In marketing, time spent creating content is important, it sets the scene for how your brand is being viewed and impacts the experience a customer or prospect will have with you. Additionally, you need to consider the time and opportunity cost that you spend analyzing performance or not having data to help you make fast and best decisions as to what is actually working for you and where to spend dollars in the promotion of it.
With creative contributing 47% of the impact to sales, on average, across both TV and digital (Nielsen Catalina, IAB Australia, July 2018), you need to know what content is working for you, and quickly.
Marketing ROI: What should you consider?
When measuring marketing ROI (or ROMI – return on marketing investment) there are two key inputs you need to understand: the dollars you invest in paid media, and, perhaps more importantly, the dollars and time you spend on developing creative assets – for owned, earned or paid media. Additionally, there is also the time you invest in understanding the performance of your creative and media together in order to get to insights you can action.
Marketers need to understand the customer experience and make decisions fast as to whether content is making its expected mark.
Owned media, that is the organic content you publish on social and website, can deliver great insights around what people really care about, and can be leveraged in platforms where organic still delivers results eg in Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In earned media, understanding who posts about your brand, products or services in social and digital channels and what the nature of their content is that gains highest engagement also gives you great insight. You also need to understand the measure of impact your super-fans, ambassadors or influencers content is having in driving engagement for you.
In paid media, you’re investing in dollars to have your content reach more people – whether at the brand, consideration or conversion stages.
In all these scenarios, time to create that content, and the time to measure its effectiveness, literally is money.
Also read: Building your digital sales funnel
How will you get a better return on the time spent creating content?
You need to identify the content that is actually working for you, understanding which messages, type of creative execution, words, pictures, videos, and the all-important calls-to-action, are working best for you.
By devoting time to always view performance through the lens of content performance, you will get a much better return on the time spent in creating and publishing that content.
Measurement of marketing performance is more than simplistically looking solely at driving the cheapest-possible cheapest traffic to site. You really want to know who, what and how that content is attributing to leads and sales rate. Sophisticated marketers will also look to understand what and where content sits in an overall customer’s journey. They will also know the total return of time spent in creative and spend in media, its relationship to dollars sold.
5 things you should measure for a better understanding of your marketing ROI
We often see the push to programmatic drive cost optimization on traffic to a site, but not necessarily drive total cost of conversion. Too often, the creative and story journey you are taking your customer on is ignored.
We’ve identified 5 things you should measure that will give you a better understanding of the performance of your digital marketing creative assets – and of the return on the time and resources you invest:
- Organic content: Determine which content works for you in organic media – what gains best impressions, reach, engagement, click-throughs. Often, the content that works well in organic gives you a real measure for what your audience likes and performs well in paid.
- Earned content: Determine who gains the most engagement from their own content when they speak about you or a hashtag you follow (or if they are acting as a paid influencer). Remember: the ultimate aim is right person, right content, right timing, right channel, right offer. You need to know what works with your audience, and have a multi-channel view.
- Themes and topics: Determine the patterns around the nature of the content that gains best performance – the creative, copy, call-to-action (read how Oh Crap understands which of its digital content is working best – to best invest limited time and resources ) – and what leads to total conversions
- Content types: Ensure your performance insights include visual content (not just numbers) – you need to see what story sells and what the different types of content are that work at different stages of your funnel
- Compare and benchmark: Ensure you have one analytics platform that covers every channel – in both search and social. It is important to compare and benchmark the performance of content across different digital channels. But, you need to be cautious about the amount of time it takes to assimilate data from various sources to do it. Connecting all your social media and digital channels to one platform saves time.
Whilst the above feels obvious, the time it takes to do this manually can be costly and time-prohibitive, and if too much time is taken, the insights become worthless. They simply arrive too late. As a marketer, you need to devote your time to decisions that have real value. Ask questions about the performance of your digital marketing. Use the insights provided by these answers to determine what you do next and where to spend dollars.
The lost opportunity in wasting time creating the wrong content or ignoring these insights can cost you your job.