Reminder: Good content marketing is actually about results

Skip to the end: If you’re already proud of your content, you can still achieve better return. To up your numbers, take a look at our guide to using content marketing to improve lead generation for inspiration. Now read on for three ROI-friendly tips…

As creative souls we content marketers love great stories, exciting storytelling, beautiful design and clever creative, but fellow marketers, be ready for ‘the but’.

Sometimes ‘the but’ comes from the marketing or sales director, perhaps it might come from the CEO – the point however is always the same: ‘But what has it delivered in terms of leads?’  For leads, you can insert here business / opportunities / MQLs – whatever the terminology is within your organisation the point remains – “What return have we achieved from our content marketing investment?”

This blog offers a reset reminder on why we are doing marketing in the first place – and it’s not just about creating valuable content. Content is a tool. It’s not the end game. It’s not even the objective. 

It’s easy to get carried away with the uniqueness and brilliance of a great creative or thought leadership campaign – certainly these are often critical components of any successful programme, but there are also other key areas that require attention in developing sound strategy.

My first question for clients is always ‘Why do you need this content?’ And the second question is ‘What will you do with this content?’ Sometimes it’s more like‘What on earth happened with this content?’ swiftly followed by ‘What can we do about that?

If you find you’re not getting good enough results from content marketing, if leads are dropping off in volume or quality the answer may not be ‘more content’.

Modern marketing is actually a love triangle between content, metrics and ROI. If you’ve got the content and you can measure its performance, the next area of focus should be banging more bucks out of what you already have to ramp up return. Three quick tips for better content marketing ROI:

1. Analyse your data

  • Match back engagement, clicks and likes to personas or segments
  • Who is engaging with what? Is it timing, format, subject that appears to be driving interaction?
  • If you can figure out why you are getting engagement you can identify which prospects are more likely to become leads

2. Identify nurture opportunities

  • Once you can see who's a 'possible lead' you can inform the next necessary step
  • Identify the next touchpoint, the next asset to try and push each prospect towards purchase 

3. Smash and grab more acquisition

  • Maximise the content you have by taking it apart
  • Run different messages, longer social programmes, more targeted PPC with atomised content to drive up ROI

So, back to the beginning – brilliant content can have a long lifespan so ensure you have the capability to extract maximum value from it and increase your ROI. Take a look at five key areas to focus on in our mini-guide to using content marketing to improve lead generation.