Many marketers consider content revenue to be linear. You make content, people click on it, and then they automatically buy something or fill in a sample request form. After all, if our search ads work that way, shouldn’t our content work that way, too?
It’s not, so it’s not a bad thing. Content is all about building confidence and loyalty to customers so that when they’re about to buy something, you ‘re their first choice — driving on-going demand and making the buying process even simpler.
That’s why we spend so much of our marketing budget in content. The vast majority of people don’t just read an article like this and schedule a meeting. But they do come back and read something a few days later, sign up for our newsletter, or attend an online meeting with us. When the time is right, they will request for a demo to learn how we can help their business.
While content conversion does not follow a linear path, you can chart these steps to link your content to sales.
The 3 Levels Of Content Return On Investment
I’ve found it the best way to approach ROI marketing content when you break it into three levels. The best place to start is in the upper half of the funnel, where you can chart how your audience transforms into sales-ready leads.
1. Growing Audience
At this stage, you ‘re trying to make a pretty good impression on your target audience, hoping to attract them to the next stage. You want to build awareness, trust, and overall positive brand sentiment through helpful and entertaining content.
Most marketers are familiar with the main metrics at this stage — the ones Google Analytics shows you by default: new users, return users, time on site, pages/sessions, and scroll depth. Social metrics — share, comment, like — are also coming into play here.
We ‘re going to talk a little about how to maximize audience growth, but some content marketers tend to stop here. This is a mistake because if you want to generate sales from your content, you need to encourage people to take action.
To push more action, you want a good SEO strategy to bring in the right sort of readers. For comparative purposes, we concentrate on ranking keywords such as “Best Digital Marketing Blog,” “How to Build a Social Media Marketing Funnel That Converts Sales ” “What You Need To Know About Taking Your Business Online” “7 Google Must-Have Apps For Small Business” and “How Brands Use Instagram During COVID-19?.” Such keywords are likely to attract people who are good customers to Techynista.
Remember, you shouldn’t be afraid to use paid delivery to meet more customers who fit your ideal customer profile. It’s a perfect way to make the top of your content marketing funnel expand. It is also becoming more competitive, as the cost of distribution of content paid has decreased by 34% since March.
2. Content Leads
A lot of marketers refer to “lead” as everyone who downloads their e-book or attends a webinar, but I find that misleading — especially to your sales team. Because someone downloads an e-book doesn’t mean they ‘re able to make a sales call. These things take time.
I like to call these people “content conversion” or “content lead.” They have taken steps that will allow us to develop a deeper relationship with them. Trust doesn’t create magic after a post. So if anyone starts reading your newsletter every week, or attends hour-long webinars, or takes a training course you made, that person is much more likely to become your customer in the future.
Your job is to make it as simple as possible for people to turn to content leads. Offer them a couple of different options to opt-in.
Frequently, we target visitors with a prompt to sign up for our newsletter using a pop-up form, which converts to almost 3%.
We also have a content offering unit on the right train. We ‘re a tech company, so we don’t need to sell ads, but we can still make good use of that space.
If you want to monitor both the amount of traffic conversions and the pace your visitors are moving to one of your content offerings. The conversion targets of Google Analytics are a fantastic tool to do this. And you need to properly nurture content leads through a marketing automation platform until they become sales-ready leads.
3. Sales-Ready Leads
Next, you want to cultivate your content leads before they’re ready for sale. What’s a sales-ready lead? Someone who has raised their hands and asked to know more about your business, usually by filling out a form on your website.
At this point, you want to cultivate your content with a drip campaign of relevant content. When anyone has signed up for an ROI content marketing webinar, follow up with additional posts, case studies and product videos that cover the subject. Feel free to include a call-to-action to talk to your sales department. You want to make it simple to convert — but only after you have provides valuable content.
If these leads hit sales, you can push a huge amount of additional ROI with a good sales empowerment strategy.
Create A Map Of Your Own
To link content to sales, track your conversion rates at each of these three levels and map how content flows downstream until someone becomes a sales-ready lead.
Say we drive 100,000 unique visitors to the level of audience growth. Based on our conversion goals, we know that 1 per cent will sign up for a webinar or another content deal, while another 2-3 per cent will sign up for our newsletter. It corresponds to 1,000 webinar registrations and 2,000 newsletter registrations.
Next, through our marketing automation platform, we look at the rate at which our newsletter subscribers convert to demo requests. Our model shows that we will generate 80 demo requests for every 100,000 visitors to our blog.
Instead, to get all the way to sales, you just need to find out how much every sales-ready lead is worth to your business. Say your average deal size is $100,000, and every lead converts to a 5 percent selling rate. In that scenario, every demo request adds $5,000 in a weighted pipeline, and those 80 demo requests are worth $400,000 to your business.
Compounding returns of the Content Marketing Funnel
The good thing about content marketing is that you will see compounding returns overtime when it’s done well.
Much of the publicity is transient. Spend $500 on ads today, and you’re going to have to spend it again tomorrow to see the same results. But investing $500 on a piece of great content today can boost on-going traffic and lead for free — by ranking well for search, social networking, engaging website users, and rising newsletter interaction.
This phenomenon is called compounding content returns. Just if the monthly content expenditure remains flat, the results will increase over time. And if your content marketing funnel is set up correctly, the audience development will turn into sales.
There’s never been a better time to build up your audience. Commitment to branded content is up 16% right now, and people are hungry for perspectives and strategic guidance that can help them solve new obstacles and make their work easier.
Help them overcome these challenges while following the guidelines here, and build a content marketing machine that will deliver compounding revenue for years to come.