Many key figures for buy-in and implementation of content marketing still don’t even know what content marketing is or why it’s a worthy investment.
That could well affect why only 26% of B2B and 29% of B2C marketers rate their content marketing as extremely or very successful in the latest CMI research. If you can’t get initial buy-in, if you don’t get enough support behind your content efforts, how can you be successful?
Explaining the nitty-gritty inner workings and ROI of both content marketing and content strategy to bosses or clients is difficult for everybody. This difficulty multiplies, especially when you want to get your content strategy off the ground. And if you can’t find the right way to explain ROI, you may never move past “go.”
Being able to explain content marketing’s worth and rewards can make all the difference in this situation. How do you explain content marketing and its ROI? How can you phrase this explanation in a way that’s persuasive, urgent, and incredibly convincing?
Fear not. There ARE ways to make it happen.
1. Explain content marketing and strategy in understandable terms
Start with the basics in your explanation of content marketing and strategy. Metaphors are always a great way to relate new concepts to something people already know. Here’s an apt one for the content duo:
If content marketing is a vehicle, content strategy is its engine. The vehicle can transport you to your destination (i.e., goals), but it needs an engine to get you there.
Perhaps the goal is to increase organic traffic to your brand website – your destination.
The vehicle to get there is content marketing.
The engine that powers content marketing is your content strategy. In this example, the strategy might be to blog three times a month, targeting keywords your desired audience uses in its searches.
The ROI for your engine-powered vehicle is measured by the increase in average monthly visitors to the site over a predetermined time in your content strategy.
Simply and succinctly breaking down content marketing and content strategy with this analogy gives your bosses or clients a ground-floor understanding of how it all works.
2. Use these methods to demystify content marketing ROI
All the metaphors in the world won’t help you explain content marketing and its worth if you aren’t using language your boss, clients, or higher-ups understand. Here are some other approaches that help show how content marketing works and make them care.
Gather examples of other businesses and individuals who have used content marketing to bolster their brand success. These are easy enough to find online. Search for case studies that show the true gains from content in terms of hard data.
For example, this CMI article looks at four companies that shared the results from their content marketing campaigns. The article shares concrete examples of the content each company created, plus the major results each campaign netted. For example, software development agency Coding Sans shared that its 2019 State of Software Development report attracted 5,000 downloads, 291 backlinks, and an estimated $300,000 in new projects.
Phrase your argument in terms of what your boss or client will gain
For your content argument to win, you need to emphasize what your boss/client/stakeholder will gain from it.
As Gary Williams and Robert Miller write Harvard Business Review: “All too often, people make the mistake of focusing too much on the content of their argument and not enough on how they deliver that message.”
The right delivery is key for achieving content marketing buy-in. Don’t just gather all the examples and throw them like a pitcher throwing fastballs. Think about the key person you’re trying to convince and tailor your argument for them.
Present examples that will appeal to their interests and knowledge. Then, describe how a tailored content strategy for the brand will drive traffic, build relationships with an audience, create leads, and ultimately pull in new customers. Emphasize whichever of these results that person will deem most important.
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3. Predict the ROI on implementing (or continuing to invest in) content marketing
If the higher-ups want to know how you’ll show the ROI of content marketing in hard numbers, don’t despair. You can estimate the eventual payoff for the brand depending on what they invest in content marketing at the outset.
Let’s get into the formula you need to follow for confidently making this prediction. This is where you literally show them the money.
4. Use numbers to encourage investment in content marketing
Sure, showing the ROI potential of content marketing is great, but it won’t hit home unless you also show why it’s better than other types of marketing investments. Here’s how to do that:
Estimate the investment
Up-front investment is necessary for content marketing. Show what that investment will look like.
For example, if you pay about $375 on average for one authority content piece every week, the total yearly investment for content creation is $19,500. (I’m using this single cost to simplify the example. You should consider all related costs for publishing, promotion, etc.)
Explain what the investment will produce
Now, outline what the company will get from that investment.
For example, show that your content creation will focus on high-performing keywords (low competition, high search volume). Assume you’ll hit at least the third position in Google rankings within a year for at least two-thirds of those targeted keywords (34 out of 52, give or take a few).
If each of those higher-ranking keywords has a search volume of 1,500 a month, you could expect a CTR (click-through rate) of 11%, according to Sistrix data.
That would net a total search volume of 51,000 (34 keywords multiplied by 1,500 searches per month) and an average of 5,610 monthly visitors (51,000 total search volume x 11% CTR).
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Show why that investment is better and how it translates to ROI
Now, find out how much it would cost to reach that number of website monthly visitors through paid search.
For example, Semrush shows (with a Pro subscription) organic traffic and how much that amount of traffic would cost in paid search each month. Here’s an example from my website that shows I’d have to pay $2,400 a month for the 841 monthly organic visitors the site currently attracts. Find that number for your own organic traffic and compare it to your content costs.
To make the deal sweeter, let’s look at the ROI potential of those 5,610 monthly visitors from content marketing using the earlier conversion benchmark formulas:
Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.
In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.
“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”
Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.
There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.
“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”
Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.
Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.
While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.
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About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.