How Long Do I Need To Do Content Marketing Before I See Results?

For a digital content marketing strategy services and metrics, it depends!

But if this answer does not satisfy you, I recommend waiting for at least six to nine months before giving up on content marketing. Apart from understanding how long it takes for content marketing services to show results, this article also talks about some mistakes in measuring results and the right metrics to consider when analyzing the ROI of your content marketing efforts.

The real ROI

Now, let’s try to understand ROI. Is it about impressions, clicks on your Facebook posts, bounce rate, or growth in the number of qualified leads? Still don’t get it? Check out this video by Gary Vaynerchuk:

We need to understand what real ROI is for content marketing, as content marketers usually get into a tough spot when asked about ROI. A lot of people tell me, “I am not getting sales conversions even after trying content marketing!”

Most of the time, conversions are expected too soon. If you have ever done sales, you know that an ideal customer takes at least five interactions to convert, and that’s the scenario with 80 percent of sales happening today. To achieve this target, you might want to consider mapping the content with the customer journey and your sales process. But again, even if content helps you cover more than 50 percent of your sales reps’ job, it will take time.

So, what’s the ideal case?

How much should you wait to see the results? Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi said in his book, Content Inc., that “it took an average of 15 to 17 months of consistent content creation and distribution to reach monetization [or results].”

But that’s until the phase of reaching monetization. The ideal time should be somewhere between six to nine months, after which you start seeing the results and growth in your customer base.

Losing patience?

Kissmetrics got more than 1 million unique visitors within 10 months—organically. That made content marketing their primary means of getting sales and revenue.  If you have already been doing content marketing strategy for months and you still think that the ROI is a concern, you might be measuring it wrong.

Let’s keep it straight. Content marketing is not what usual sales and marketing professionals have been doing for years. It is new age marketing so it needs different metrics.

Below are the metrics that you should stop using to measure content marketing success:

 

1. Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is dependent on the actions performed by a user after visiting your website. For example, if a person arrives at your web page, stays there for an indefinite time (either a few seconds or minutes), and then leaves the page without performing an action, then the bounce rate is 100 percent

Now, let’s analyze how we usually read online content. We reach a blog, stay there for a few minutes until we read the article, and then leave without performing any actions. This translates to 100 percent bounce rate too. So, the concern with bounce rate is that it wouldn’t tell if an article was read or not.

 

2. Impression

Do you remember the last paid post you saw on Facebook? Most marketers confuse impressions with brand awareness. Let’s consider: What brand awareness impact would a paid Facebook post leave on a user who saw the post for about 0.05 seconds while scrolling his news feed?

An impression is a metric that marketers report for understanding the number of users who saw but didn’t interact/engage with the content. But the concern here is:

  • You distributed the content to the wrong audience.
  • The quality of your content was not good enough to drive conversions.

Marketers should consider and map the organic impressions that a brand receives when brand advocates share their content in their network.

3. ROI

There is a huge gap between what we are trying to measure as ROI and the different types of consumers we have. The informational consumer just wants to consume information. It is what most of us do while checking out Neil Patel’s blogs or HubSpot. The other type of consumer, the transactional type, actually purchases your product. If we analyze this, the transactional type usually comprises 1 to 2 percent of all consumers, and the remaining 98 percent are informational types.

So, what are you really selling to them? Are you pushing for your product when what they actually need is your content?

 

4. Benchmarks

If you are benchmarking your performance to industry averages, stop now or it will make you give up your digital content marketing initiative. If you still wish to benchmark, do it with your performance, compare each quarter, and tag the progress. What most companies do is set an industry benchmark in terms of frequency of content, likes, shares, followers, etc., but they overlook the budget that those companies are investing.

 

5. The funnel

We marketers always like using abbreviations like tofu (top of the funnel), mofu (middle of the funnel), and bofu (bottom of the funnel), and we think that the customer moves down the funnel to conversion

A person who downloaded your ebook actually wanted the ebook and not your product. We think that the “lead” is moving down the funnel, but it isn’t the real case. If someone wants to purchase, they will either request a quote or fill out a contact form. Not everyone who consumes your content will purchase from you.

So, what should we actually measure?

 

1. Consumption and social media metrics

Use Google Analytics to understand the behavioral flow of your users and analyze how they are navigating across your platform. Then, produce high-quality content to achieve a higher number of social media shares.

 

2. Site metrics

If your content is good, people will link back to it and re-post it. The way to understand this is measuring the number of inbound links. Another thing to also measure is the average time on the website. You can use tools like SEMrush or ahref to get exact results and work toward optimizing them.

 

3. Lead metrics

If your content is generating leads and you are able to increase sales and revenue, you are doing it fine. To validate this, know the number of leads being generated from your blog. To optimize, you should create well-researched and original content that will help your user base grow. You can also offer the same content in exchange of an email address. From here, you can segment your audience and use email marketing to convert them to qualified sales leads.

 

4. Cost metrics

I agree that great content always costs something, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. How much do you invest in content creation and distribution? Knowing this will help you measure and forecast your content marketing strategy spends. You can do so by looking at salaries, freelancing cost, design cost, distribution cost, and the like.

 

Conclusion

 

The correct metrics will keep your marketing team sane and prevent you from abandoning the efforts in between. Another thing that will help you in this journey is an editorial calendar, which will keep you focused on your content marketing strategy activities.

Indeed, content marketing requires patience. It takes time to go from launching your first blog to finding out how to engage your users correctly.

Learn more about digital marketing agency services  here.

Source for this article: Techinasia

 

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About the Author
Faten Alakhras

Experienced content strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the digital marketing industry. Worked with different brands to create a business identity, drive results and organic growth.