There are lots of content marketing history infographics floating around on the web.
I checked out a bunch writing my article drawing practical lessons from the history of content marketing. Don’t get me wrong, these infographics are typically of a very high quality. But after a while a “seen one, and you’ve seen ’em all” mentality begins to set in.
Earlier this year Contently published yet another content marketing infographic, but this time it made me sit up and pay attention. It made me write this article, in fact.
It’s well designed etc., but we can skip the niceties. Partly it was effective because it didn’t just present a linear timeline of the development of content marketing, but it broke it down into the pre and post-internet age, and tracked its growth from the first blog to contemporary use.
But the main thing that caught my eye is this:
When Kraft switched to an all-content strategy, they found that their marketing ROI increased by 400%. 4xing your ROI is no small feat. The point of this is it is a crucial reminder of how powerful content marketing can be from a purely financial point of view. It can be easy to lose sight of this given the hard to track nature of the medium.
But here’s a problem I often find with content marketing evangelists. They sometimes talk far too conceptually about the power of content marketing, but they rarely go into concrete examples that will appeal to a marketing strategist’s awareness of their bottom line.
So let’s take a look at some more concrete examples of how content marketing can generate you more leads than conventional marketing.
• Content marketing generates 3X more leads compared to both paid search AND outbound marketing.
• Small businesses with blogs see 126% more lead growth than those without blogs.
• Website conversions are boosted by almost 6x when using content marketing vs those who don’t.
• Brands with blog posts see their pages indexed in search 434% more than those without.
Content marketing ROI case studies
So those are the general ROI stats, but let’s take a look at how individual brands are using content marketing to boost ROI.
• Tiger Fitness produce video content that has lead to a 60% returning customer rate.
• The blog of online retailer Zagg sees a 172% ROI, and drives 10% of the site’s traffic.
• Fisher Tank saw impressive results just 12 weeks after launching their blog, including a massive 3,900% boost in lead conversions.
Again and again we can see the concrete results content marketing can bring. It is of course worth bearing in mind that results won’t come over night. The effect of content marketing is cumulative. Content marketer extraordinaire Neil Patel says you shouldn’t expect to break even in the first year of running a content marketing strategy, but that patience will bring big results (his content brings in $500,000 of organic traffic!).
By contrast, we’ve seen the example of Fisher Tank who generated $3.4 in just 12 weeks, but that’s certainly an outlier.
Brands who are new to content marketing should be able to see that they can get serious results by using this strategy. Here are my top tips for getting started with a content marketing strategy.
Publish regularly, ideally at least once a week. It shows search engines your site is active and relevant, and builds an expectation with your audience that they can go to you for content. It also, quite frankly, impresses the hell out of people to see that you are regularly producing content. Getting the right combination of quality content, relevant topics and viral SEO takes time, and the more you publish, the greater the chances that you’ll create create content that takes off.
Stay up to date with your competitors’ content. Until you see how your competition are positioning themselves through content it can be hard to work out what topics you should be focussing on. Can you improve upon the content you see? There’s no harm in writing a suped-up version of already existing content, as long as you bring your original insights to bear on the subject. Alternatively, think about what content ISN’T being created and find a way to take a fresh angle on your own content.
Share your content widely. The content marketer’s job doesn’t end after they press the publish button. You could argue that’s where it really begins. If you’ve linked to brands, drop them a message letting them know. They may share your content through their networks. Go on Quora and browse for questions that relate to your content. Write a value-adding answer and link to your relevant content. If you see people linking to old or inferior content, write to them and suggest they link to your content instead. Sure, it takes effort, but that will put your ahead of your lazier competition.
Always seek to improve. Content marketing is a living art that is evolving all the time. There are tons of resources helping you improve. Watch YouTube videos, read how-to blogs and stay up to date with key influencers. I’d personally recommend marketing gurus Neil Patel and Ryan Robinson, who are both personally invested in helping small businesses and freelancers up their game.
Speak to me. Seriously. I’m happy to answer your questions, and genuinely get a kick from helping brands. I write a whole bunch of content and my results include boosting organic traffic by 287%, upping social media activity by 112%, and generating 39% of conversions. As well as crafting quality content for others, I regularly write posts and articles on LinkedIn and on my blog, drpcopy.com.
Do you want to be featured in future updates to this article? Let me know concrete stats demonstrating how content marketing has brought you results.
Dan Poulton writes content for a range of agencies and direct clients. Find out more at drpcopy.com