Attribution is a bit of a touchy subject for content marketers. You need to figure out which touch points are netting your brand results. In other words, what content is making you money? But the analysis can be a seriously complex issue. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down specifically what is going to get you the ROI you need. Proving what works is essential before you mindlessly churn out more content.
The co-founder and CEO of NewsCred, the world’s leading end-to-end content marketing platform. has a pretty good handle on this. Shafqat Islam explored these issues and more in his session on the second day of Content Marketing World: How To Finally Solve The Attribution Problem: Drive Real ROI For Your Business With Content Marketing. Islam showed attendees how to make their content marketing department the most valuable part of their organizations.
Make the Content Journey Equal the Customer Journey
Islam was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, running technology-based teams overseas for the popular wealth management corporation. In his role at NewsCred, he helps manage the growth of the company. He came up with a new content infrastructure in 2008 that allows brands and publishers to exceed their expectations in content creation. His firm now consists of over 120 teams that are made up of journalists, creative marketers, and tech wizards with the goal of simply making content better. Offering software for content and analytics is another aspect of their services. They have offices in New York City, London, and Dhaka.
So how does Islam figure out what will get you the best ROI for your content? In his session, he showed how to make the content journey equal to the customer’s journey, with content that connects to revenue. As a brand marketer, you want that magic conversion. Islam has discovered that the average consumer looks at 11.4 pieces of content before making their purchase. That’s a ton of content to sort though. NewsCred has found that more and more people are “self directed” as consumers. Islam made the sound point that sales-driven companies are going away.
In order to be effective with your content you need these three goals as a company:
- Improve Operational Effectiveness
- Manage Against Risk and Compliance
- Increase Revenues
Islam says that marketing as a tool is the best revenue generator. It helps to drive greater conversion and sales. You want your end goal to be business action with real leads. NewsCred gets two times the leads of other companies with their tactics. They have mastered getting results from their output of ideas.
How Do You Measure ROI?
You can measure ROI with metrics such as page views, engagement times (how many minutes your customers are looking at your content), and performance that drives meaningful results. Islam makes it clear that the more they publish as a company at NewsCred, the greater the ROI for their stakeholders. It’s not a sprint for results, he says “it’s a marathon.” So as the size of your asset library grows, it’s naturally going to produce more loyalty and results for your brand. Honestly NewsCred has managed to do this in spades for their clients. You can even check out their case studies on the website that outline the journey for many popular brands they work with such as Pepsi, Visa, Jockey, and ConAgra Foods.
Paid Versus Organic Search Traffic
Ideally you want to get search and social conversions that are organic. Paying for SEM (search engine marketing) traffic with Google Adwords is going to offset your financial ROI, so finding ways to get people to be more self-driven is important. Then you are going to net the results you want with less investment on your end. Organic search traffic is the end game for massive conversion rates and higher ROI. Paying for clicks is going to take a chunk out of your profits.
Islam made it clear that once you have developed your own properties that work, they will convert your audience in measurable ways. Then, for example, you won’t have to pay fifty cents per click. If it’s actually something your audience wants to see, they will read your content again and again. Islam was able to convey this message to the brands he works with and outlined steps for CM World attendees to try back at the office.
Kelly R is a Beauty Editor and Copywriter. She has written for many different online and print publications including Allure, Mode Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Seminole and The New Yorker.
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