these questions and answer them. And this becomes a balance business instinct and charity to create empathetic content that both understands your customer’s needs and drives business results.
Once you’re able to consistently publish helpful content, you’ll notice an increasing rate of return.
Formulas for Content Marketing ROI
But as we know, these metrics may not be as valuable to your C-Suite as they are to you. So what calculations can we use to show ROI in a language that actually means something to executives?
Here’s a quick example: subscribers are 9X more likely to convert than non-subscribers. So rather than creating content that pushes your product or acts as a thinly veiled advertisement, why not create content that offers value to your early-stage customers with the goal of subscriptions in mind.
And the calculation to show this value to your executives is simple. Take a look:
This will tell your C-Suite more than bounce rate ever will.
And this is just ONE calculation that you can use. Every content strategy you implement at your enterprise can be measured and equated to business value, and it’s your job as a marketer to start solving for those numbers.
If the key to ROI is generating more value with less input, then I think the best thing content marketers can do is create valuable content. Pay attention to what your audience is actually looking for, and offer that answer to them. Then put it to the test with some good old fashioned arithmetic!
To learn all of Michael’s AWESOME formulas, check out the full webinar here. Trust me, you’ll want to have this one saved for reporting content metrics to your leadership team!