Increase Content Marketing ROI: In 3 Steps To Increase Sales

To improve the success of content, the right data must be measured. Those who observe their customers and identify weak points can determine and increase the actual value of their content.

Definition:

The content marketing ROI (German: return on investment of content-driven communication) is a central measure for the profitability of content and describes the overall percentage ratio between investment in content formats and profit.

The right indicators and measured values ​​not only help with the analysis of content-related strengths and weaknesses in marketing but also with budget planning to strategically push the performance and usability of content. Because those who work in the right places in marketing turn their readers into valuable customers and thus increase their content marketing ROI.  We have summarized, categorized, and sorted all the relevant factors for monitoring success.

Determining The Monetary Value Of Content

In contrast to e-commerce sites, on which sales are generated directly, sales tracking is more difficult for B2B service providers and pages with a focus on content publications.

Here the focus in marketing is on the acquisition of leads, which then lead to “offline” sales. The monetary value of conversions can be determined by CRM systems and lead management tools, which exchange the data relevant for tracking with evaluation tools such as Google Analytics. The various levels of planning, implementation, and evaluation result in content optimization cycles that influence each other.

The measurement of the success and the operational implementation of the content marketing strategy takes place in two cycles, which occur in mutual interaction :

  • Every strategy begins with an internal and external analysis of the initial situation.
  • At the same time, the target definition serves to identify the appropriate operational measures.
  • Contents and formats result from the goals and determine the conception and creation of content.
  • To evaluate the performance and the monetary value of the content, the key performance indicators (KPIs) must be defined by the company.
  • On this basis, the operational implementation and a constant performance measurement follow.
  • The consequences for the optimization of the strategy result from the results of the success measurement.

The Content Performance Pyramid: 5 KPIs For A Higher Content Marketing ROI

The evaluation of content takes place on three levels, which are sorted in the content performance pyramid according to the user, traffic, and sales-relevant factors. The pyramid serves as a guideline and is based on the tuxedo’s practical experience. It summarizes all-important measurement variables at a glance, with the metrics at the top of the pyramid forming the key performance indicators.

  • The sales-relevant factors form the top of the pyramid. They are the key performance indicators since success control is primarily about economic goals. A company should limit its analysis to five KPIs.
  • The metrics of the traffic-relevant factors form a basis for the KPIs at the top of the pyramid. Because the higher the traffic, the more leads, and ultimately the higher the ROI.
  • The metrics of the user-relevant factors serve as indicators for improving the site, its content, and the campaigns, the performance of which actively supports the traffic-relevant factors and thus also the KPIs.

Read Also : Content Marketing Trends 2021: The 5 Most Relevant Developments

Factors Relevant To Sales: The 5 KPIs

The sales-relevant factors are the most important indicators for the content marketing ROI because they deal directly with increasing sales – that’s why they are also the five key performance indicators. The ROI forms the top of the pyramid, as it records the ultimate profit of the content marketing measures.

ROI – Return Of Investment

  • The expenses for creating content in marketing must be compared to the income from conversions.
  • Here the conversions are assigned to the corresponding content through which they came about. This makes it possible to determine which content is particularly profitable and at what cost.
  • It has a multi-channel sales reporting to take place to enable a comprehensive evaluation of the online and offline activities of the sales funnels.
Example:

Universal Analytics is an important tool for collecting meaningful data on the ROI (Return of Investment) of various online measures. During lead generation, the data that Google Analytics needs to recognize the user is passed on. After the successful sales process, the sales value is forwarded to Google Analytics via Google’s Measurement Protocol. The evaluation defines the successful conversions and their sales, which enables a success-based analysis of content concerning the online measures.

Tip:

Since potential customers not only want to use the contact forms but also the telephone to contact them, telephone tracking must be part of the web analysis. With the help of dynamic phone numbers, the important data for recognition are also forwarded to Google Analytics via Universal Analytics.

Lead Generation

To successfully generate leads in marketing, the user must be allowed to establish contact without this appearing intrusive and promotional. For content with clear and needs-oriented added value, the user is more willing to leave their contact details.

