Before beginning any type of content marketing program, several issues must be addressed.* One of the most important does not involve establishing the return on investment, as you may think, with content marketing … that will come later. Instead, at least in the early stages, the focus should be on a return on the objective (ROO).
An objective refers to the purpose of starting the program in the first place. It is very important for marketing departments or those advocating a content marketing program to clearly identify objectives. Often, business owners and C-suite executives will not approve the program without them; and, if the objectives are unclear, owners/executives may pull the plug on the program, typically before giving it a chance to bear fruit.
With this in mind, and realizing that an effective content marketing program will take time to grow and prove its value, some of the primary objectives of a content marketing program should include the following:
- Increasing quality leads to the company. Visitors who take the time to read and understand the content on the site and return frequently to do so are typically in the market for the products or services your company offers. Eventually they will want more information and the next step will be contacting your company in this regard.
- Increasing sales. With new leads come sales. In a sense, the content marketing site has done its job simply by providing leads. However, what often happens is the prospective customer returns to the content marketing site to learn more and to develop what can be termed an emotional connection with the company behind the site. With an emotional connection established, a sale is often the next step.
- Cost savings. If more leads are coming in and resulting in more sales from the content marketing site, it may be time to reevaluate the need for other marketing programs. An effective content marketing program will supplement some marketing efforts but may allow for a reduction in other initiatives, resulting in overall cost savings.
- Retention. One of the most valuable benefits of an effective content marketing program is that it can keep current customers loyal and emotionally connected to your company. This must always be a key objective of starting a content marketing website.
- Upsell. Related to customer retention, an objective of the program is to encourage customers to select more products and services from your company. If they find the information provided on your content marketing site helpful and valuable, it helps reassure them that your products and services will benefit them—so why not select more? Upsell, which typically refers to repeat customers and customers selecting more of your products, is often one of the most beneficial byproducts of an effective content marketing program.
*Content marketing is a marketing program based on the sharing of quality, credible, and pertinent information—usually on a separate online platform—that generates traffic to a company’s website and, along with it, interest in its products and services.