We all know that content marketing works.
However, content marketing ROI is still a gray area for 43% of marketers, according to a Content Marketing Institute (CMI) survey. These respondents said their content marketing ROI was average to poor.
This is bad news for marketers and brands. Creating and marketing content requires a lot of time, money, and effort. And the investment rises as competition stiffens and strategies become more sophisticated.
An unsatisfactory content marketing ROI means your investment is wasted. If you publish content just for the heck of it, you may irreparably damage your brand’s reputation. And most damning, while you dabble in ineffective marketing tactics, you allow your competitors to gain ground.
Apply tried-and-tested methods for growing your content marketing ROI.
Let’s get started.
How to Multiply Your Content Marketing ROI: 3 Hacks
Many tactics can grow your content marketing ROI, but not all are effective or usable.
For this post, I have identified tips that can be leveraged by companies of all sizes, scopes, and domains. Take a look.
#1: Create Evergreen Content
Writing on trends and current news is good for grabbing eyeballs (especially on social media), but this content has a limited shelf life. With blink-and-forget netizens, the key to remaining relevant over the long term is to create evergreen content.
Information in evergreen content is useful and relatable long after publication. Unlike trendy content, it doesn’t go stale. It garners engagement, even if you don’t promote it aggressively. If it delivers value, it gets widely shared, which sets off a virtuous cycle of share-engage-share.
In essence, a one-time investment in evergreen content can result in never-ending organic traffic. More traffic means more leads and more conversion opportunities. You can’t get a lower-cost tactic for growing your content marketing ROI.
Think of it as putting your content marketing on autopilot. Evergreen content keeps performing in the background even if your current content fails to get traction.
To craft effective evergreen content, you can follow Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. In short, evergreen content should be:
- Useful: Content should provide actionable insights or solve problems for the target audience. If readers can take away useful information, it becomes shareworthy.
For example, our post on “social media ROI” offers practical tips and free resources on a topic that is a pain point for most marketers.
- Relevant: Your content should match the search intent of your target audience. If you target a particular keyword that typically attracts high purchase-oriented traffic, include relevant transactional information in your post.
For instance, if your target keyword is “best keyword research tool,” include pricing information and limited-time deals because that will interest bottom-of-the-funnel consumers. Cover your interests by adding affiliate links if relevant. A post that satisfies user intent has a good chance of going viral.
- Authoritative: Data-backed, value-added posts from experts find favor with readers and Google.
Don’t believe me?
Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that content with strong E-A-T scores (expertise-authoritativeness-trustworthiness) is considered “high-quality” by the search engine. Naturally, its rank and engagement will be high, which eventually improves the content marketing ROI.
To raise your content’s trust quotient, enrich it with quotes from experts and stats from reliable sources, just like I’ve done in this post. Don’t avoid long-form content. Third-party information should be properly credited, which helps build reader confidence and improve your backlink profile.
#2: Find the Right Topics and Tone
Writing on random topics or highly competitive keywords can be disastrous for your content marketing ROI.
In general, the content topics you select should:
- Resonate with your target audience.
- Target low-volume keywords.
To serve your audience with on-target content, you need to understand their needs and interests. This way, you can predict the topics that can draw and retain their attention.
This helps you determine the keywords your target audience types in Google to seek information. Add quality information (from hack #1) to the mix. Now you have a ninja technique to grow your content marketing ROI.
With this tactic, your content marketing ROI soars.
In two ways:
- Your content can edge into the SERPs riding on broad, low-volume keywords.
- You foster audience trust by serving them content that matches their expectations.
Here are some tips for mastering this hack:
- Create detailed personas for your target audience. Dig into your web and social analytics. You can also touch base with your customer-facing teams and analyze your email lists and CRM data.
- Compile a list of broad keywords in your niche, for example, SEO.
- Feed the broad topics into keyword-research tools, such as Google Analytics, SE Ranking, or AnswerThePublic. Filter the topics by the user personas of searchers.
For example, if most of your customers are website designers, a topic like “technical SEO for websites” will get more clicks than “is SEO dead?”
- Feed your shortlisted topics into keyword-analysis tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. Compare the keyword difficulty scores and identify the topics with low competition. Voila, you have a list of potential topics and language that your audience responds to.
- If you are clear about the platforms you want to target, leverage the keyword insights provided by their built-in analytics.
For instance, I searched “#seo” on Twitter and analyzed the top trending posts. I also used the “Advanced Search” option to filter search results for desirable engagement numbers.
#3: Be Consistent in Your Efforts
If you want to build organic engagement, it’s vital that you post content consistently. You heard me right: Google counts consistency as one of their ranking factors.
By posting content regularly, you can become your audience’s go-to source of information. Gradually, they come to rely on your content and engage with it. That’s why brands that post quality content on a regular basis see their engagement rates climb.
Being top-of-mind, you can become a preferred brand for your target audience.
Is that all?
No. To stand out in overcrowded social platforms, it’s also important to write in a distinct, coherent voice.
Once you earn audience attention and trust, it’s easier to drive them to your websites and social pages. After that, the possibilities of conversion multiply, and your content marketing ROI surges.
Is there a catch?
I’m afraid there is. Even with full-fledged content teams, it’s a challenge to maintain posting frequency, especially on multiple platforms.
Even if you can create/curate volumes of content, publishing and tracking posts is time consuming. And if you don’t publish in a timely manner, you might miss the window of opportunity when your targets are most active.
To avoid such mishaps, put your online marketing on auto-pilot by using tools for scheduling and publishing content. These tools queue up your content in advance (according to your pre-set calendar) and publish it at optimal times.
Tools also help you monitor how each post is performing. Some software offers unified inboxes where you can reply to comments on all platforms. It’s no wonder that in 2019, post scheduling was the most common application of marketing automation (used by 83% of brands).
Ready to Multiply Your Content Marketing ROI?
You can grow your content marketing ROI in other ways, such as improving your backlink profile and website UX (user experience). However, the hacks in this post apply to all businesses, including small companies and startups that want immediate returns from content marketing.
Do you know other simple yet proven ways to boost content marketing ROI?