Precious few dollars can be wasted on marketing, so when money is invested, the content marketing payoff must be sizable, and recognizable. We all (most of us anyway) realize that the traditional marketing and sales model is ineffective, and with sales flagging for many due to a sluggish economy, budgets are under constant scrutiny. CEO’s and CFO’s alike are squeezing every big of ROI from everything and anything that has the potential to produce revenues, or minimize expense.
With respect to ROI, it is not as cut and dry as it may be for other risk and return actions in business. When it comes to social media, recognizing the connection of time and energy invested and what comes from it is difficult at best for the uninitiated. Public Relations and content marketing have their own set of deliverables, equally as vague in terms of attaching revenue generation to their expenditures. Not all is hopeless, however.
When the C-level suite inhabitants begin to understand the rationale for investing in inbound marketing (social, content, video, pr and email) systems of management and implementation, the return on investment can be better analyzed and tracked. It takes understanding that this new form or marketing is sales in the making, and once targeted audiences are captured, prospects will become customers.
What marketers must also understand is that inbound marketing is not a panacea, and that traditional marketing like display ads, television or radio advertising and soft marketing (endorsements of sports teams, grants, cooperative marketing) efforts are still be required, but with less frequency or variety. Content marketing subsidizes, but doe not eliminate the other marketing mediums. Remember though, that content marketing is more than 60% less expensive, as stated by Marketing Sherpa.com. By providing searchable content that the targeted audiences are looking for online, the larger segment of interested prospective candidates presents itself. More and more sales are generated online than ever before, with the growth expected to rise year over year for the next decade or more.
Here’s what the C-level suite can expect in terms of content marketing payoff:
- Well Defined Customer Base. Because consumers are so tired of the beating they have taken from telemarketing, radio and television ads, newspaper and magazine ads, and spam email. They want to be in control of the messages they receive, and content allow for that. When people trade their name and email address for engaging content, ongoing communications can begin with permission of the potential customer. The contact then becomes a measurable asset to be nurtured and nudged along the sales funnel and ultimately become a customer.
- Brand Loyalty and Informed Customers. Once consumers find you online through content provisioning, the dialogue that typically ensues is one of specific product or service interest, not just blind message pushing. The consumer will return to gain more information if the content is engaging, worthwhile and pertinent to their needs, and will repel away from superfluous blah-blah-blah disguised as engaging. Once a loyal consumer decides when the sales transaction occurs (the consumer is in charge under this new marketing), the loyalty is for you to uphold. Continual communications that are meaningful will hold the customer’s attention long into the future, well after the initial financial transaction.
Several metrics are measurable and have the ability to be analyzed. Content can be tweaked according to desired outcomes based on the review of the metrics. All along the sales funnel, from suspect to prospect, customer to raving fan, there are ways to measure and tailor a successful marketing campaign, nurturing process, and dedicated fan base. Repeat sales become a natural occurrence, with little in the expense column to attribute to them. That is the intent of the content marketing and its long term payoff.
What kind of payoff are you experiencing from your content marketing?
Good and Happy Marketing!