Let's be clear, content marketing is not about immediate gratification. It also requires dynamic tracking. So, if it's a little complicated and doesn't immediately move the needle, why do it? Consider content as the new "face" of your organization. You're audience's reaction to how present yourself and what you say depends highly on how well you tell you story.
There is definitive proof that storytelling is highly influential when done well. First, you need to be able to articulate your "why" or unique core reason for being. Then, you are able to strategically craft your story from a truly authentic place.
Especially during challenging times, it's more important to connect on a deeper level, which is more difficult. This is where the best marketers and writers earn their stripes. It's no easy feat to balance your brand's voice, an extra dose of empathy and an ask.
Sounds logical, strategic and smart, right? Absolutely! But it's not always easy to sell content marketing to your management or board. Set yourself to up success by managing expectations. I recommend a preemptive strike addressing:
- Identify how much revenue you’d like your content marketing to generate. Let’s say you need to make $120,000 in the upcoming quarter — within 3 months.
- Calculate how many sales you need to hit your revenue goals. If your average sale is $10,000, then you need 12 sales — or four sales per month.
- Use your conversion rate to determine how many sales-qualified leads (SQLs) you need. If 10% of your SQLs will convert into paying customers, then you need 120 SQLs — 40 per month.
- Determine how many marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) you need. If 50% of your MQLs will eventually convert into SQLs, then you need 240 MQLs — 80 per month.
From the time that you launch your content strategy (in market), it can take 6-9 months to yield results. The actual amount of time will depend on your individual business and circumstances.
Many factors can impact results and overall performance including time being dedicated, frequency, channels, messaging, personnel, approval process, etc. You get the point.
Social is a given for content. Having a blog to serve as the hub is great for both SEO and website traffic. Speaking of SEO, inbound strategies like content marketing, only work if people can find them when they search. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a safe and high-converting bet. Depending on your offerings, test social ads and other digital ads as much as possible (3-6 months at a time).
Tracking mechanisms are 100% necessary to know your ROI for content marketing. These are the content metrics that matter the most:
- Lead Quality
- Web Traffic
- Onsite Engagement
- Social Media ROI
- SEO Success
- Exposure and Authority
At the bare minimum, you need to invest in at least 3 social posts per week as wells as 2 new blog posts and 1 new video per month. If you have the talent and time in-house, fabulous. If not, you're not along. Copywriting is the top outsourced marketing task. Ongoing SEO maintenance can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand depending your offerings, service area, page count, etc. SEM and social ads are the best way to get the most reach and highest conversion. If you've never done these before, start with Google Ads and Facebook ads to test, test, test. Once you know your top performing key phrases, messaging and images you can branch out further into paid placement.
Want to see where your organization stands? Here are the five levels of content marketing by Gartner to help you out.