A common problem for marketers is financially justifying their activities. A responsible CEO wants to know that their budget isn't being wasted on non-profitable tasks. As a result, one of the largest concerns for a marketer is their ability to prove the ROI on inbound marketing.
This is because people like data, and especially data they can understand. Data is even better when it's given to us with the conclusions. So much so, that as Google's Chief Economist Hal Varian put it, "The sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. Because now, we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complementary factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it."
Research from Hubspot highlights that the main inbound marketing goals of CEOs are a) to reach the right audience and b) to convert leads to customers. With this in mind, I've taken 6 key statistics from that same Hubspot report and helpfully turned them into conclusions and outcomes. With these, you should help justify your marketing activities in line with your CEO's marketing goals.
1. 52% of all marketers sourced a lead from Facebook in 2013
This stat shows that Facebook is the top channel to acquire a customer (read more about it here). To keep it simple, the key aim is to target the right audience to generate enough shares and likes to convert leads into customers. To achieve this, you need engaging content and at the moment, it's all about visuals. On Facebook alone, videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined. If your CEO is looking to reach the right audience, tailored content released where your audience go online is a good place to start.
2. 74% of online consumers get frustrated when content appears to have nothing to do with their interests
(Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive)
Remember, your CEO's aim is to reach the right audience and to convert these leads into customers. This statistic highlights that if your content isn't highly relevant and engaging you will be frustrating your audience. Once they're unhappy, it's safe to say they won't convert into customers.
So what does this mean? Your target audience will only watch and respond to your video content if it's engaging (demonstrated by Facebook shares in fact 1). Make sure that all of your content responds to the questions and interests of your target sectors.
3. In response to one Hubspot survey, only 18% of respondents said they focus on creating quality content
John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing states that companies need to focus on this and it becomes a priority once it's proven. All of the stats I've shown above indicate that John Jantsch is indeed right: content needs to be focused and it needs to be high quality. If we were to go a step further we could say that if you are not creating high quality content regularly, and instead are worrying about proving ROI, you need to stop. You also need to consider that ROI results won't start showing until after six to nine months of regular content marketing.
4. Inbound marketing cost per lead is 14% lower than traditional marketing Inbound marketing through content improves lead acquisition margins. It also raises customer acquisition margins by 5.5%. Straight away from this statistic we can prove that, in the right circumstances, inbound marketing can be more successful in achieving the goal of converting leads to customers. Let's take this implication a step further. Fact 1 told us that Facebook is the most effective inbound marketing tool and fact 3 told us that marketers that focus on long term content creation for their customers almost double their conversion rate. This means that if you are an effective marketer, producing long-term high quality content and publishing it to Facebook and other relevant social media networks, your costs per lead will be even lower because you will have a better conversion rate.
5. In the same survey, 25% of respondents state that proving ROI is their largest problem
Interestingly, 18% of marketers report that finding systems to track ROI is a big challenge. Proving ROI will no doubt remain a key challenge moving forward. However, what if I told you that calculating the effectiveness of video is possible and less of a challenge? It suddenly seems a lot more appealing - you can see whether it is meeting your goals.
Back to our CEO. One of his primary marketing objectives is reaching the right audience. Video statistics easily reveal if you're doing this through analysing how long they watch the video for. If a viewer watches the entire video, you've hit the right audience.
Let's assume another goal: to increase brand awareness. Again, video statistics can provide you with views and the social presence of your company before and after video implementation. This makes it very easy to justify video expenditure as it can be assessed alongside your marketing goals. Here at Ember Television we will soon be offering clients regular video statistics reports, empowering our clients by enabling them to see how effective their videos are.
6. 45% of marketers are not using testing to support or improve their efforts
This seems strange, because research shows that marketers that use 'A/B' testing are 80% more likely to show inbound ROI. There is clearly a missing link. The conclusion and interpretation of considering both of these facts together is clear: if you want to have more success in proving ROI, you need to measure using methods such as 'A/B' testing. If you considered this with video, it is easy to envision. A clear understanding of whether you've reached your goals can be achieved through simply looking at statistics before and after the video was strategically released.
Although proving your ROI remains hard, it is clear that content marketing, if done effectively, can achieve your, and more importantly your CEO's, marketing goals. The arguments for video content also show that it is well-placed to make a measurable difference to a marketing campaign. If you're not doing content marketing yet then take a read of this and see how you can get started.
This blog was by Doug Grimshaw. Connect with him on LinkedIn.