How to Prove the ROI of a Content Marketing Budget to Your End Clients

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Convincing your end client that the returns of a content marketing budget are well worth the investment doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right information to back up your claims, your client will jump at the promise of a surefire thing. Content marketing is a cornerstone of any successful business. Here are three ways to prove the positive returns on investment (ROI) of a content marketing budget to your end clients.

Numbers Don’t Lie – Use Statistics to Back Your Claim

If you hear something along the lines of, “At the end of the day, we just don’t have room in the budget for this,” when discussing content marketing, the issue is lack of education. The Internet is replete with resources, data, and statistics that showcase how important content marketing is to a company.

Many companies fall prey to disillusionment of the success of marketing efforts and call it quits before giving it a chance to succeed. If you’re encountering resistance and C-suite objections to putting money into content marketing, use these statistics to inform your argument:

  • The Content Marketing Institute recently published its B2B Content Marketing 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, which highlights all the ways content marketing top performers benefit from their efforts. The study shows that the most successful content marketers are extremely committed (91%), realistic about what content marketing can achieve (91%), and measure content marketing ROI (88%). Your client’s competitors are investing in content marketing, so why isn’t your client?
  • The cost of content marketing is 62% less than traditional marketing. DemandMetric published a study that shows the myriad benefits and returns of content marketing. This statistic can help your end client realize that great content is always a great investment and often a better investment than traditional marketing efforts. Cost does not always purport value.
  • According to Hubspot, 65% of companies report lead and traffic generation as their top marketing challenges. Lead generation is the number one reason businesses invest in content marketing strategies. If your end client is struggling with lead generation – and the statistics make this a high probability – content marketing is one of the best ways to improve these efforts.

There is no end to the amount of data that point to the effectiveness of a good content marketing strategy. Consumers respond positively to content that is poignant, well thought-out, and relevant. Your end client can boost its reputation and authority as a brand by investing in content marketing.

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Help Them Measure ROI

Part of the problem with getting clients to commit to a content marketing budget is the inability to track its ROI due to unrealistic expectations. Many clients fail to realize how great the returns can really be and throw in the towel without even trying. Measuring content marketing’s ROI requires tracking the right metrics to measure content performance. This isn’t vanity metrics, such as the number of likes a social media post receives. It’s the real goals of the campaign – generating leads, traffic, and/or sales.

First, identify end client’s goals for the marketing strategy. This will directly influence how you measure ROI. For example, say your client’s main goal is lead generation. Your client likely thinks the number of social shares the campaign receives is an accurate interpretation of how the marketing efforts went. This is far from the truth, however, and a major misconception that leads to marketers quitting too soon. Instead, your client needs to measure the metrics at the bottom of the sales funnel. These occur when the customer is in the decision stage. They focus on click-throughs and conversions and can include:

  • Free trial or demo requests
  • Revenue contribution
  • Cost per lead
  • Cost per sold
  • Value of opportunities
  • Win rate

The metrics that will truly determine your end client’s content marketing ROI will depend on what your client’s goals were for the campaign. Be your end client’s guide in understanding and measuring ROI, so your client doesn’t fall into the trap of misconstrued expectations and want to pull out too soon. Once your client sees the very real ROI of content marketing, the C-suite will be hard-pressed to find a reason to say no.

Show Your Clients Real Life Examples

If your end client still isn’t convinced of the ROI of a content marketing budget, break out real-world examples of content marketing working wonders for brands. There’s nothing like seeing real examples to convince a client of the value of content marketing. Here are some grade-A cases of content marketing delivering returns for a brand:

  • Denny’s social media presence. Denny’s is active on Tumblr and Twitter, and it always pulls through with a consistent voice – that of a funny, quirky teenager. Denny’s knows how to engage with its audience with humorous and often random posts, photos, and emojis. The brand’s efforts have paid off – Denny’s boasts more than 368,000 followers on Twitter and 121,000 likes on Facebook.source: https://twitter.com/DennysDiner?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
  • Coca Cola’s Share-a-Coke campaign. This piece of content marketing genius earned the company a more than 2% rise in U.S. sales. Putting names on Coke bottles amassed incredible social media shares and consumer engagement – achieving the brand’s two campaign goals – increasing sales and engaging with customers.
  • New York Times, combining the old with the new. The New York Times manages to stay relevant in a world that has a decreasing need for print newspaper by incorporating the latest tech trends in its content marketing strategy. Recently, the Times created a free app and partnered with Google Cardboard to give users a virtual reality experience. Your clients can stay relevant in a changing environment by finding ways to accommodate all types of audience members.
  • Whole Foods, helping customers. Whole Foods’ content marketing strategy hinges on being a friendly and helpful source of information. Instead of pushing sales on people, Whole Foods works hard to establish itself as a resource on all things healthy and earth-conscious. By creating inclusive, proactive content and publishing tips for readers, this grocery chain truly helps its audience.

Proving the ROI of a content marketing budget can facilitate the success of your own marketing team, as well as the success of your end client’s business. When you can prove the returns of a content marketing investment, you empower your end clients to be the best they can be. Content Equals Money can help you empower your clients with riveting, engaging, and ROI-focused custom content.

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Devin Pallone

Devin is a graduate student at the University of South Florida, where she is studying creative writing. Her interests include reading, writing fiction, and trying not to get addicted to Netflix. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her husband and their husky, Indy.

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