To a growing number of marketers, content marketing is today’s holy grail.
A well-run content marketing campaign helps brands hit their goals while attracting new customers, keeping existing ones and reactivating former ones.
Its ROI validates the planning and budgeting that went into it. Here’s how to get started.
Like a GPS, goal setting is important because it keeps marketers attuned to where the campaign is and how it’s going. Some marketers make the mistake of simply setting an end goal of making so much in sales or in accomplishing a particular mission. Content goals must be more specific and measurable.
In addition to the endgame, goals must define the target audience as well as how success will be measured. It must also include a timeline by which the content goal will be achieved.
If the brand already has a content marketing strategy, it likely needs to be redefined. Research by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) over the past several years has consistently shown brand awareness, credibility/trust, and audience education to be the same three goals each and every year. 71% of marketers polled in CMI’s latest survey reaffirmed those same priorities.
Consider focusing instead on sales and leads if the brand’s content marketing is expected to positively affect ROI. CMI found that 54% of marketers ranked the generation of sales as an important factor in B2C content marketing. Another 52% cited generating demand and leads.
For B2B, generating demand and leads was even higher among 75% of respondents. 60% said nurturing their leads and audiences was also important. Another 51% cited generating revenue and sales. For both B2C and B2B, refocusing on leads and sales is important in positively growing ROI.
To validate that the brand is heading in the right direction, it may be necessary to invest in tools that will help measure success.
This includes not just the proper tools but also an expert or two as well as the time to do the job right. Knowing and measuring what happened, what’s currently happening, and what will happen are essential to a sound content marketing strategy. It doesn’t make the strategy right but will keep everyone focused on improving it and moving forward.
With all these in place, companies are now set for a multi-touch attribution model. A good one shows every customer touchpoint from initial contact leading up to the sale.
The value of this over a single touch model is that the value of each interaction can be better understood and adjusted, where necessary.
An even more sophisticated version is a weighted multi-touch attribution model. This allows marketers to assess the value of each customer touchpoint and how they contributed to the sale. This is particularly valuable for B2B marketers.
Be aware that a good content marketing strategy is far from being a guarantee for overnight success. Very few are. The founder of CMI estimates that it generally takes 12 to 18 months to produce results. Successfully building and growing an audience will take time even with everything in place.