One of the challenging hurdles I often have with clients and prospects is convincing them that the ROI for content marketing goes far beyond just website traffic. Many businesses that are starting to explore content marketing for the first time often think of it exclusively as a traffic driving marketing campaign. As such, traffic and page views are seen as best (and often only) way to evaluate success.
My knee jerk response is often “traffic to what?”. As marketers we need to make the case that content marketing is much more than a traffic driving campaign. While traffic is an essential metric, it’s not the only metric that should be used to understand the full ROI of content marketing.
Content Marketing Serves Two Needs at Once
It’s critical to convey that content marketing ideally has the benefits of both content and marketing. As such, it is situated to serve both of these fundamental business needs with a single cost. Content marketing is marketing with content and when done correctly should provide the benefits of both. This is a key selling point that can’t be overstated.
In order to show the full ROI of content marketing, agencies and implementers must show success with both the metrics of content production and the metrics of marketing put together. This gives the full picture of the ROI for content marketing.
Many of the benefits of good content are not easy to quantify, but still should be credited. These include:
- Good content creates a good user experience
- Good content helps and converses with users, marketing strictly sells to them
- Good content gives free good will value to a consumer thus earning a measure of appreciation
- Good content produces engagement with your brand, hence it improves customer loyalty
- Good content brings a consumer back to your site, hence improves customer retention
- Good content builds brand awareness
- Good content educates and informs a customer and can produce increased conversion rates
- Good content makes YOU recognized as a thought leader in your industry
While there are intangible benefits of content marketing, the bottom line has to be shown with quantifiable metrics. For a more complete picture, content effectiveness and traffic measures and should be included. All of these metrics should include:
- Customer Conversion Rate
- SEO Ranking
- Search Engine Penetration (Pages Indexed)
- Bounce rate
- Page views
- Social Media shares, mentions, and tweets
- Comments and Conversations
- Newsletter Signups
- Repeat customer percentage
- In-Bound Links
Content Plus Marketing = Value
It’s important to consider all of the benefits of solid content production and marketing return when evaluating your content marketing ROI. Businesses should understand that content marketing can and should broadly impact ALL of the quantifiable metrics for both content and marketing.