In the last year, 2014, we saw a growth in the overall amount of media content that was shared by users in all forms of social media. The amount of users that utilize social media grew enormously, leading to a larger number of users sharing content across multiple social media networks.
In order to calculate the return on investment on content, we must examine the different factors that affect the interaction of the audience with the content and how much time the content resulted in a positive response. By using the metrics for these data we can build a picture of how well or how poorly the particular content performed in respect to the investment made on promoting the content. Due to the sheer number of different things that make up the calculation for return on investment, pinpointing a particular factor to change or to improve in order to raise the ROI would be nearly impossible.
10 Ways To Boost Your Content ROI This Year
There are wide spectrums of small changes that can be made to your content in order to make it more marketable. Let’s take a look.
- Use The Human Element. In order to reach out to people in this day and age it is necessary to interact with them on a more direct level. Human beings tend to utilize social media as a personal space; meaning that they tend to like and share items that resonate with them most personally. In order to bring a level of humanity to social media, adding a human element is often necessary. In order to get users to appreciate your brand, you have to act less like a brand online and more like a person. The personal touch goes a long way towards having people like and share your content because it stops coming from a nameless, faceless entity. The world today has invested a lot in being impersonal and anti-social. Key among offenders is businesses, since they tend to isolate themselves from their clientele. By breaking down this barrier you establish a rapport with your audience which goes a long way towards getting your content out there and raising the ROI on your content investment.
- Keep Focused. In social media as with anything that requires you to cover multiple angles in order to be successful, you have to keep your focus throughout the time of your social media campaign. Your target is audience is what you should be focusing on. Knowing your audience is probably the most important thing in conducting a successful social media campaign. By knowing your audience you can direct your efforts towards this particular niche, using the jargon to make them feel at ease. Once again, establishing rapport is crucial to getting your content around. Knowing your audience allows you to build targeted content that your audience would find both interesting and useful. The other point that you need to keep focus on is the quality of your content. Creating good content is as important as having a grasp of what your audience wants. You should give your audience what they want but not compromise truth in order to do so. Balancing these two aims will allow you to create content that your audience will love and pass around, directly affecting your ROI on content investment.
- Target Your Efforts. There are a number of different social media outlets available to a company. Any company investing in social media should be aware that the figure for a single arm of social media doesn’t necessarily carry over to other arms. Thus the outreach of a post on Facebook will not be the same as the outreach on a social media such as twitter. In order to maximize your ROI, you have to treat each one of these social media outlets separately instead of lumping them all together into a “social media” grouping. Many times, when a company seeks to lump all of its social media activity under a single umbrella department, the result is erroneous results where one arm of social media that has a poor results skews the statistics negatively. By selectively focusing how you market to each arm of social media and taking into account each arm separately you can find out which arm is the most in need of assistance in order to maximize the ROI for that particular social media network.
- Be Engaging. Social media is all about interacting with the customer on their level and creating and sustaining a rapport with the customer. In order to get the most out of your marketing efforts you need to engage the user and convince them that your content is worth reading and worth sharing. Once your content is good enough, you break it down to convincing them that they should read it. Simply posting links and descriptions isn’t what being engaging is about. You need to have more of a presence on social media in order to increase your engagement level with your users. Proper engagement requires commenting on relevant posts by users, including your own input in debates, asking for feedback about your products or services and personally dealing with users as they speak to you. Creating unique content is also important in the quest to be engaging and the more unique and high-quality the content is, the less you’re going to have to convince the user to share and like it on social media. These, in turn, translate to a higher ROI on your investment in the content department.
- Keep in Mind Your User’s Device. Social media and all content marketing over the last five years have seen a shift away from computer-friendly methods to methods that are intimately geared towards mobile users. Tablets and smartphones have taken over as the most popular ways of accessing the internet and content marketing has shifted focus along with it. Creating content today is mainly about developing engaging content, but at the same making this content accessible by all your users on all sorts of platforms. Optimizing your content for users on multiple platforms has the advantage of allowing more people to read your content and thereby creating more options for social media sharing and interaction. Outreach is the name of the content game in the twenty-first century and having more people aware of your content means that your ROI on content investment raises as each one of them shares the content and raises your visibility.
