We are getting great feedback from our clients and prospects regarding our content programs and the CMO is saying, “let’s do more”. Nonetheless, as marketers we want objective metrics. But measuring ROI from content marketing initiatives can be tough. To meet that challenge, marketers have to look for ROI in places that are not always obvious.
I recently watched a webinar by kissmetrics and Influence & Co titled “The ROI of Non-Promotional Content and How to Track It“. Some of the points made in this webinar correlated with what we have seen over the years, so, I pulled four of these examples of how content ultimately helps the bottom line but is hard to measure. These benefits may seem intangible, but can demonstrate a valuable return.
1. The Lingering Benefit
Some of your content may be driving traffic to your site months after you publish it. Influence & Co cited a study they did of the traffic on their blog during one month. More than 43 percent of the views came from articles posted within the past 90 days while nearly 57 percent of views came from articles posted more than 90 days prior to the study. Some content, unlike most other marketing, is more like an asset than an expense.
2.The Calling Card Benefit
Content is a way for people (like media people and customers) to find you. Most content marketing, unlike most traditional marketing, continues to drive people to your online presence well after its debut.
3. The Stealth Benefit(s)
Content may be directly responsible in moving prospects down the buyer’s journey but may not get the attribution for dozens of potential reasons (copied URLs, printed content, etc.). Content positions you as a trusted subject matter expert and, more than ever, many buyers want to know they are working with trusted experts.
4. The Recycle Benefit
Finally, remember that content can be re-used. Content created for prospects can be used to target customers and vice-versa. And, it can be re-purposed into multiple forms of media. For example, an event can be summarized and turned into an article.
So, how do you calculate the ROI from content? Even the best marketing automation platforms, set up perfectly, won’t be able to fully track attribution. Simply put, track the results as best as you can; but remember that the returns are almost always higher.
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