Content marketing has become a buzzword for Internet marketing gurus, especially over the last few years. Small, medium, and large businesses are being told to hire content writers in order to jump on the content marketing bandwagon. “You need more content!” and “Content is king!” are two of the content marketing crusaders’ battle cries. However, adding any old content to your website, social media pages, and article sites is not going to benefit your company’s bottom line unless the content offers a return on investment (ROI).
Why Content Marketing
When you break it down to its core, content marketing is, well, marketing. The point of marketing is to build awareness of your brand or product in order to drive business to your door. If your content marketing is not giving you the ROI you planned on, then it is not doing its job. Like implementing any marketing plan, content marketing should have specific goals. If the goals are not met, then it is time for a new plan or new content.
Content Marketing Plan
According to Byron White of ideaLaunch, content marketing plans should answer these questions.
- How much content do we need?
- How good does it need to be?
- How frequently do we publish?
- What channels do we target?
- What kind of ROI do we get?
By observing this list of questions, it is blatantly obvious that ROI should be part of the content marketing plan from the getgo.
Content Marketing ROI
Considering content marketing ROI, what is the return desired from your marketing plan? What do you want your customers to do when they interact with your content marketing? Part of this discussion depends on who you are marketing to and where the marketing takes place. If the content is on Facebook, the ROI might be to “like” your company’s Facebook page for more in-depth advertising in the future. If the marketing is announcing a new product launch, the ROI might be to drive traffic to a purchase page on your website. There are numerous ways that you can receive ROI from content marketing.
“Keep It Simple Stupid” is often heard when it comes to marketing. Each content marketing piece should be designed to drive customers to take one action. This action can be clicking a link, “liking” a page, joining a mailing list, or buying a product. However, trying to convince target customers to take more than one action per piece is too confusing. When browsing online, people do not stay in one place for a long time. As they zoom by, it is easier to grab their attention with simple pointers.
Examining the Results
If your current content marketing plan is not giving you ROI, then it needs to be tweaked, revised, or scrapped. Content marketing should be an investment in your company’s future income or sales; it is not just for fun. If you define the ROI you want, it can be measured by the results. Decide on the length of the content marketing campaign and what you want to achieve, then you can move forward to obtaining the ROI.
Paula A is a freelance writer who has been writing on the Internet since 2008. When she is not writing, Paula creates and maintains websites, searches for handmade art treasures, and nibbles on chocolate to keep herself motivated.