How to Prove the Value of Your Content Marketing Efforts

by Mintent Staff on Nov 29, 17

Content Marketing has quickly become a primary function of many marketing teams. It is frequently cited as the best way to generate leads and ROI. However, it has the potential to turn sour for businesses who don’t handle it properly.

A study by Gleanster found that B2B companies lose $0.25 of every dollar spent on content marketing because of inefficient content operations—the lost return-on-investment is often due to poor message alignment across marketing teams or simply poor delivery of content to readers. A 25% loss is monumental when you start to think about how much time you are currently spending coordinating or administering your content marketing.

Here are a few reasons why content marketing efforts can quickly become disorganized and cost you money: 

  • Costs associated with missing, unused, or duplicated content

  • Bottlenecks arising from inefficient approval workflows

  • Risks and sunk costs associated with pushing out content at inopportune times, damaging your reputation (here’s a good example of that!)

If you are tracking your team’s deliverables using email threads, sticky notes, or napkins, there’s plenty of tools that can help get you operating a lot more efficiently. If you are keeping track of team activities using a spreadsheet, you may be running into added overhead in maintaining your files and keeping everyone in the loop. In fact, you might even be feeling a bit like the brand police, constantly making sure folks know what they need to be working on and essentially micromanaging your team.

Devising a thorough plan is vital for producing content that gets results. Recently, the content marketing industry has grown so large that the mantra “content is king” has found wide usage. This phrase stems from a 1996 article of the same name written by Bill Gates, and today, it expresses the importance of content marketing in successfully driving online traffic. However, a number of businesses have misinterpreted this phrase to mean “content for content’s sake.”

Businesses that view content production as an end operates on two false assumptions:

  • All content is created equal; and
  • Having some sort of content is enough (in and of itself) to drive sales.

Neither of these beliefs are true, and in fact, they can harm a business’ online image. Prioritizing content creation for its own sake will result in content that is off-brand, purposeless and disorganized.

How do you prove content ROI?

What is your content marketing ROI? The truth is, most marketers don’t know. If you are looking to get executive buy-in to purchasing a new marketing technology to help you manage content, you’re going to have a really hard time unless you can prove or quantify what it’ll mean for your team. So, we’re going to help you prove your content marketing ROI (then, we’re going to show you how Mintent can help you to make that number look even better!)

If you were to run a search query for how to prove content marketing ROI, you’d get lots of results, but very few tangible ones that will tell you how to actually do it. Companies that are doing it right, can experience ROI on content that is up to 4 times greater than even their most targeted advertising campaigns.

Cost

To get a full understanding of your content costs, you’ll need to undergo a content audit, or at least an audit of a sampling of the content you produce. By tracking the costs of each channel and then coming up with an average cost, you can get a sense of your overall investment in content. Make sure to factor in your team’s personnel, and marketing tech stack costs.

(Another thing to consider along with cost is utilization. Sirius Decisions has found that as much as 60-70% of content goes unused! Do you know what percentage of your content actually gets used? Don’t limit your measurement to purely content production- but content usage too.)

Performance

If you can’t track marketing’s contribution to sales, you are probably just measuring page views, social shares and clicks, which isn’t telling you much about value. Here’s how to track the value of a content asset:

  • Setup goal tracking in Google Analytics. When you set up your goals, make sure to enter a dollar value for each.
  • Keep track of the amount that each piece has contributed over a set period of time.
  • Combine them together to get the total.

After you’ve run your content audit and measured performance, you can use this simple formula to figure out the rest:

How Does Mintent help?

By aligning every content asset to a clear persona, buyer cycle stage, campaign and theme, you can publish content that is relevant to each set of eyes consuming it- meaning that this focused content is being served to the right audience at the right time, increasing their likelihood to convert.  Once you know your team’s contribution to sales and ROI, it’s time to identify where you can improve upon it. By solving for the common marketing pain points listed above, you have the ability to produce up to 35% more content! 

For a full breakdown of how you can generate more return on your marketing dollars spent, check out our ROI page, and download our new eBook: “How to Prove Marketing ROI“.