I was asked recently about content marketing ROI, specifically around blogging and email marketing. I’m a big believer in the importance of content marketing over other forms of marketing (since I’m a professional content marketer), and I like to sing the praises of business blogging services and email marketing.
When I was trying to explain content marketing ROI, I only had a couple personal case studies to draw on, but they’re outliers. (More on them in a minute.) Instead, I pulled up statistics from several other content marketing and digital marketing sources.
- Blog posts are statistically the most effective tool for building brand awareness, with 31% of B2B companies listing short articles as the highest-performing content in this respect (Content Marketing Institute)
- B2B companies who blog consistently receive 67% more monthly leads than companies who don’t blog regularly (Demand Metric)
- 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months (Hubspot)
- 47% of B2B buyers consumed 3-5 pieces of content from a company before engaging with one of their sales reps (Demand Gen Report)
- 95% of the B2B service and product buyers admit that they view content as a trustworthy marker when evaluating a business (Demand Gen Report)
- 71% in the B2B industry review an organization’s blog during their buyer’s journey (Demand Gen Report)
- On average, a company’s blog produces 67% more leads per month. (Demand Metric)
- Costs 62% less than traditional marketing, generates 3x more leads (Demand Metric)
- The return on investment for email marketing in 2018 stood at $42, which is an increase of $10 from the DMA’s previous report. (Direct Marketing Association UK)
- The ROI for manufacturing can reach 1,372% (FrontPageSage’s own customer research)
“What’s YOUR Content Marketing ROI?”
I’m sometimes asked about my own content marketing ROI. That’s a little harder since I’m an outsourced vendor, and most companies won’t share their internal sales data with me. But I have a couple.
“Do you at least have a range or an estimate?” they’ll ask. I tell them this:
“In the early days of this agency, we worked with a construction equipment manufacturer that made $200 million per year in gross revenue. He was Internet-savvy and tracked the hell out of everything. He found that he got a 6% bump in his total sales as a direct result of our blogging services. That worked out to another $1 million per month in increased revenue.
“About the same time, we worked with a mystery shopping agency with two full-time employees and two part-timers. Their total sales were roughly $750,000 per year. After three years of writing 8 blog articles per month, they had tripled their business three times and grew to 27 full-time employees. They also landed a million-dollar contract for a national wireless company during our first year with them.
“So, our range of improvement can be anywhere from 6% to 900%.”
Of course, this is a bit frustrating since it’s a broad range, but I use it as an example to illustrate a few important points:
- Your content marketing ROI is only as good as your actual content.
- Quality rules over quantity, but you should still blog at least once a week. Don’t forsake consistency either.
- There are a high number of variables that affect your content marketing ROI, anything from your field, your content, your competition, and how much Google updates its algorithms.
- High-quality written content will always outperform mediocre content. Always.
- A variety of content formats will outperform a single format. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- On the other hand, don’t rely solely on video. At this point of SEO development, videos help SEO, but not in the same way that written content does. Google still relies heavily on written content.
What about email marketing?
Email marketing has a number of different benefits — too many for me to go into here, but I can say this. Email marketing is a great marketing method because it’s the only one where potential customers have said, “Yes, I’d like to hear from you later. Here’s how you can reach me.”
- The problem is, most email marketers abuse it by sharing poorly-written and created content. If you want high engagement, send out interesting stuff.
- Some email marketers send too many messages. (I just unsubscribed from a new newsletter after getting four emails in four days. I don’t have time for that!)
- This is the place to customize content. Segment your subscribers into different groups and offer them different content options. Bookriot.com has almost a couple dozen email newsletters each about different book genres, giveaways, and contests. This way, you’re not given one single email that appeals to everyone. I get only one email per week about the books I would want, and nothing about the books I don’t.
- Your email list is all yours. If they wanted to, Twitter and Facebook could wipe out all your followers and fans. You can’t export that list or use it somewhere else. You can’t switch social networks and take all those followers and fans with you. But your email list is worth its weight in Bitcoin!
Your content marketing ROI is going to be a lot higher and easier to measure and manage than traditional marketing or even social media marketing. It can also give online advertising a run for its money because content marketing reaches people when they have a question or an interest. They’re thinking about buying, so they do a Google search to start their buying journey. If your blog content shows up on the Google search, then you’re in the hunt!
But if not, then you may have a problem.
Photo credit: 12571684 (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)