  • These can be e-books, tools, or other resources that are offered on the homepage, via email, or landing page.
  • The suitability of content for lead generation becomes measurable as soon as it is specifically linked to call-to-actions.
  • A contact form can be placed on the homepage near the content in which the reader enters their name, email address, and telephone number.
  • No more data is necessary. This significantly reduces the hurdle for the first contact.

Tip: White papers or e-books in content marketing are

effective baits for getting contact information from potential customers. The user has to enter his data in a contact form before he can download the content and receive his reward for this. Leads that have not yet generated sales offer the profit potential for the future. The question arises as to what has stood in the way of doing business so far.

Converted Leads

The conversion of leads to customers must be a fully integrated process of all online and offline measures in marketing.

  • On the one hand, additional information about the company and the products can be distributed to the contacts via online measures.
  • In the case of specific inquiries, however, content advice must also take place, which takes place on the same level of content that generated the lead.
  • If the advice is disappointing, this can permanently devalue the content and the competence image of the company.
  • The documentation of the lead status, the duration of the business deals, and the conversion rate of individual measures takes place CRM-based and must be done for sustainable optimization of the online measures in the exchange of web analytics data.

Tip:

Visitors to the website do not receive any advice on the content of e-commerce sites. Instead, a good link to the facts, product descriptions, or other useful information must be guaranteed. If the reader feels well informed and convinced of the benefits, a deal is the logical next step.

Total Cost Per Leads

  • The monetary success of content can be controlled by the ratio of input (cost of creating content) to output (the leads generated by the content) – regardless of whether the leads have already made a profit or not.
  • After all, the leads that have not yet generated any sales form the profit potential for the future.
  • In connection with the revenue and the conversion rate of the sales funnel, every company has to define for itself how much a lead is worth to it.

Tip:

To fully calculate the cost ratio for a piece of content, not only the leads generated via online forms but also inquiries via telephone or email should be taken into account. A multi-channel sales reporting enables the comparison of the monetary performance of content and helps reduce costs while simultaneously offering improved lead generation.

Repurchase Rate (Customer Loyalty)

  • Content with added value increases customer satisfaction with a product and strengthens the bond with a brand.
  • Anyone who wants to measure customer loyalty in marketing must consciously and systematically offer existing customers content that subtly teasers the company’s offer.
  • In this way, the performance of the content can be linked to the KPI of the repurchase rate.

Tip:

Too much advertising can quickly alienate existing customers. In emails or newsletters, the principle applies: less is more. Instead, exciting content is an excellent bait to introduce the reader to your offers. A PS at the end of the email with a reference to useful or entertaining content not only arouses curiosity but also establishes the company as a trustworthy value-added supplier to whom one is happy to return.

Traffic-relevant factors for the content marketing ROI

The traffic-relevant factors are metrics that, on the one hand, evaluate the existing traffic and, on the other hand, serve to sustainably increase the traffic. At this point, the company has to ask itself what demand there is among the target group and whether the quality of the content successfully meets this demand. This is the only way to increase the traffic quality in terms of lead generation and make it usable.

Unique visitors

  • This factor describes how many individuals have visited a website within a period.
  • By comparing this key figure from different content, trends can be discovered.
  • The type of content plays an essential role: The unique visitor of a whitepaper for lead generation has a higher weight than that of a guest article since the hurdle and therefore the interest is higher.

Tip:

The ratio of unique visitors to visits provides information about the number of regular readers, i.e. those who regularly return to the site and are therefore promising candidates for the marketing funnel.

Page Views

  • The volume of a session per visitor on the website gives a first impression of whether the website visitor finds the information offered interesting.
  • It is also a first indicator of the quality of the user experience.
  • When planning future content, this enables an adaptation to the interests arising from user behavior.

Tip:

A good internal link not only simplifies the navigation on the website for the visitor but leads him deeper and deeper to more and more pages – if it makes sense. Links in appropriate places to related topics deepen the volume of the session. If the links are set in places that are incoherent in terms of content, the user often jumps off faster than he would otherwise.

