In this episode, Jeff Coyle, Co-founder at MarketMuse, and Francis Brero, Co-Founder and CRO at MadKudu, discuss content marketing and campaigns centered around content investment, ROI, and its impact on revenue.
Francis Brero shares his views on fractional revenue attribution and discusses its use as a benchmark in measuring content success or making marketing decisions. Additionally, the duo discusses the importance of considering context and the longevity of customer journeys when predicting ROI.
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The conversation also drifts to SEO and repurposing content. If a piece of content performs well, should you blow it up into an article and add some links for SEO, or should you find and expand the part of the content that impacted the audience? Francis Brero explains the right approach for this and other situations. Finally, the experts talk about the methodologies customers use for research and how companies can maximize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns by focusing on these avenues.
Predicting content ROI is imperative since it tells you how effective your content marketing campaigns are and whether you need to tweak your overall marketing effort. The predictive analysis for the success of your content marketing ROI depends on several factors, as discussed by Jeff Coyle and Francis Brero in the webinar.
How to Predict Your Content’s ROI?
Making a case for content investments requires you to look beyond the basics. The first step is setting up a content marketing strategy based on the right targets, measurements, benchmarks, and metrics.
Avoid Excessive Reliance on Fractional Revenue Attribution
Although somewhat effective, fractional revenue attribution is based on “a bit of a flawed or oversimplification of the customer journey,” as expressed by Francis Brero. Companies are often under the impression that customers will move right through the sales funnel without any hiccups or that customers are influenced only by the last interaction with a company.
Francis Brero explains that when measuring your content’s ROI, you can’t simply look at the funnel. He says, “It’s actually a lot more complicated than that – there’s education that’s happening, outside of the company, outside of your web properties.”
Thus, companies can’t simply measure their content marketing ROI based on their website content. External factors, like social media, also impact marketing ROI. However, you shouldn’t completely ignore your website either. Jeff Coyle, the host, chips in to advise content marketers, “There are elements of fractional attribution that make sense, but they shouldn’t be used necessarily to make decisions.”
Francis Brero also emphasizes the importance of considering context when measuring the success of your content marketing strategy. He explains, “I think the way you measure ROI and the way you think about ROI is going to be very different based on the context in which the content has been created.”
You must look at the number of high-quality leads you’re generating through the content from a ROI perspective. Francis Brero also suggests using IP lookups and similar analyses to determine the percentage of relevant traffic on the page. That’s the metric for measuring ROI.
Additionally, marketers can also measure the correlation between sales, content, and revenue. In doing so, it’s essential to avoid the lagging indicators of revenue, since “it’s probably going to take another six months before you see any kind of opportunity show up for that,” as explained by Francis Brero.
Empathy Over Math
To enhance your digital marketing efforts and improve customer experience, it’s essential to keep a perfect blend of math and emotion. If needed, empathy should take over the mathematical side of content marketing.
Francis Brero explains this by giving an example, “If you’re doing data analysis, figure out what are the key topics or the keywords that we know index strongly with our audience. That is something that is a mathematical question. Now, trying to figure out what is an opinionated stance that is gonna resonate strongly, that I believe in, and it’s going to resonate with my audience. That is something that is not a mathematical question because it relates to empathy and human emotions.”
Companies need to consider that a customer’s emotional journey takes them through the “interest to intrigue” process. The best content should have this trait to raise curiosity and inspire engagement.
ROI Doesn’t Happen Overnight
When team leaders invest in content, they want to see an instant increase in conversion rate. Francis Brero refers to this as the “short-termism” mindset and says, “It takes a lot of good writing, consistent writing before we actually start picking up and people start following you more.”
Once you start seeing interest from the customer’s side, that’s when you can measure your content on the acquisition side. Until then, it’s vital to understand that “There’s no easy way to accelerate the journey from someone discovering who you are to actually becoming a customer. There are some inherent timelines within organizations that you can’t necessarily push.”
Measure the Long-Term Impact
Francis Brero also details how sales and marketing approaches differ today. While sales think in stories, marketing thinks in numbers. Marketers often talk about market-qualified leads or the number of leads that stand higher up in the funnel. But when measuring the impact of your content marketing strategy on revenue, you must think in the long run.
According to Francis Brero, not many content teams do this. They don’t often gather in front of leadership and the board to present a piece of content that drew sales, much less raised excitement within the entire organization. Instead, the content and marketing teams mostly focus on numbers, showing only percentages of generated quality traffic. While data analytics gives you a percentage to present to company executives, you need to predict your content’s impact on ROI through stories, too. Narratives are the thing that keeps customer satisfaction and excitement going.
Francis Brero is the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of MadKudu, the leading marketing operations platform for B2B. For the past ten years, Francis Brero has been using customer data to help marketing teams increase sales. He’s advised on marketing strategies and tactics at companies like Slack, Shopify, and IBM.
Fractional revenue attribution may help understand the impact of content, but it shouldn’t be the main factor in decision-making. Content marketers must focus on the long-term aspect of their efforts. While mathematical or statistical analytics give you a certain percentage to expect, storytelling builds brand awareness, brings actionable insights. Plus it can help you achieve a positive ROI much quicker.
Your predictive analytics of the content marketing effect depend on the context in which you created the content. The ROI metric you choose to envision the success of your marketing campaigns should reflect this context. You want to guide people through the funnel and build on the interactions with your customers.
“As a collective, every time you publish, it’s a chance to gain authority and trust. It’s a chance for you to grow your breadth of coverage, depth of coverage, quality, perceived expertise, and authoritativeness. So when you’re building, it’s really important to assess it at the topic level and then at the individual page level or a small pool of pages because that’s how you get to a prescribed return on investment and start to predict the outputs,” said Francis Brero.