- Build and Maintain Trust. Transparency has been a major issue among content producers for quite a long time. In order for some companies to share their work, they have created or paid for “dummy accounts” that increase the amount of shares they have artificially, flooding the social media stream with the post. Although this has worked in the past to create visibility, it is by no means an honest method of getting your content out there. Users tend to think twice about clicking on a link that is posted by a fake profile or shared by a nameless entity. Social media filtering protocols are slowly weeding out these fake accounts and removing their influence in sharing, meaning that this method of increasing visibility is fast coming to an end. The best way to encourage users to trust you is to be genuine in your interactions with them. Social media interactions allow for personal exchanges and create a deeper sense of understanding than sharing a link from a fake profile. By building and maintaining trust with your audience, you are more likely to get them interested in reading what you have to say and getting it out to their friends and acquaintances via shares.
- Long Term Beats Short Term. Keeping the long term vision in mind is a surefire way to see your ROI grow exponentially. This can mean longer content, more research and more work put in your content. However, it may require taking a hit with your ROI early on in order to set up the late-game influx of interaction with your audience. By having content that makes it onto other media outlets, whether they are magazines or blogs (as guest posts), the initial spike in users to your content will eventually die down. The content serves as a selling point that can lead to increased user confidence later in time. The long term vision allows you to take into account the appeal of your future content by leveraging the hosted content as a means of increasing your credibility to potential users later down. Your content will only benefit from the exposure and as time goes by it will increase your presence across the internet and allow you the option of creating backlinks in order to boost your future content.
- Track, Measure and Optimize. Understanding the analytical portion of your ROI calculation allows you to track the respective data variables that affect your ROI and create methods to optimize them in order to get more visibility. Using tools such as Google analytics to keep track of your site data tracks the amount of visits over time and all the requisite data for those visits. Using the built-in tools you can analyze the data in order to determine what sort of strategy works in getting visits and what doesn’t. Google analytics allows you to pattern your actions over the strategies that work and build around these strategies to create and overall marketing strategy. Combined with your social media analytics as provided by Facebook and other social media sites, you can create a strategy that will no doubt lead to an uptick in your ROI for content.
- Think About the Rewards. The end result of your content marketing is improving the lives of others. In order for others to be able to benefit from your content, they need to know it’s there. Your marketing strategy to raise your ROI should focus on creating value for your content readers, and not just clicks for your website. Although it may sound altruistic, by doing the first you almost guarantee the second. You also don’t compromise your integrity by using underhanded methods to generate leads. Users tend to appreciate being thought of because of hoe easy they are to dismiss as clicks and not as people. Considering them as people pays of in the amount of people that support the brand and the amount of them that benefit from the content you provide. As a content provider, you need to be faithful to your audience. By giving them great content that affects their lives, you give them value and they are likely to remember that the next time they have the option of increasing your outreach.
- Don’t Mislead your Audience. Very possibly, the worst thing that any content producer can do is use clickbait in order to get people to read their content. Clickbait is a term used for headlines that use hyperbole in order to inflate feelings about a story, encouraging the user to click on it. The result is that the story is usually much less than it’s hyped to be and the user feels cheated. Although the content might have been good with a regular storyline, the inflated storyline sets the reader up for a story that the body doesn’t deliver. This might be a way to get clicks cheaply but the long-term effect of something like this is horrible. By using clickbait, you effectively betray the trust of your readers by leading them on about content. They are much less likely to trust you in the future and although the initial uptick in visits looks good, the long term slide of visitors is a testament to why using clickbait is a very bad marketing strategy. It compromises your integrity and your truthfulness and instead makes you seem fake.
Real People Interest = Real Results
In order to increase the return on investment you get from your content, the thing you need to do above all else is get users interested in your content. Social media is the most obvious way to do this, but there are a lot of other ways such as SEO optimization and targeting ads. In order to utilize all of these disparate methods properly, you need to set goals for your marketing figures and you need to understand the niche to which you are marketing. Knowing these factors makes it easy to create a seamless and interlinked marketing strategy that incorporates statistical analysis of data from analytical sources in order to craft the ideal strategy for your content. Generating return from content can seem like a complicated task, but the rewards are well worth the effort.