As your marketing team is preparing for a new fiscal year, it’s the time to bring everyone together to reflect on how well your marketing content performed this year.
Content produced by the marketing team is an essential component of your company’s revenue generation but can often be overlooked and classified as a “nice to have” rather than a necessity. Marketing leaders must be able to explain the benefit of the content being produced, how it supports the sales team and how it’s impacting the company’s total revenue.
If you’re looking for ways to show the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing content, you’re not alone. A recent CMO Survey found that a staggering 65% of marketers can’t quantitatively demonstrate the impact of their content. With budgets under scrutiny going into the new year, marketing professionals need to rely on tools that provide them with insightful data to make revenue-generating decisions.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can show the ROI of your marketing content for an increased budget and how you can track and measure these metrics when you adopt new technology and software.
What is content ROI?
Before we can talk about how you can show the impact of your content, we have to define what content ROI is.
In simple terms, the ROI of your content is measured as a percentage and shows the revenue you gained from your content marketing efforts compared to what you spent.
At the end of the day, your marketing team’s goal isn’t just to build trust between you and your customers, but also to bring value (and revenue) to the company. So how can you calculate the impact your content is having in terms of revenue?
Calculate content ROI
Measuring your content ROI can help you understand just how much value it brings to the table. One of the most popular formulas for calculating content ROI is as follows:
Return – Investment
——————————————— x 100
Take the return minus the total investment, divide that by the investment and multiply it by 100. This figure will be expressed as a percentage. You may be wondering what a “good ROI” for your content is. The problem is that a “good ROI” can vary based on your industry, the distribution channels you use and the type of marketing strategy you have.
Typically, you want to be making more than a dollar for every dollar you spend on content, a campaign or a marketing initiative. For an example of how you can prove the ROI of marketing content, let’s look at content marketing. When you publish new blog posts, infographics, ebooks, videos or reports, one of the most important metrics that is directly linked to revenue is the amount of leads you produce.
Measure the leads your content produces
Calculating your content’s ROI is a broad way to show the impact it has on revenue, but there are other ways to prove its importance. Tracking the leads you drive with your content can be one of the most meaningful ways of expressing how important that content is to your company’s bottom line.
The lead generation process is fairly straightforward and directly connected to the content your marketing team puts out. The process would look something like this:
- A potential lead would discover your company through a marketing channel (your website, Instagram page, blog, Twitter account, etc.)
- The lead would click a CTA (call to action) on the page that encourages them to take some sort of action (signing up for a newsletter, entering their email for a coupon, etc.)
- The CTA directs the lead to a landing page which will be able to capture lead information in exchange for your offer (coupon, course, ebook, etc.)
- Once on the landing page, the lead will fill out a form (give you their information) in order to receive your offer.
- Now you have a pool of interested customers who can turn into great leads.
Your landing page is the most important factor in the lead generation process. Landing pages are created for specific campaigns or offers and guide potential leads toward a call to action. In short, landing pages are designed to convert. Tracking your leads through a single landing page is one of the easiest metrics to pull when proving your content’s impact on revenue.
Tracking the performance of a landing page is just one way to track your content’s performance, but it’s important to remember that marketing content is also used by your sales team. Tracking the content that sales uses can be even harder to measure.
By solely focusing on the landing page metric, you’ll miss out on tracking the leads that are being worked on by the sales team. This is why the analytics from a sales enablement platform are so powerful and can highlight the way your content is being used outside of just the marketing team.
The cost of content
Metrics like click-through rates, bounce rates and social shares are also important and should be tracked, but they are only part of your ROI equation. To truly see where your marketing budget is going, you’ll need to look at the cost of producing content.
To optimize your budget, look for gaps where increased efficiency could save your team time and money. Can you automate some processes you’re doing manually? Are you taking note of the content that’s underperforming and brainstorming how to turn it into something more engaging? Are you aligning with teams outside of your content team and taking advantage of their areas of expertise?
When you keep track of your key metrics and assess what is and isn’t working, you’ll be able to cut costs and give your team the tools and data to create more effective content — all while growing your ROI.
Identify your impact to increase budget
According to Content Marketing Institute, about half of B2B marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase each year, but 47% of them don’t measure the ROI of their content.
As a marketing leader, it’s your responsibility to bring your team together and discuss how your content is impacting the company as well as how you can improve its value going into the new year. Some questions to ask your team can be:
- What content has helped to push pipeline and revenue?
- How are we presenting our content to the sales team? Are they using it?
- What content isn’t performing well? Why?
- What content do customers engage with most? How can we incorporate more of that content across channels, campaigns and projects?
Brainstorming questions like these will produce a clear picture of how marketing content is actually driving revenue and will help you to explain why an increased budget is a good investment for the company into the new year.
Tracking the ROI of your marketing content
Proving the overall ROI of the marketing team’s content, campaigns and initiatives is an ongoing challenge. Proving the impact it has on company revenue is even harder. If you don’t have a clear set of metrics on content effectiveness as well as the confidence that it will be used by the sales team, your efforts could be for nothing.
Marketers typically track the ROI of marketing content and rely on a marketing automation solution for reporting, but this doesn’t offer the full picture of which content is being used by sales. To truly understand where and how it’s being leveraged, marketers may turn to analytics from a robust sales enablement solution.
How can Showpad help?
Showpad’s sales enablement platform can help you define and execute an impactful content strategy that strikes a chord with your sellers and buyers.
Showpad makes content easily discoverable, presentable and shareable across the entire organization. This ensures that sales is using the most up-to-date, on-brand content with the right messaging and positioning so they can create the best buying experiences. Plus, with an integrated, comprehensive system, content can be easily repurposed into bite-sized components for continuous learning initiatives.
On top of keeping all relevant content centralized and at sales’ fingertips, Showpad gives you an in-depth look at your analytics and advanced metrics. With visibility into how content is being used at each opportunity, which assets resonate best with buyers and what ROI is tied to specific pieces of content – marketing teams can create content that is more effective throughout the sales process and allocate resources to content that drives results.
- Your sellers can now find and share content from any device, even without internet connection.
- You can measure engagement and understand which content is being used and when. You’ll see how it drives (or doesn’t drive) pipeline and allocate budget to the content that has the most impact.
- Your sellers will find and use the created content, and with everything being digitized and centralized, you can drastically cut back on unnecessary costs around unused content.
- You’ll have insights into how your content is being used in each stage of the buyer journey and understand its impact on sales cycle length, cross- and up-sell opportunities.
- You’ll see what content is most valuable. If a content asset is never used, you can investigate why your reps don’t find it helpful and adjust or remove it if necessary.
With the data that Showpad collects, you’ll have crystal clear insights into what content is working, allowing you to invest in the content that drives revenue. Plus, you can avoid additional strain on your marketing resources by offering your sellers digitized training programs where they learn how to use content in the most effective way.
Rather than guessing which content helps move prospects through your funnel, Showpad’s CRM integration (with your CRM of choice) helps you understand which content is being used at what stage and how that helps close deals or even increase deal size through cross- and upsell.
As you wrap up Q4 and begin preparation for Q1, taking the time to measure the performance of your content will help you convey it’s value to key stakeholders. Make sure to measure these numbers regularly so you can assess how content is performing, what content types are most relevant to your customers and understand what you can do to keep your ROI high. Going into a new year with these metrics ready will give you the best shot at a budget increase so you can make an even bigger impact on revenue next year.
To see how Showpad can help you prove the ROI of your content, contact us today.