Referral Traffic

  • Refers to the traffic that is directed to the website via third-party sites and other sources.
  • A distinction is made between organic traffic and traffic generated by campaigns :
    • Organic referral traffic can arise via social media platforms or the use of link baits. Links from other sites also generate organic traffic. In this case, the referral traffic serves as an indicator of the quality and relevance of the content, since the website visitors find it good enough to share or link to.
    • Campaigns boost referral traffic with the help of newsletters, social media ads, display advertising, or native advertising. Whenever money is paid for this traffic, the costs should be analyzed about the lead generation.

Tip:

To be able to evaluate the referral traffic correctly, all sources must be listed. This is easier said than done, as Google Analytics does not correctly capture the most important sources such as newsletters, social media, or redirects. Still, other sources are wrongly named as direct sources, which results in an unnaturally high direct traffic in the evaluation. Google Analytics offers a solution with the creation of user-defined campaigns by adding so-called individualized UTM parameters to the URLs of the links. In this way, the referenced sources can be recorded and the performance of a campaign can be assessed.

SEO Factors

  • An essential requirement for more traffic is improving the ranking of a website in the search results.
  • Online tools such as Search metrics or SEMrush enable tracking and an overview of the development of the ranking.
  • The visibility index of a website is based on the previously defined keywords. When creating SEO content, a company has to determine which keywords it would like to rank for. This is done based on the knowledge that a company has about its target group and its customer journey. But tools like SEMrush also offer the possibility of tracking relevant keywords.
  • The keyword ranking must be continuously monitored and your content evaluated to filter out the relevant keywords that lead to conversions.

Tip:

To determine the relevance of keywords, the SEO strategist must deal intensively with the needs of the target group and the thematically appropriate search terms with the highest search volumes. Here PPC test runs (pay-per-click) via Google AdWords offer initial indications as to which search terms work well. Besides, it is worth taking a look at the keywords of the competitors with the help of SEMrush and comparable tools.

Read Also : Digital Marketing: Measures And Strategies

Lead Quality

  • Not every lead is the same as the other. Some leads only arose out of a visitor’s interest in certain content. Other leads with a firm intention of doing business.
  • The individual leads should be categorized according to their origin, scope, and qualitative parameters. If the potential customer has not expressed an explicit interest, further handling of the contact details is based on the type of content that led to the lead.
  • The sources of successful conversions and promising leads must be identified to invest further content there in a targeted manner and to get more traffic with high potential for lead generation to the website.

Tip:

Connect the obvious interest of the visitor to the website with the range of services in a subtle and meaningful way. The aim is to provide the user with additional content and to lead him deeper and deeper into the marketing funnel. In doing so, the marketing strategist must continuously ask himself what has stood in the way of a business so far. It may be that a user is expressly interested in certain content, but the company has so far failed to communicate its commercial range of services in a suitable place.

Engagement

  • Customer engagement includes, among others,  likes, shares, and Social Comments on social networks, which lead to high traffic quality.
  • Here one can assume that the users actually perceive the content and not just click on it because it is being teased by advertising.
  • A qualitative examination of the content also increases brand awareness.
  • An increased interaction via social media created a traffic momentum, thereby increasing the likelihood of more leads.

Tip:

It should be as easy as possible for the user to share the content with the help of integrated social sharing widgets. These social signals can be used to deduce how much value, identity, and trust users attach to the content and a brand.

User-Relevant Factors For The Content Marketing ROI

The user-relevant factors are metrics that describe the initial contact and the reaction of the target group to the content. The central question is, therefore: Does the content even reach the potential customers? The aim is to adapt the content relevant to the needs of the user, to improve the approach, and to evaluate the user experience.

The interaction metrics of the users provide initial indications of how relevant the target group perceives the content to be.

Downloads

It speaks in favor of the content on the homepage when the users are ready to load further content onto their end device. The willingness to consume also means an interaction that binds the user a little more to the company and the brand.

