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Content Marketing ROI: Determine Your Goals First

By Anthony Watts on August, 26 2016
Anthony Watts

If you need a smile or want to know what’s hot on-line, Anthony is your go-to guy. As reigning Father of the Year, you can be sure he is equipped with the utmost patience and determination to foster and cultivate any online marketing plan! His digital expertise is a lot like his famous Bloody Marys: loaded with goodies and guaranteed to satisfy.

Even great content cannot guarantee good ROI; without goals, your content is meaningless.

This is the underlying problem with content marketing as a whole — the goals become hidden between the well-written copy and beautifully designed graphics. What’s often forgotten is that content suffers from the ability to be “optimized” if we don’t set goals. If you determine your content marketing goals, it’s likely you’ll get to a positive ROI faster while also solving your content problems. Goals can illustrate how you turn content into conversions.

Let’s dig into different goals for different types of content marketing.

1. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the fun part of content marketing. From social media to videos, your goal is to get your potential customer base familiarized with your brand.

Examples of content to increase brand awareness:

  • Guest blog posts
  • Videos
  • Ebooks and webinars
  • Infographics
  • SlideShare

KPIs to track:

2. Traffic to Your Website

This is where the top of the funnel begins. Driving visitors to your website with valuable content will push them down into the marketing funnel to get them to convert.

Examples of content to grow traffic to your website:

  • Social media shares and links
  • Blogs with content upgrades that require your audience to add their email address. (Here is a great example of a content upgrade from Bryan Harris at VideoFruit that converted 42% of users).
  • Email newsletters
  • Newsjacking (Oreo did an amazing job at this here).

KPIs to track:

Quick note: UTM codes are text you can add a link to that communicate to Google Analytics. Once you add a UTM code to Google Analytics, you will be able to track the performance of your links so you can identify where traffic is coming from.

Here is an example of a UTM code:


3. Sales Leads

Generating new sales leads is something every content marketer aims to master. By measuring the total number of leads generated from gated content like an ebook or webinar, you can calculate the potential of each lead.

Examples of content to boost sales leads:

  • Demos
  • Checklists
  • Courses
  • Ebooks or case studies
  • Blog post series

KPIs to track:

  • Event tracking in Google Analytics
  • Lead forms, sign-ups & downloads

Quick note: Using content marketing to guide potential consumers down the sales funnel helps reduce sales time to close the deal. Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, shared in Jay Baer’s Youtility, if a buyer read 30 pages on his blog before a salesperson visits, his firm will close the deal 80% of the time.

4. Upsell

Using the goal to upsell current customers that have purchased a lower cost product or service allows you to calculate the ROI directly from the upsell.

Examples of content to upsell your products or services:

  • Exclusive discounts
  • Exclusive content
  • Video tutorials

KPIs to track:

Using Goals to Build Better Content

Outlining your goals allows you to increase customer loyalty, retain customers, and ultimately, understand if your content marketing is a good investment. Commit yourself to gathering, analyzing, and learning from goals to help push your product and business forward.

What are your content marketing goals? Join in the conversation below!


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