Today’s businesses operate in constant visibility and cutthroat competition. In such a landscape, investing in content marketing yields massive returns, including qualified leads, subscribers, one-time customers, repeat customers, and more.
Be it brand awareness or building a customer base in a crowded market, your content is king. According to a HubSpot study of 2,300 customers, businesses that post blogs increase their monthly leads by 126% more than those that do not.
But as it is a relatively new trend in the business world, many still deem content marketing a fluke. So if you are a business owner venturing into the world of content marketing, chances are your investors may not know what content marketing is or why it is a worthy investment. As it’s a journey for the long haul, the absence of definite ROI of content marketing from the beginning acts as a roadblock to establishing credibility with the stakeholders.
To make this process a little less strenuous, we have compiled a guide on how to get your investors onboard with your content marketing strategy with facts, numbers, and logic.
What is the ROI of content marketing?
In simple words, content marketing ROI is the percentage representing how much revenue a company has gained through content marketing in comparison to what they have spent.
Companies use content marketing to provide information that the target audience can’t find elsewhere, assist their target market in solving problems, and build trust in the brand and its products. These factors make content marketing a long-term investment, so much so that it takes months to see any visible changes.
Thus, proactive measuring of content marketing ROI is absolutely crucial for content marketers. While content establishes brand visibility and trust, bringing value to the business in tangible terms is the ultimate goal. This can only be possible through regular measurements of content marketing ROI.
Source: Vanhishika Bhargava
How to sell stakeholders on the ROI of content marketing
Investing in content marketing is like investing in stocks – you are in it for the long haul. As showing returns on content marketing takes time, convincing investors about its importance may prove to be a little tricky.
You need to show the stakeholders content marketing is not just a luxurious expense but a critical element to staying relevant.
To make the process easier, here are some data-driven tips for you to get started:
Document your marketing strategy and explain it in simple terms
A well-rounded marketing strategy acts as the blueprint that helps you measure your marketing efforts and concentrate on important metrics. According to Semrush, 78% of marketers who hit business goals through content marketing in 2021 had a documented strategy. So it goes without saying that your investors will take content marketing seriously only when you can show them that you have a logical plan to achieve the goals.
But to explain the nitty-gritty to your stakeholders, your plan has to be easy to understand.
You should start with the basics in your explanation of content marketing strategy. Consider using metaphors to link a fairly new concept like content marketing to something people already know. Here is an example –
You can describe content marketing as a vehicle and content strategy as its engine. A vehicle can transport you to your destination, but for that, an engine is necessary. Here you can say that the destination or goal is to increase organic traffic to your website. Then explain that the ROI for content marketing is measured by the increase in average monthly visitors to the site over a predetermined time in your content strategy.
Documenting your strategy and breaking it down as an analogy will establish a proper base of understanding for the stakeholders. This step lays out the basic principle and elements behind content marketing and holds their attention to what you would say next.
Lead with quantitative and qualitative evidence
If you want to sell content marketing to your investors without having any ROI on the table, you should be prepared with a solid plan. You need to show concrete results from marketing campaigns of other brands that have profited from content marketing.
But before that, make sure you have done the following –
- Identify what success looks like for your business and make a strategy that supports the larger marketing goals
- Align it to support the company’s big picture
- Figure out the actions and results that lead to hitting those business goals
You need to connect all the above-mentioned elements to metrics that show you are making progress because that is what stakeholders care about. When you have that in place, you can dive into stats and examples. You need to show the stakeholders how blog articles, videos, and other content assets bring organic traffic, qualified leads, free trial sign-ups and paying users and other metrics that ultimately impact revenue growth.
To do that, pull out content-specific statistics that prove how content marketing translates to not only brand visibility but also higher revenue and profits. You can also use case studies to get your investors excited about the future prospects of content.
Show stakeholders what they stand to gain from the investment
Social proof is not a metric that will entirely convince the stakeholders. Explaining the concept through analogies, showing numbers, and examples from brands applying similar techniques help your investors to understand the basics of content marketing concepts. But you need to make sure to link those points back to the results stakeholders care about.
Thus, when you prepare your presentation or report, you need to go beyond your departmental goals and focus on metrics that align with business goals.
You need to understand three factors to choose the right metrics–
- Your business model and goals
- Internal stakeholders’ goals
- Metrics they use to measure these goals
This will tell you how your stakeholders define success and help you pinpoint those exact elements in your presentation. Depending on the stage your company is in, success could mean more subscribers, organic traffic, conversions, or repeat customers.
You also need to show the investors that you are well aware of the risks involved and have done thorough research on the effectiveness of content marketing. Here are some things to consider when analysing the risks:
- Stakeholder’s fears about investing in content
- Possible limitations and roadblocks in the journey
- Resources you will need to mitigate any risk
Measuring returns can get a little tricky despite knowing the business and stakeholder goals. Metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, time on site, and pages per session do not mean much to stakeholders because these metrics do not impact revenue.
The following are the three KPIs you can use to show stakeholders how content marketing can really drive conversions –
- Qualified Leads
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Remember that the goal is to prepare arguments for every reason you give and every doubt of the stakeholders. Make sure you have covered all your bases so that you can build trust with your investors.
Estimate ROI for your content marketing efforts
All the arguments and examples give your content marketing strategy much-needed credibility. But chances are, your stakeholders may want to know how you’ll show the ROI of content marketing in concrete numbers.
To handle such scenarios, be prepared with some estimations of the eventual payoff for the brand depending on what they invest in content marketing.
You can use content marketing to attract or increase traffic to a site, convert that traffic into high-quality leads, and convert those leads into sales. So to show them the money, make conversions the basic metric to determine the success of a content marketing strategy. Here’s how- quantifying the conversions in terms of their potential sales. This will give you an estimate of the eventual ROI of the content marketing strategy.
Below are simple formulas for benchmark numbers like the industry’s average conversion rate to high-quality leads, the company’s average rate of high-quality leads that convert to sales, etc.
|For estimating earned leads per month:|
The number of monthly visitors multiplied by the average traffic-to-leads conversion rate = X leads per month
|For estimating sales per month from leads:|
The number of estimated monthly leads multiplied by the average lead-to-sale conversion rate = X sales per month
Content marketing is an important investment
Even if you show the potential of content marketing to your investors, you need to prove why it is as important as other marketing strategies.
First, lay out a base by giving an overview of how content marketing and strategy work. Remember to use solid data backed with ample research. Do not shy away from using numbers and compare them to investments for other marketing tactics to get the same results. With enough conviction and data, you can smoothly win stakeholders’ trust and start on your content marketing journey for stellar future results.
To increase your ROI from content marketing, contact our experts today!