Subscriptions

  • The conclusion of a newsletter subscription or the approval of email advertising represents a vote of confidence on the part of the user.
  • This speaks for the content on the website and the interest of the user – a valuable further step in the sales funnel.
  • Now the content in the newsletter has to maintain trust, if not surpass it with surprises.
  • Because newsletters can very quickly be perceived as superfluous advertising junk.

Tip:

The user is happy about the benefits that give him the feeling of exclusivity and sustainable use. In this way, a newsletter becomes a guarantee of added value in which the advertising of products and services no longer interferes.

Comments

  • Bringing your product or offer into discussion must be a goal of every content marketing measure.
  • The conversation should be held in favor of the company. Whoever wins a customer as an advocate for the product also gains the trust of those who read his comment.
  • But even with negative comments, the marketing strategists have valuable insights into the needs and expectations of the users.
  • The days of “one-way” communication as a one-way street are over. Instead, the user expects the company to listen to him, understand him, and communicate with him based on his needs.

Tip: 

react quickly to negative comments, do not wait. The users must have the feeling that the dialogue is being sought openly and honestly. If the company responds constructively to the anger of the users and signals a willingness to learn, it can use the conversation positively and win back trust.

The reception metrics of the users describe the immediate reaction to the content and serve as basic indicators for the performance. From the metrics, it can be deduced which address works and whether the content meets expectations.

Click-Through Rate

  • The number of clicks for certain content shows how the user’s response to headlines, advertisements, or widgets is.
  • In this way, content and its teasers can be adapted to the interests of the user, thus increasing traffic.
  • The higher the click-through rate, the better the ranking.

Tip:

The headline and the snippet in the search results are often the first points of contact for users with their information offer. So that it doesn’t stay the last, a clear unique selling point must be in the foreground in the headline. So before the content is put online, the best search results should be compared with each other to subsequently differentiate yourself positively from the competition. The more relevant and outstanding the content for the search query, the higher the click-through rate.

Time On Site

  • The average duration of a session provides information about the quality and relevance of the content.
  • The longer the average time, the more the offer seems to meet the needs-oriented expectations of the visitors and the higher the probability of conversion.

Tip:

The better the packaging, i.e. legibility, visual appeal, and internal links (website navigation), the longer the visitors’ sessions. On the other hand, a bad user experience drives traffic away.

Bounce Rate

It is one thing to get a lot of traffic to your homepage – it is at least as important to keep the traffic to the website. If 90 percent of the unique visitors only deal with the content on the homepage for 15 seconds before they do the If you leave the page again, either something is wrong with the user experience or the content is disappointing.

  • The expectations of the users must be met to avoid a high bounce rate. This also benefits the ranking success in the long term.
  • It is advisable to differentiate in the bounce rate. The examination of the landing pages, but also of individual traffic sources, allows the possible problem to be narrowed down and resolved.

Tip:

The content tests from Google Analytics offer a comparison of the performance of different content variations in extensive test runs to determine the best possible address for the target group.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a meta-KPI that is made up of several measured variables.

  • So are views and shares through social media influencers or as success parameters and indicators: the more people using the Content talk and interact with it, the more attention will win the brand behind the content and success.
  • With exciting and exciting content that communicates the brand’s essence, the brand reaches the audience on a cognitive and emotional level.
  • The added value is associated with the brand and underpins its message.
  • The promising consequence is a higher traffic quality since the users bring awareness and an affinity to the brand when they search specifically for the homepage and other content offers of the company.
  • The content marketing ROI also benefits from increased traffic quality.

Content Marketing ROI “Short And Sweet”: All Learnings At A Glance

  • Success measurement and the operational optimization of strategies must take place simultaneously
  • The tracking of offline sales through online measures is possible through multi-channel sales reporting and is important to accurately determine the content marketing ROI
  • The sales-relevant factors are the key performance indicators for monitoring success
  • The lower levels of the content performance pyramid consist of metrics that serve to improve the content and actively support the KPIs

Brand awareness is an important meta-KPI that is built up over the long term and qualitatively and, with the increase in traffic quality, leads to increased lead generation.

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