• By Mark H. Bloom •
Yes, digital content marketing boosts sales.
You spend money on marketing – all kinds of marketing, including advertising – to build your brand and to drive more sales. Content marketing is no different. If you undertake a digital content marketing campaign, you should expect to get your money back, and more, just as you would from a TV commercial or print ad.
Successful Content Marketing
Digital content marketing, as its name implies, is a marketing campaign done online. You can employ its tactics on your website or in other platforms, either as guest blogging or on social media. It’s all fair game, and it all works to promote your company’s products or services.
But how can you tell if it’s working? How can you determine your return on investment, especially if you pay a third-party firm to prepare and deliver your digital content? Like all other forms of marketing, your content marketing campaign needs to serve your company’s goals. It needs to have a measurable outcome, such as:
– More “likes” on social media
– More interaction on social media
– Increased click-through rate
– Improved sales conversion rate
– More sales
Creating Leads for Your Sales Team
The ultimate goal of digital content marketing is to create leads – qualified visitors to your website. Qualified leads are those potential customers who already have an interest in your products or services. Since they’re much more likely to buy from you, they are easier for your sales team to sell to.
If your website presence – your digital real estate – isn’t generating leads, it’s not working for you. The very purpose of a business website is to attract leads and convert visitors into customers. When it works, it turns your website from a money pit into an income-generating machine. Almost a third of all marketers are turning to content marketing.
Reaching Out to Your Customers
Digital content marketing works because it reaches out to your customers and potential customers where they’re already looking online. It delivers the answers they’re seeking in a friendly way while building trust in your brand. In other words, it encourages them to contact you by giving them what they want:
– Answers to their questions – like 5 Ways to Combat Inflation
– “Sticky,” entertaining content – like Unique Wedding Invitation Ideas
– Shareable advice – like Tax Tips for Home Buying
Consider the Costs of Digital Content Marketing
Before you can justify a content marketing strategy, you need know what it’s going to cost you. When you have the resources inside your company to do the work, it’s easy to assess the costs every month. Calculate:
– Who’s involved
– How much are you paying them
– What percentage of time do they spend on content marketing
– How much are your external costs, such as web hosting and SEO
If you hire a third-party firm to develop and manage your digital content marketing efforts, your costs may be dependent on the level and range of the work you’re asking for. You may pay as little as $100 a month or as much as $32,000 a month. That’s the difference between a single blog post and full content marketing support for a multi-level campaign.
The actual content creation – for your website and/or for blog posts – may have fixed costs or may be a recurring monthly change. It all depends on what you’re paying for. The cost of website content has a finite price tag, while the cost of blog posts, social media marketing or guest blogging have recurring amounts starting as low as $100 a month.
The Payoff of Content Marketing
Done right, content marketing delivers leads to your sales team, builds brand awareness and strengthens your presence online. But to figure out if your content marketing is working – or to determine how well it’s working, you need to track the business you derive from it. Basically, the metric to track is cost per lead.
In other words, once you know your monthly costs for digital content marketing, all you need to do is divide that by the number of leads you got in a given month. That shows you, in black and white, how much you’re paying for each lead. Obviously, the more leads you get in a month, the lower the cost per lead. Keep in mind that your efforts may take several months to bear fruit.
This section is for those who:
– Need further evidence to persuade them that digital content marketing works
– Want more evidence to justify moving to content marketing to their managers
– Like statistics
The Content Marketing Institute discovered that content marketing delivered a lower cost per lead than normal paid advertising. Large companies found content marketing performed 41 percent better, while smaller companies gained a 31 percent advantage for switching to content marketing instead of traditional marketing.
Here are other supporting numbers:
– Digital content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing campaigns, yet it delivers three times the leads.
– As consumers go online for research, nearly 75 percent of marketing experts thought content marketing more valuable.
– According to one respected expert, 10 percent of blogs actually increase their value and effectiveness over time.
– Conversions occur nearly six times more often for those businesses that employ a content marketing strategy than those without one.
In the right hands, the content you put on your website and the blog posts you publish there continue to work long-term, even after you’re finished paying for them. Almost 60 percent of all digital marketers repurpose original content between two and five times. So, what are you waiting for? Start your own digital content marketing campaign.
Guest author: Mark H. Bloom, Director of Digital Content at Ray Access
Ray Access is a content marketing firm that believes in the power of words to empower your business. Content marketing may be the least expensive, yet most effective way to market your business online.