Photo Credit: HubSpot
Marketers know that only we fully understand what content marketing is and how it works within the structure of the business. It truly is the fuel for lead generation. It’s not advertising and can be challenging to explain the real value to those people that are not producing it everyday. That’s why explaining the value of it to your boss can be tricky.
Marketers know the value of their content extremely well. They wouldn’t be producing content if they didn’t see that it has value and will attract customers. But, can we all honestly say every piece of content we create can be tracked all the way to ROI? Hmm… If you have a measurement plan in place, content has a much better chance of being measured so that it will be determined if it is valuable or not. As marketers, we know that increased value most likely leads to increased sales.
In marketing, content may be important, however, increased revenue and profitability are the ultimate goals. Think about how your content plays a role in both of these areas.
Real World Example
Marketers cringe when the CEO strolls in the office and asks the question, “Do you know what your ROI is on the content your team is producing?” I had a discussion recently with a friend who is a Director of Marketing. She is frustrated because the boss wants to know how every marketing initiative translates to ROI – Yes, every one of them. If you have ever had this conversation with your boss before, you know it never turns out well for the Marketer. Why? Because non-marketers think 1+1 always = 2. This is not the case. In other words, there is not one way customers are exposed to brands, and further, they are most likely exposed dozens of times before they think about making a purchase. One size does not fit all in marketing. One size certainly doesn’t fit for all customers either.
Show Value And Cost Efficiencies
When a marketer re-purposes their content it shows that the cost to produce that content goes down and the value of that content goes up. Any businessperson should understand that is a valuable process for the company. The graphic below from Scoop.it shows many ways for your marketing team to create heightened content awareness all from repurposing your content. When you try this, you will soon see that open rates, views, clicks, form submissions, inquiries, calls, download and other actions are happening and can be measured as well. My suggestion is to measure when these are happening week-by-week, month-by-month to show trending data. Don’t lose sight of the data; it is critical in order to show value.
Graphic Credit: Scoop.it
Because each piece of marketing content is a little different, you will need to think of ways that you can measure each one listed above. For instance, if a blog post gets 100 views the first month and 350 the second month that shows measureable success. Additionally, if that blog post (or all of your blogs for that matter) is directly fed by your social media channels, emails and other sources, all of these combined are showing value and increased exposure. Make sure each piece of content has a link to a landing page on your website that has an offer (like an eBook). On that same page is a short form with required fields so that when the form is filled-out by the prospective customer and submitted the brand captures the user’s information as an inquiry. This process provides valuable information you can’t afford to miss. Make sure you know these metrics and review them frequently. Then, when the CEO walks in your office, your answer to their question won’t be an ambiguous response that sounds like you really have no idea what you’re talking about.
Measurement = Technology
Measurement is very difficult. But since a marketer is required to do it, marketers and their bosses need to understand that when measurement is needed, technology is required. Think about the actions you want to measure. This is critical, because it will determine what technology is needed. Here’s a great example. As a HubSpot user, my marketing efforts (like blogs, eBooks, social media, page views, visits and even form submissions are instantly measureable. Imagine this. You can see pretty much in real time when someone enters your funnel and views your blog, then links to your landing page, completes a form to download an eBook or even watch a video. And that’s just the beginning. The best part is the marketer has knowledge of every action the customer takes. It’s like taking candy from a baby, it’s that easy, and your boss will eat up the data all day long. After all, they want numbers right? So give it to them. So why do marketers rely heavily on technology to measure efficacy? Let’s hear from Bernie Borges, CEO, Find and Convert and Host of Social Business Engine Podcast.
“Marketers are under tremendous pressure from the C-Suite to demonstrate tangible business value. With an average tenure of approximately two years for marketing executives, demonstrating value is dependent on technology. While, the availability of technology to measure efficacy is an at all time high, the marketer’s challenge is twofold. First, the marketer must measure the outcomes that align with the business’ goals. Second, the marketer is challenged with an overwhelming quantity of tools and choosing the tools to get the measurement job done can be daunting. My advice is to start simple before embracing high end, sophisticated tools. Grow into to them. Measuring efficacy is largely dependent on technology but it must be aligned with business goals to demonstrate value.” – Bernie Borges
Marketers, repurpose your content to show value and cost-efficiencies and measure the prospective customer actions with technology. Both of these will help your boss see “value” and understand even more that attracting and nurturing the customer is part of the marketing process. Also, measuring along the way is helpful to know but not the most important part of marketing. Additionally, as marketers we need to understand what a “conversion” means. To some, a conversion may be an action that is an actual purchase while to others a conversion could be an action that leads to an inquiry. You must determine what that conversion means for your marketing channels and measure the important pieces of it. You can use this measurable information to communicate to your boss what’s working. A marketing initiative that generates leads (as a conversion) that increases over time is obviously an effective tool to keep using.
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Photo Credit: HubSpot