The ROI of content is one of the hardest things to define. It is also the most frustrating.
How do you explain to a boss, client, or yourself the ROI of something so intangible?
The intangibles leading to ROI:
- The value of the brand.
- Other marketing messages.
- The response of the audience.
- The product itself.
- Time. place, setting, date.
- Organic search or discovery.
- Word of mouth.
With so many factors leading to ROI how do you know the true value or if you even made a difference?
This has been the question that many marketers ask daily, “how do we know if our content is effective in leading to the desired result?”
There are two areas I focus on to find the ROI of social media content: Measurement and Movement.
Having a target to hit is important in anything you do. When you do not identify a target or result you will feel like you are never winning. If you don’t have a desired measuring point, you will feel like the target never stays in one place. Before creating any content, defining how you will measure the “success” of your content will be very important. Defining this up front with specific campaigns, content pieces, and actions will be something you can use to measure the ROI of your content. The measurement comes in several different forms. It doesn’t always have to be transactional. I understand explaining this to your boss or client might not be as easy as it sounds, but if you have specific measurables, showing the ROI becomes very tangible.
Here is a couple of ways to measure your content:
1. Ask: What is the desired response of this content?
2. Define: What is success defined by the market?
3. Write: Three desired outcomes from the content?
4. Plan: How this content fits into the overall content strategy.
Measuring what you do will keep you from wanting to punch yourself in the face and will also allow you to show others around you the ROI of the content you are producing and sharing. Simply put, it will keep you sane and motivated to continue to produce more.
For most us, social media is a way to land a call-to-action to the reader or follower. We use social media to convert. That’s how we find the ROI, how many units, clicks, shares, or items sold. But as any good social media content producer knows, if you throw constant “buy messages” at your readers or followers you will get little response.
So how do you define the ROI of your content if you are not always including call-to-action messages? You find the movement or direction you want to take the reader in.
The content you and I produce is like a river. It is constantly flowing, never stopping, and never slowing down. If you can see yourself in this river moving through each turn and bend you can see the ROI of what you are doing. Movement is all about building momentum (another great M word). And this is the focus of your content ROI: create the movement to the next piece of content. This free’s all of us up from having to constantly produce major results. If you can see your content in a way of movement you can see the overall picture. You start to define the ROI in a way of taking you to the next post or next stop in the river instead of focusing on one individual post having to produce all the results. This not only frees you from the pressure to constantly produce, it frees the reader or follower from constantly having to act.
Finding the movement of your content will help you plan content strategy that last beyond a couple post and will provide you with longer lasting campaigns that help you focus in on your goals and define the desired ROI of your content.
Measuring and Movement work together in leading you to producing great ROI of our content. Defining these two areas will allow you to keep moving forward and finding success in digital marketing. Leave these two areas of focus out of your content planning and you will find that the desired outcomes of digital content never seem possible.