In search of ROI
So your content marketing campaign is rolling along, and you’re regularly posting what you hope is useful, informational and entertaining content onto your website, social media and email.
As a content marketer, you’re presumably devoting considerable time or money (or both) to that content, and as such you — or at least your boss — are seeking proof of your ROI. Now it’s time to check your website traffic report to determine whether content creation is merely creating buzz or actually driving business.
That can be hard to determine if you’re not well versed in online marketing methodology, as Brandpoint Content Marketing Strategist Jennifer Lind well knows.
“I had one client say they weren’t sure if their content was performing at all,” she notes. “When I explained that the two factors of success were traffic and leads, and that their content showed positive growth for both on a month-by-month basis, they were very happy with the results, and the investment payoff of their content became more clear.”
How to measure success
In general, Brandpoint places the most importance on the following metrics to measure the success of clients’ content marketing campaigns:
This category focuses on data that reflects how and why viewers of your content act the way they do, which can allow you to identify elements needing change and to predict future trends. Brandpoint focuses most on tallying the number of users for (i.e. visitors to) each piece of content, along with the number of pages they accessed in the process. In simple terms, such numbers represent the extent to which readers care enough to take a look at your content.
That term refers to the number of times a visitor to your content chooses to take your suggestion for a desired action. In many cases the ultimate conversion is a sale, but for marketing purposes Brandpoint is most interested in form completions and page value. Form completions refer to the times a visitor to your content is motivated to fill out an adjacent or attached form requesting a response of some kind, indicating his interest in connecting.
As Google Analytics explains, page value is the average monetary value generated by a page that motivates a user to move on to a goal page, buy something or both. If the page wasn’t involved in an e-commerce transaction, the page value is zero. SEO can greatly impact your page value, and corrective steps can be taken if pages are high volume but low in page value, or vice versa.
Brandpoint places importance on the number of times a piece of content is shared via a client’s social media pages, indicating a high level of interest among users.
Brandpoint tracks organic sessions (interactions on your website within a given time frame) then compiles the SEO value of each piece of content by factoring in rankings, traffic and conversions. SEO value normally spikes after relevant content is posted, Lind notes.
“For long-term growth, organic search ROI is the best indicator of success,” she explains. “Social traffic is also great, but not sustainable. SEO is still important because you are focused on creating long-term content that answers questions your prospective customers have throughout the buyer’s journey.”
In general, monetizing your content marketing campaign can be an inexact science, but it’s an important step toward determining the extent to which your strategy is truly driving dollars into your funnel.
“The most common misunderstanding is that results will come quickly, or that simply creating content will be enough,” Lind notes. “Creating SEO value is a process, although our clients typically do see a lift of 30 percent after six months of working with us on their content-creation efforts.”