The first step towards impactful content marketing that drives a positive ROI is delivering the right value to the right people at the right time.
The truth is buyers trust content. And an overwhelming majority – 95% – of B2B service and product buyers consider content as trustworthy when evaluating a company and its offerings, but how do you know if you're doing it right, and how do you get a good return?
The value of your content can make or break your brand trust, authority, and overall strategy.
As a B2B SaaS company, measuring your content marketing ROI can be tricky, but it’s important to not get too hyper-focused or buried in the numbers upfront. I recommend to simply start by creating something meaningful and trustworthy, that way you’ll see even better results.
Before we jump into measuring your B2B SaaS content marketing ROI, let’s take a look at the importance of creating valuable content. Because if you’re delivering valuable content, you’re already halfway to seeing a good return.
You won’t get anywhere unless you’re adding value. Many marketers solely focus on search engine optimization (SEO) when it comes to their content marketing strategy. In reality, that’s only a small part of the bigger picture. Sure, you can get some quick wins from doing some on-page and technical SEO updates, but if you show up on search engine results pages (SERP) without adding value for your target audience, you’re focused on the wrong things.
What does adding value to your content mean?
Content marketing is about what your audience is looking for. Start by taking your persona’s pains, fears and dreams and use them to create a holistic content marketing strategy. When you know exactly who you're writing to, you can create sophisticated content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Of course, part of your strategy should still come from your keyword research. When tackling this portion, it's important to think about what your audience is searching for and what you want to show up for on Search. And even if you’re writing for SEO, you won't make a long-term impact without adding value. Be sure to write something about that topic you would want to see. And remember, even Google can see the good and the bad when it comes to how valuable your content is.
While many B2B SaaS marketers realize the significance of content marketing, they often find themselves in a tight spot when justifying their efforts and demonstrating the ROI. Developing thoughtful, engaging, and valuable content is essential, but many marketers get stuck for two reasons:
With so many metrics out there, it can be very difficult to figure out which are meaningful to your goals and which are not.
To start, what are your objectives and key results behind content marketing?
Whether you’re looking at launching a new lead magnet, writing a certain number of thought leadership pieces, increasing your SERP rankings, or getting a target number of conversions, you should always set clear, SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals and use that as a baseline to measure your success.
A few metrics to look at for your content marketing ROI:
It’s important to remember that for B2B content marketing, it can take some time to show real results in each of these areas, especially as Google indexes all of your content. That's why a strong, long-term approach to building industry thought leadership and improving your brand’s visibility online will do wonders for your business. (Note: if you’re focused on quality, valuable content, the rest will follow)
As a SaaS company, you can’t achieve the growth you’re after without content marketing to help drive awareness and bring in leads, especially with shorter sales cycles.
This is important because, in the SaaS space, people aren’t sold on products, they’re sold on solutions. This means that how you talk about your solution and the content you put out is crucial.
In fact, 9 out of 10 B2B product or service buyers say that online content has had a moderate to major impact on their purchasing decisions.
The reason content marketing works is because you’re not just attracting visitors to your site. You’re sending a clear message that you understand their pains, fears, and dreams to help solve their problems. You want your prospect or customer to think, “this company really gets me,” so they keep coming back for more.
This is why you don’t always have to (and shouldn’t) measure your content purely by the number of conversions, traffic, rankings, and numbers. You should absolutely monitor them, but as long as you’re adding value for the right people, especially at the early stages, it will pay off and generate good results in the long run. Sometimes it just takes time.
Good content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less, all while helping you nurture a stronger relationship with your leads and customers. You can start by answering a common question, or addressing your customer’s common pain points. For example, we’ve seen this success in our own blog.
To start, sometimes all it takes to write a really valuable piece of content is to just simply answer a question. In fact, our CMO and Co-Founder, Stijn Hendrikse, did just that.
After receiving dozens of questions about SDRs and BDRs in his inbox, he decided to write a blog on the topic. Now, Kalungi doesn’t offer those services, but we do work closely with BDRs and SDRs as an outsourced marketing team. By answering a question about a hot topic, this blog now gets upwards of 5,000 views and generates 20+ new contacts every quarter.
Next up, a lot of people shy away from mentioning competitors on their websites, however, it’s one of the best ways you can actually deliver value and gain trust with your audience. You already know they're searching online for a solution –why not make it easy and answer their questions for them?
We’ve seen great success with our Top 13 B2B SaaS Marketing Agencies to Look Out For in 2021 blog. Not only does it communicate a ton of value for SaaS companies, but it’s ranking for several of our top keywords and generating new contacts every day. We’ve implemented this same strategy into several of our client’s content, and we continue to see similar results.
Learn more about why you should mention your competitors in your blog here. Trust me, it will pay off.
Aside from results and the value of your content, you should also consider your resources when calculating the true ROI of your content marketing. How many people are on your content team? Do you have freelancers? Do you work with any agencies? How many hours go into the creation process? What do these expenses look like?
Additionally, when calculating the cost of your resources and your content team’s salaries, bonuses, and pay, take a look at how much time they are spending on content.
Ask yourself the following questions:
You not only have to consider your expenses, but also the amount of time and power that goes into your content marketing efforts. Add everything up, and then see where you're at so you can make adjustments as needed and ensure a good return. Note: These items are also important to track and update over time as you make changes.
Good content marketing means consistently creating and distributing high-quality, meaningful, and engaging content your prospects will respond to. Make valuable content your priority and use your resources effectively and you’ll see the most return.
At the most basic level, you should monitor your organic traffic, SERP rankings, the number of leads from content, and the quality of those leads to effectively measure your content performance. Combine all of that with the time of your creation process and the cost of your resources in order to calculate the true ROI of your content marketing efforts.