Content marketing: strategic planning delivers ROI insight

Content marketing: strategic planning delivers ROI insight

According to recent surveys, fifty-one percent of client-side marketers have a content marketing strategy that isn’t documented. To my way of thinking, if it isn’t written down, then it isn’t a strategy.

And when you understand that seventy-two percent of respondents say they do not track content marketing effectiveness and return on investment (ROI), then there is a lot of time and money being invested in what seems to be unmeasured ineffectiveness.

Aligning marketing strategy with content

There’s something else agency-side that is not helping this situation either, and that is in some agency white papers and blogs from marketing industry professionals it has been stated that ‘content marketing will drive marketing strategy’.

This shows a lack of understanding around marketing strategy. Marketing strategy is a company confidential plan on gaining and maintaining competitive advantage which then guides marketing communications and content marketing development – not the other way around.

Strategic planning builds content

If you can see content marketing as the sleek bodywork of a sports car over the less pretty engine and transmission system (the enterprises’ marketing strategy) then you have content marketing, driven by an unseen strategic force.

Or to put it another way, content marketing is poetry, and marketing strategy is prose.

And what is key here is that the content marketing programme closely follows overall marketing strategy, which will in turn ensure your content marketing programme is fully backed and supported by the enterprises’ strategic development plan.

Tracking content marketing performance

But none of this is possible without a properly integrated analytics system, because without this, you will have no idea what – if anything – is engaging your prospects and customers, or even how much traffic is actually reaching your website.

And that’s just the basics, because beyond this, an analytics system should be able to tell you much more about visitors, including their name, where and in which sector they work, and what interests them about you and your products or services.

This information is critical in developing credible ROI.

ROI through insight

The facts are, unless you use your content marketing to tell a strategic story – a story that contains significant facts about your company and the products or services that may be of interest your visitor – you are not fully engaging with them and you will lose them.

And unless you introduce a comprehensive analytics system you won’t know which part of your story prospects and customers found engaging and drove them to learn more about you and your products, which means you can’t help them.

Content marketing, analysis and ROI

But if you do develop a content marketing plan that contains specific pieces of information designed to test prospect and customer interest as the story unfolds, then you have reactive information that your analytics system can readily measure for you.

This means you will now know exactly what is of interest to your prospects and customers.

And you can use this information to build your products and services to meet their needs, increasing sales volumes and optimising return on your marketing investment – and your enterprises’ profitability.

There’s something else agency-side that is not helping this situation either, and that is in some agency white papers and blogs from marketing industry professionals it has been stated that ‘content marketing will drive marketing strategy’.

written by Will Yates,
Client Services Director at Novacom

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