Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Content?
Years ago, if your business was the only one producing informative industry content, you were already ahead of your competitors and bound to shoot up the ranks on Google.
Today, most businesses have caught on to the content marketing game and understand its marketing value. However, while many businesses realize the importance of creating content, they may not know exactly why it’s so important.
Why Should Organizations Invest In Great Content?
One of the top benefits of creating quality content is it seamlessly demonstrates your organization’s expertise without a pushy sales pitch. You’re able to build a valuable relationship with your target audience while becoming a crucial source of information for potential customers.
Research shows that 61% of online buyers have made a purchase after reading recommendations from a blog. You want people to see your organization as a trusted source for advice.
High-quality content is also proven to increase lead generation, and what business doesn’t want that? When a visitor comes to your website and can find the answers they’re looking for, confirm your industry expertise and easily contact you, they’re more likely to convert.
Additionally, content that is properly optimized for highly searched keywords and organized to meet the needs of search crawlers helps you increase rankings and boost domain authority. Google prefers high-quality content that maintains your visitors’ attention and adheres to SEO best practices.
By posting great content on a regular basis, Google will start to take notice. And as your rankings increase over time, so should site traffic.
How Does Content Influence Revenue?
You now know why content is so important, but how exactly do you demonstrate that your content strategy actually influences the bottom line? Linking content to revenue is not always obvious – unless you know what you’re looking for.
While developing a content strategy, you shouldn’t simply focus on increasing SEO or churning out content. A great content plan needs to have a clear path to how it’s impacting revenue.
This means creating content that is aimed at the right people, so you’re generating the right leads. It also means tracking and measuring content performance, so you can adjust and evolve your strategy over time.
A great content marketing machine influences revenue by building trust with your visitors. The better the content, the more leads convert, leading to a bigger sales pipeline and (hopefully) more deals closed.
How Do You Know If Your Content Is Working?
Creating content for the sake of creating content isn’t enough. Search engines are looking to promote high-quality content. Algorithm changes through the years have devalued simply posting a new 400-word blog every day with stuffed-in keywords and no substance.
Today, your content is competing with millions of other sites, so yours needs to stand out above the rest.
The content you write – including your website copy, blogs, e-books, whitepapers and emails – needs to be focused on the buyer and providing them with what they need. But how do you know that you’ve hit the content sweet spot?
The only concrete way to prove your content is doing its job is to measure performance. While developing your content strategy, you should determine what content metrics you want to focus on, how often you’ll be analyzing the numbers and how you plan to tie your results to marketing ROI.
Also, try to outline some basic goals or milestones you’re hoping to hit, so you can report on your progress and spot winning messaging and areas of concern early on. Statistics from HubSpot show that marketers who calculate ROI are 1.6 times more likely to receive higher budgets.
What Metrics Have The Biggest Impact On Revenue?
To have the most leverage when convincing business leaders that your content marketing strategy is working, you need to highlight metrics that prove a solid ROI. No matter what tools you’re using to measure your content success, there are always dozens of key performance indicators (KPIs) to weed through to find the right numbers to inform your progress.
It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics, or those that don’t serve any purpose. These numbers only scrape the surface and can be manipulated to tell almost any story you want to tell. Vanity metrics usually describe engagement or visitor behavior but have almost no impact on revenue or lead conversion. Examples include:
- Page views
- Social media likes
- Bounce rate
- Site visitors/sessions
- Social media follower growth
- Organic traffic growth
On the other hand, if you know where to look, you’ll find content metrics that can give you the conversion or revenue insights upper management is looking for. These nine metrics in particular matter to your bottom line:
- Content offer downloads: Not only can this directly show improvement in overall content conversion, but it also shows how your content is leading prospects through their buyer’s journey.
- Number of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) or sales-qualified leads (SQLs): After producing content meant to convert visitors in all stages of the buying journey, you should see an increase in MQLs and SQLs.
- MQL to SQL conversion rate: MQL conversion rate displays the handoff between marketing and sales. If MQL conversion is high but SQLs aren’t turning into customers, you might have a gap in the sales process.
- Overall site conversion rate: All of the SEO best practices in the world won’t matter unless visitors actually convert on your site. Tracking this conversion rate can help you see how content strategy adjustments are impacting lead generation.
- Landing page performance: Landing pages are the gateway to lead conversion, and those gates are meant to be opened. If your landing page conversion rate is down or page exits are high, your visitors may be uninterested, you might be asking for too much information or your value proposition may be unclear.
- Cost of customer acquisition: This underused metric can tell quite a story. Dividing the money you spend on content marketing by the number of customers your content generates can prove how your marketing efforts have lowered acquisition costs.
- Search position for commercial-intent keywords: Certain keywords are more important than others. During your keyword research, pinpoint keywords that are more transactional. Visitors coming to your site from these keywords are generally more likely to be closer to becoming customers.
- Traffic source conversion rates: Learning which sources of traffic generate the most leads, MQLs, SQLs and customers is a great way to optimize new organic or paid campaigns.
- Average time to purchase: Content is meant to shorten the buying process. By tracking the average time it takes to close a lead, you can prove how your content is helping reduce the consideration period over time.
By measuring these content metrics, you’ll be able to optimize your strategies based on real data and analysis. Once you’re looking at the right data on a regular basis, you should be able to tie a dollar value to how your content influenced a new customer, and get the marketing buy-in you’ve been striving for.