The missing link in your content promotion strategy
Sure, you're creating great content, but are you connecting your leads to sales? Columnist Quinn Whissen explains why attributing leads to revenue is essential for your content promotion strategy.
Whoever told you content marketing is about creating great content… well, they lied to you.
Content marketing is definitely all about creating content that your audience will find useful. But it also goes way beyond pressing “publish” on a regular basis.
Even the great philosophers understood content marketing when they posed the question:
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I’m not about to get into an existential discussion here on Marketing Land by trying to answer that, so I’ll reframe this for the modern-day woes of my fellow marketers:
If you publish a piece of content without promoting it, does your content even exist?
My answer: probably not.
My belief: If you don’t promote your content to reach your audience where they hang out online, it’s just as well that you left the content sitting on your computer without ever pushing it live.
Amplification and content promotion are some of the most vital steps in the content marketing world. It’s how you engage your existing audience as well as broaden your base.
Got that? Now let’s talk about why that is the case, and what the one missing link is in your current content promotion strategy.
[pullquote]If you publish a piece of content without promoting it, does your content even exist?[/pullquote]
Why paid content promotion matters
In this day and age, the best content promotion strategy has a budget. Even $5, $50 or $500 will go a long way toward giving your content legs. But to be able to get any momentum going in the first place — whether it’s on Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Twitter or other platforms — putting a little money behind your content will get your promotion party started quicker.
So why does paid content promotion — from a business perspective — matter, other than reaching more of your target audience? Three main reasons:
- ROI is the main focus in paid content promotion, because your efforts are directly measurable.
- It happens in real time: You can invest in PPC or paid ads today, and you could see results today.
- Paid content promotion helps you frame your future content strategy and SEO work, because you can quickly learn what keywords or topics drive high-quality conversions and engagement from your audience.
The missing link in your content promotion strategy
This all sounds great, right? Now let me tell you what you may be missing in your content promotion strategy. It boils down to these four simple words: Connecting leads to sales.
[pullquote]What many marketers forget, or don’t have the capability of doing, is connecting leads to sales. To cold hard cash. To top-line revenue.[/pullquote]
If you look back at the number one reason why paid content promotion matters, you’ll see I mentioned the focus on ROI. Most marketers will track this easily and report on it: How much did we spend? How many visitors did we get in return? Blog reads? Conversions? Leads?
But what many marketers forget, or don’t have the capability of doing, is connecting leads to sales. To cold hard cash. To top-line revenue.
This is easier said than done. A few things have to be in place for this to happen, like:
- The technology to track the lifecycle of a lead from click to close.
- A real-world connection between your marketing and sales teams.
- A grasp of the metrics and KPIs needed to calculate your ROI.
- Well-tested landing pages that convert the leads your ads send to them.
Why attributing leads to sales matters
If you need a clearer picture of why forging the missing link in your content promotion strategy is vital, here are three reasons doing this will help you:
- You will be a step ahead of the competition. Trust me, this process of connecting the dots between leads and sales is not as commonly adopted as you’d think. It’s not difficult, but it takes work to set up.
- Your marketing team will work smarter. They will more easily understand ROI from a business perspective, and they’ll be able to find solid opportunities to increase the overall budget.
- You’ll better understand the difference between qualified and unqualified leads. By understanding what kinds of leads convert to sales, you can continually optimize your PPC campaigns and set your company up for real revenue growth.
How to set up a process to connect your promotion efforts to revenue
I think you most likely grasp the above-stated why behind the importance of attributing PPC leads to revenue, but maybe you need a little help with the how of setting up a process. Like I mentioned before, you most certainly need technology in place; some kind of CRM or marketing system that tracks your leads. Even an Excel spreadsheet will do! Here are the steps to follow.
Know your goals.
First and foremost, understand what you want to be different one month, three months or a year from now. Put a solid number on it.
Do you want to see 10 percent revenue increase in one year? Go for it.
Would you like to generate leads that convert to sales double the times than what they do currently? I believe in you.
Tangible goals drive growth-oriented actions. Establish this up front.
[pullquote]Prove the value of your paid content campaigns of PPC ads from a purely business perspective by calculating key KPIs.[/pullquote]
Calculate your metrics.
Prove the value of your paid content campaigns or PPC ads from a purely business perspective by calculating key KPIs. There’s a vast number of metrics and reports that will help you paint a clear picture of your campaigns’ effectiveness, but here are a few to start you off:
- Revenue per lead: Total Revenue/Total Number of Leads = Average Revenue Per Lead
- Close rate for leads: Total Number of Leads/Total Number of Closed Sales = Average Close Rate
- Customer lifetime value: Average Value of a Sale X Number of Repeat Transactions X Average Retention Time of Customer = Customer Lifetime Value
- Break-even point per lead: (Close Rate X Revenue per Sale) – (Cost of Goods Sold/Average Leads per Sale) = Break-even point
- Average Leads per Sale = 100/Close Rate
A/B test your landing pages.
It’s not enough to just send traffic to your site. You need functional landing pages that are well-tested and proven to convert visitors to leads. Lastly, ensure that these landing pages integrate well with your CRM or can be manually imported to whatever tracking system you’re using. Tools like Unbounce offer a user-friendly and intuitive platform to do heavy testing on.
Paid content promotion and PPC are all about continuous improvement. Set regular checkpoints on your calendar to sit and look at your results to see what’s working and what’s falling flat. See what kind of campaigns convert to what kinds of sales, and use your insights to redirect your strategy.
This process isn’t easy, but it can be simple. By connecting your paid leads to real revenue, you will be able to affect not only your marketing team’s success, but your sales team’s close rate, and your entire company’s trajectory.
Lastly, don’t forget that this process doesn’t end with paid content promotion. You could realistically apply the same principle to all of your online marketing efforts to match up your efforts to offline revenue. That’s when you’ll really start hitting a stride with your content marketing and see unparalleled growth.