Your company is cranking out the content — it’s publishing three blog posts a day, creating a video every week, and has plenty of image-based content projects like infographics and charts in the pipeline. But how does your content marketing impact your business?
What does all that content actually do for your company? What impact is it having on your brand? It’s easy to hear “you need to create content” and simply start creating content. But if you’re not measuring the impact of that content, or if you don’t even know what your content’s impact should be, you might as well not create any content at all.
What Is Content Marketing Impact
One of the most important things to consider when you’re putting together a content marketing strategy is how content marketing is going to impact your business. One way to consider content marketing’s impact is to consider the return on investment (ROI) it will provide.
If you spend X amount on content marketing, what will you get in return?
Surprisingly (or maybe not), a decent chunk of content marketers don’t bother to measure their content’s ROI. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Report, 47 percent of B2B marketers don’t measure the ROI for their content marketing.
B2C content marketers are a bit better when it comes to measuring ROI, according to the CMI’s B2C report. Around three-quarters of all B2C marketers surveyed measured ROI. Among the top performers, more than 91 percent measured ROI.
How Can Content Marketing Impact Your Business?
So what can you measure when it comes to content marketing ROI, and how can content marketing impact your business?
One way to figure out what you should or can measure is to ask yourself what you want content marketing to do for your brand. In one month, one quarter or one year, what do you hope will be different?
For example, let’s say you decide to start a blog for your brand. What’s the goal for the blog? The blog could impact your brand by increasing the number of people who visit your main site, or by featuring calls to action that get more people to sign up for your newsletter or email list. Perhaps you want the blog to increase the amount or number of sales your company makes.
How Do You Measure Content Marketing Impact?
Several metrics can help you measure content marketing impact. Let’s say your brand wants to work on customer retention.
You have three customers: Customer A, Customer B, and Customer C. Each has been purchasing from your brand for two years, but none have bought anything in awhile. Customer A follows your brand on social media, but doesn’t subscribe to your email list. Customer B and Customer C aren’t on social or email.
You start a content marketing campaign featuring a new blog and a series of videos. The content highlights your newest product and shows innovative ways for people to use it. One of the goals of the content is get former customers to come back and make a new purchase.
You share the blog posts and videos on your social page, and Customer A likes one of them. Meanwhile, you also send out an email message to a select group of former customers, including Customer A and B. While Customer B is unresponsive, Customer A makes a purchase. Customer C wasn’t informed of the content at all (think of him or her like a control customer).
One way to measure the impact of this particular content marketing campaign is to say that the content helped you retain or increase the loyalty of one out of two customers, or about 50 percent of customers.
Other ways of measuring content marketing impact include using tracking URLs or promo codes to get a sense of where visitors or customers are coming from and what actions they are taking after viewing your content.
How Content Marketing Impacts Brands
Want proof of the impact content marketing can have on a brand? Here are a few examples from big-name companies.
In recent years, Philips has transitioned from an electronics company to a health care company. According to Marketing Week, content marketing has played a big role in helping it to transition and establish itself has a “thought leader” in the health care space. The brand has created a health care-focused content hub, and has seen immediate sales boosts as a result of some of the content campaigns it has created.
Plum Organics created the Parenting Unfiltered campaign to connect with parents and help them understand parenting is messy. The brand stated that it wanted parents to see that Plum Organics “gets it.” The campaign hit or exceeded all of its major goals. It got more than half a million views on YouTube, more than 3.5 million views on Facebook, and plenty of engagement (90K likes, 23K comments).
Plenty of brands start content marketing campaigns to have a positive impact on themselves. But Tillamook showed that content marketing can have an impact elsewhere. As a result of the brand’s “Fill the Plates” campaign, more than half a million meals were donated to hungry families.