How do you measure revenue from content marketing? This challenge has been highly documented and debated over the years with many coming to the conclusion that it’s a fools errand. Most of the challenge revolves around the issue of attribution. Can new revenue, actual dollars gained, be attributed to specific marketing activities or specific pieces of content? Depending on the attribution model you use, the short answer is yes. But reality is much more nuanced than that.
Nuance aside, you should be striving to set up the necessary process and technology to facilitate accurate content revenue attribution. And once you have a tracking and analysis system in place, that data will allow you to align your content planning with your company’s revenue objectives.
Following the Journey
Instead of tracking only conversions, we should be following each prospect’s customer journey from their first visit until they make a purchase, as Ruler Analytics’ Katie Holmes advises.
After you dig into the data, refine your content to perform better at each stage of the journey. And, if your numbers indicate that you’re reaching new market segments, create content that resonates with their needs.
In fact, we’d take Holmes’ advice one step further. Keep tabs on customers even after the sale. Use that post-sale data to:
- Create support content: Teaching your current customers to get the most out of their purchases can inspire them to become brand ambassadors. As they share your content and recommend your products to their friends and colleagues, you will keep feeding the top of your sales funnel – and eventually, capture a larger share of your market.
- Encourage cross-selling: Create content that shows customers how an accessory can help them get more value from their original purchase. It’s a win-win for both your customers and your bottom line.
- Fend off complaints and customer churn with proactive content: Engage with your customer support team in content collaboration to find out some of the common problems customers experience. Then, create content that helps customers troubleshoot those roadblocks so that they can enjoy using your product.
Use a Content Analytics Platform That’s Up to the Task
To follow prospects and customers at every step along their buyer’s journeys requires a robust content analytics solution. Specifically, attributing content revenue requires analytics that can integrate with your corporate metrics, whether they’re on popular sales and support platforms or other third-party tools.
The ability to perform those tasks is a game-changer for large corporations. With the large volume of content that a large company’s content teams produce, real-time results matter. With them, you can shift your strategy on the fly, revising your content to better align with your corporate goals.
Use a Multi-Source Content Revenue Attribution Model
Here’s where having leading-edge marketing tech stack pays off in spades.
If you use outdated technology, your analytics software might not be able to aggregate data from your various channels, or have the sophisticated algorithms needed to follow a prospect at every step along the journey. You would have to settle for a single-source model, which only credits one action (ex: first touch or last touch attribution) for each sale.
Whether it’s their first clickthrough to download an ebook or the content they read just before they made a purchase, crediting that single action for the revenue leaves out a universe of variables.
For example, what if a prospect originally visited your tradeshow booth years ago, but only now schedules a sales call due to a long-term nurture email? Or a video the customer watched early in the process stuck in her mind and became the deciding factor in her eventual purchase? Or perhaps it was the case study she read in the middle of her journey that drove her to eventually purchase your product?
Having a multiple-source model – measuring as many data points as you can – gives you deeper insight into all the touchpoints that brought her to the purchase. Without it, you might miss some hidden gems – specific activities or content assets that played a key role in your customers’ ultimate conversion.
Don’t Forget to Measure Content Production Costs
The revenue your content generates doesn’t give you the whole picture, as Brody Dorland points out. You need to consider production costs as well.
For example, let’s say that you have an explainer video that’s bringing in the revenue left and right. However, if you paid a small fortune to a name-brand production company to create the video, your company might not have moved the dial much on its overall goal – to increase ROI.
Measuring ROI, as well as revenue, can give you actionable insights on how you can generate the same kind of buzz for less. You don’t need Disney Pixar animators to produce your next explainer video, for instance, if your in-house design team or outsourced agency can give you comparable bottom-line results.
Share Your Findings with Your Sales Teams
While it’s essential to collaborate with your sales teams to discover what questions prospects ask, the reverse is equally critical for making sales, particularly in B2B companies. Sharing what types of content move the needle at each stage of the game allows them to tailor their sales presentations to include some of the information you cover in your top-performing pieces.
And, as Provectus Digital’s Nabeel Keblawi points out, this kind of close collaboration between sales and content teams can help you break down the silos that keep both teams from moving forward.
Tie Your Revenue Attribution into Your Company’s Business Goals
Don’t limit your content collaboration to sales and support teams, SEO people, and subject matter experts. It needs to occur on the highest levels.
So, before you shift your revenue attribution into high gear, meet with your company leadership to make sure you align your content revenue goals to your company’s overall objectives. After the meeting, determine the content strategy that will help you get there.
Tackling the issue proactively makes the C-suite look more favorable upon the content marketing department – and your leadership. That’s worth the effort by itself.
But there are even more benefits to collaborating with corporate leadership. Come next budget meeting, you won’t have to crawl in on your knees, begging for a larger budget. You’ll be able to stride in confidently, numbers in hand.
And, your content teams will thank you. Instead of wondering about the goals themselves, they’ll be able to concentrate on creating content that will help them hit those goals.
Finally, Align Your Content with Your Prospects’ and Customers’ Needs
To have revenue that you can attribute to content, you need to have the kind of content that will generate revenue. Content that focuses on your brand instead of your customers’ needs might boost your corporate ego, but it won’t generate much revenue.
From your homepage to your About Us page to every blog post and video, lead with what you do for your customers. When you showcase your expertise, always frame it in the light of how it will help your prospects.
That kind of customer-focused content builds trust – and starts the process of transforming audience members into paying customers. When you’re intentional about creating revenue-building content, you’ll have an easier time tracking down your best revenue-building content.
Having a content marketing platform where you can strategize, plan, create, and analyze the revenue your content generates is essential to making the most of the revenue you generate. DivvyHQ is all that and more.
And, with our 14-day free trial, you can experience all those benefits for yourself. Start yours today!