I am often asked about content ROI. My answer? If you’re doing content right, you WILL be getting customers – both new and repeat. Good content does inspire purchasing. And you may be able to measure right down to the click which content encouraged a specific purchase from a specific person. Yes, content can be shown to increase your sales – no question.
But measuring sales is not the most effective way to determine if your content has value for your brand.
Sometimes people like your post on Facebook, then buy from your website a month later.
Sometimes people read your blog post on your website, then call and make an appointment the next day.
Sometimes people watch your how to video, then pass your brick and mortar store three months later, remember that cool gadget they saw on your YouTube channel, and buy it right there.
The question inevitably becomes: how do we attribute these sales to any specific platform exposure to your brand?
The Better Measure of Content ROI is Amplification
Each time someone takes an action in response to your content, your content is amplified. In laymen’s terms, amplified means that more and more people see your promotion. The Internet basically determines the value of your content by the number of interactions with that content.
As more people interact with your content, more people in their network are exposed to that content. The more people take an action, like reading your blog, watching your video, liking your status update, or sharing your photo, the greater your influence and reach grow.
Influence and Reach Are Not Just Vanity Metrics
When people interact with your content, they are building a relationship with your brand on a subconscious level. There are a few ways people are being influenced by your brand, making them more likely to buy from you when the time is right:
- When you deliver value, you tap into a need to give something back to you – a share, a recommendation, a purchase
- When people like and share your content, others perceive that your brand has value
- When your content makes people feel good, or interested, understood, or helped, they develop trust and positive regard for your brand
The more these things happen, the more your brand’s authority grows. As your authority grows, so grows your influence over people’s purchasing decisions.
So, how do you build authority and influence? By publishing messages that deliver value to your target markets. At the very least, you must publish curated content and original content, as they both have a role to play in building your authority and influence.
How to Curate Content
- Find information that is helpful to your target market
- Post multiple times a day – all different content, all on message (aligned with your brand position )
How to Create Successful Original Content
- Deliver value through unique or new ideas
- Understand the medium and channel are not as important as the quality of the message
- Strive to be novel and original, and to create curiosity about your brand
The job of content production and distribution is to build your brand’s authority and influence. You measure that authority and influence by how far your content traveled across the internet, and how many actions your audience members took.
Likes, shares, reach, clicks, mentions, comments, referrals, new followers – these are the currency people pay for quality content. It is in this currency that your content marketing efforts should be measured.