Content marketing is a potent tool for bringing traffic to the site, increasing sales and empowering a brand name. Every place or company should have a thoroughly planned content marketing strategy.
Most companies use ROI (Return on Investments) to plan their marketing campaigns and evaluate the results. It is a powerful system that’s been working for many years. Evaluating content marketing results with ROI is sometimes quite tricky but possible.
Suppose you want to get the best from your content marketing strategy and increase your ROI. In that case, the first thing to do is to create a detailed and logical plan (or re-plan your existing strategy if it doesn’t work right). Here are some steps you may take.
Define your goals
First of all, it is essential to understand that the effectiveness of content marketing can be evaluated differently depending on the goal of the whole campaign. Suppose we are talking about selling content marketing. In that case, it can only be effective if your goal is, for example, increasing brand awareness. Thus, the first step to evaluating the effectiveness of content marketing is to understand your goals and decide what results you expect. Content marketing without clear goals cannot be successful.
Saying that selling content marketing is successful content marketing is not correct. It may be successful on a short-term basis, while the initial purpose of content marketing is long-term; it may bring loyal customers, potential clients, brand awareness, authority, etc.
Every goal should be backed up by a certain number of metrics that you should use to evaluate the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign.
Understand your audience
This step is quite tricky. To begin with, you need to understand your typical reader. You may actually be quite concrete here:
Patrick, 24 years old, drives Range Rover Sport 2018 and has a girlfriend. He spends time and money on communication and discusses sports, music and cars. He drinks Budweiser and sometimes good whiskey (he thinks it’s cool). He wears Ralph Lauren shirts, but cannot afford other brand clothes, so he wears regular jeans and shoes. He believes that the brand is as important as the product itself and that influences his behaviour as a consumer.
Having a clear image of your customers when you plan your content marketing strategy is crucial, so you need to make an analysis here. You need to discover what place your product, services or content takes in your customers’ lives.
After you understand the peculiarities of your audience, you can go to planning your winning strategy. There are many ways to make a plan, and here are some templates.
When you have a picture of your primary audience, you must work out a platform to interact with it. Arrange some brainstorming sessions with your team. Take a look at the question from different angles. For example, your central theme may be productivity if you sell time-management software for businessmen. You can also touch on time management, self-development, discipline, etc.
Choose the channels and the content.
Many content marketing campaigns fail because they try to do everything, be everywhere and use every type of content. It might work if you have huge budgets, many offices, and teams. You must make some logical choices if your resources are narrower. Decide whether you need a blog, what social media you want to conquer, and what content you will use. It is better to focus on several types of content but do the best with them than to use everything, sacrificing the quality.
The first point of this article is to help you decide which type of content you need to use and where to distribute this content. If your goal is brand awareness, you should focus on your blog and social networks like Facebook. If you seek conversions, you may opt for blog posts, press releases, etc.
At this point, you should turn your content marketing strategy into a calendar or a step-by-step release plan. This calendar may be created for a month, season or even a year; it all depends on the activity and seasonality of your niche. If you are in the fashion business, it is logical to be attached to seasons; if it is the insurance business, it can be a yearly plan. You can create one topic for one month and develop it into small content pieces for every week, for example.
Improve your content
Suppose you do everything right, but the results could be more impressive. In that case, the quality of your content may be in the quality of your content. You must understand that you cannot make it with so-so content these days. People are as demanding as never before, and they won’t read your post, watch your video, participate in your polls or look through your pics if they doubt they’ll bring any use to them. Your content should help people solve their problems, entertain, inform, or even shock them. If it doesn’t get any information or emotion, it won’t work.
If you have in-house writers, you need to rearrange their work, encourage their creativity and create a clear plan of topics and themes to cover. If they suffer from writer’s block, let them rest for a few days and gather the material they think would improve the situation. If it doesn’t help, maybe you should consider hiring new writers or seeking talented freelancers. If your ultimate goal is to improve your content marketing, perhaps you should start with this.
If your content marketing results don’t cover the investments, maybe you have a lousy content manager. In this case, you should give him or her a chance to improve their skills and develop new ideas, or you can hire new people. A good content manager is one of the most important things for a campaign.
Have a strict plan for publications
You need to be precise with the time you publish posts, send e-mails or post news on social networks. Knowing your audience will help you with that. Create a plan for when to make publications and stick to it so that your readers see the critical information and do what you want them to do.
As it’s already been said, content marketing is a tricky thing in terms of ROI. You never know whether your investments will return when you start a marketing campaign. However, your strategy may bring incredible results if you make a precise plan and think every detail through.