In recent years, there has been a breakthrough in the field of marketing ROI. Whereas in the past, marketers could only demurely cast their eyes down and mumble something about brand awareness and customer loyalty when asked where the budget goes, now they can provide accurate data on every channel and every tactic used, at least until it comes to content. A recent study by SmartInsights and HubSpot showed that the biggest challenge for marketers right now is measuring content ROI. 45% of marketers in Europe admitted that the main difficulty for them is the production of quality content and measuring ROI.
And indeed. It’s pretty easy to calculate the return on investment from PPC or SEO (for example, if you spent $100 on PPC and made $250 on sales). When it comes to content, things are much more complicated. What indicators to pay attention to? What exactly needs to be measured in paid guest posts? Let’s try to figure it out.
What is a guest post and why is it needed?
Guest posting: How to get the most out of it? A guest post is a post that the author posts on another blog or website. This can be beneficial for both the owner of the blog hosting the guest post and the author of the guest post. Subject to certain conditions, of course.
This is beneficial for the blog owner because it allows you to take a break from writing articles and at the same time not get out of the rhythm of updating, as well as pour in a fresh stream of information and a vision of the issue by another author, which also helps to keep the interest of readers and subscribers.
The author of the post, in turn, is beneficial because this is a kind of advertising, a way to promote your blog, raise positions in search engines, attract new visitors and subscribers.
Content Success Metrics
Attempts to measure content in the same way as PPC, SEO, and display ads fail from the outset. The impact of content cannot be measured in money. But you can determine for what purposes you create this content and whether you can achieve it.
The client can be in one of the parts of the conversion funnel – at the beginning (TOFU – top of the funnel), middle (MOFU – middle of the funnel), or bottom (BOFU – bottom of the funnel). The goals that a marketer is trying to achieve with content are different in each part of the funnel. This means that the effectiveness at each stage will be evaluated differently.
Using Content to Achieve Goals at the Top of the Conversion Funnel
Content marketing strategies for the top of the funnel should aim to:
- increase the number of company subscribers on social networks;
- engage users with published content;
- encourage them to visit your site, read the content, and visit other pages for more information;
- increase organic traffic;
- encourage users to take specific actions on the site (for you, this will mean that you have attracted the audience you need).
There are no metrics that would help you immediately understand how you achieve all of the above goals. You need to look at a few metrics and ask a series of questions to evaluate the ROI of content at the top of the conversion funnel:
- Question 1: Is the material you post on social media getting any traction? Is it a part of their daily lives? What’s the size of your social media following? Is the material being interacted with by users? Observe participation rates. Use a variety of tools or look at the statistics provided by social networks themselves for this purpose.
- Question 2: In other words, how well does your site’s content work for you? You may learn a lot about the effectiveness of your site’s content by looking at analytics data (such as that provided by Google Analytics). Is it bringing in new visitors? What is your content’s bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave after seeing it)? What percentage of time do users spend on a page actually reading the content? Is the site’s traffic shifting to other sections?
- Question 3: Does the content help you increase organic traffic? Quality content should help increase visitors. Organic traffic is a strong indicator that your content is performing well.
- Question 4: Do people take any actions on the site that indicate to you that this is your target audience? There is no point in attracting visitors if they do not take any actions that promote conversion. These actions may include: signing up for a newsletter, viewing a specific page on a website, filling out a form, etc.
- Question 5: Estimate how many visitors and from what channels carry out the actions you need on the site? How many users become leads? Does their number change over time?
The metrics above will help you partially evaluate the performance of your content at the top of the funnel. One metric for this will not be enough. You have to analyze a number of indicators.
Using content to achieve goals in the middle and bottom of the conversion funnel
The content that marketers use to reach mid-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel goals should:
- inform people about your product, give an understanding of how it will help solve their problem;
- help increase sales.
To evaluate the effectiveness of content in these stages, you need to understand the following.
- How many people open your email newsletters, click on links, perform the actions you need? Most marketers will tell you that email open rate is not a metric to gauge the effectiveness of email marketing. In part, we can agree with this. But it’s also important to realize that this metric gives you an idea of whether you’re sending emails to the right people. If you’re trying to reach leads down the funnel, you need to know if they’re consistently performing the actions that will convert.
- Does your content bring you customers and drive sales? At this stage of the funnel, you can start evaluating the effectiveness of your content by looking at the number of customers it has generated.
But don’t take this metric too seriously. Often leads do not become customers. There are a number of reasons for this. Content can be engaging and selling. It can motivate a person to action but never lead to sales, for example, because the client’s budget was reduced or the project was cancelled
Take a look at the number of sales opportunities generated by the content. This will give you a better idea of efficiency.
There are many metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of content. There is no exact indicator that you can show your boss when answering the question about measuring ROI of the content you create. Your content strategy should be based on a clear set of goals, which should align with the conversion funnel stages and the channels you utilize. It is only then that you’ll know where and how to improve.
Continue Reading: 7 Insights for Social Media Success from Industry Experts
Thomas Lore is a 25-year old writer. As a creative and diligent freelance blogger, he is always seeking new ways to improve himself.