If you’re reading this right now, it probably means you’re doing some self-reflecting. Perhaps you’re looking for ways to tighten up a budget after a boatload of unexpected hurdles appeared to shake up your plans in 2020. Maybe you’re assessing marketing trends to try and get ahead of the curve in uncertain times. Or you might be interested in adopting new techniques to boost sales at your company, and wondering what all this content marketing plan hubbub is about, anyway.
Whether it’s one of these reasons or something else entirely, we’re glad you’re here, and we want to help. So let’s not beat around the bush — is content marketing still relevant?
If you’re looking for a numeric answer, it’s 91%. This is the percentage of participants in a SEMrush survey conducted at the end of 2019 who say they are using a content marketing approach. 77% of respondents also had a content marketing strategy in place. So if you want to be competitive, it would seem content marketing is a baseline method that should be a part of your plan.
But what about results? It’s one thing to see that everyone in your industry is adopting a strategy, but it’s another to see that they’re getting a high ROI. There is no hard-and-fast number across industries to point to that could prove “content marketing leads to x sales every time,” because content is subjective. There are quality considerations, pre-planning of personas, and effectiveness of pieces speaking to members of your target audience.
However, when you invest in content marketing and do it right — you get results.
It’s important to know that optimal results require time to learn and optimize for both paid and organic content campaigns. While paid accelerates the path to achieving results quickly, the true value comes from continuous analysis, optimization and testing. Over the course of two years, we helped Red Hat optimize a multi-million dollar content marketing campaign using deep insights and constant testing.
Over these two years, we reduced the cost-per-lead by 72%, saving tens of thousands of dollars through optimization. Among thousands of optimizations, enhancements to audience targeting and content types drove the most significant improvements. For audiences, we regularly refreshed targeting to ensure the most current target companies were included in our efforts. For content, we implemented strict spend thresholds that removed assets that were performing higher than our target CPL and shifted funds to assets that performed best. We were also able to work with the sales team to attribute sales to specific ad units, giving us a true picture of which content and ads not only drove leads, but also lead to closed business.
Now that you know you could create engaging, effective and high-quality content like this — AND get results — you might be asking … how? We’ve got your back. Read on to learn about boosting sales with a content strategy, how to develop effective content for your funnel, how to take leads from awareness to conversion, and how to tell a great brand story.