Russell Parsons: Be clear on content marketing objectives to determine your ROI

There comes a point in the life of all marketing channels where the question is asked – ‘great, but what’s the ROI?’.

Russell thumb

Content marketing for a long time was considered by many to be the silver bullet solution to a major problem – marketing to the world-weary who are sick and tired of being sold to.

Content is a valid and potentially effective way of marketing. It is not, however, free and with cost comes accountability. Our report concludes that content marketing is at a crossroads with an immediate need to determine what the ultimate aim of it is – selling without, err, selling, or a brand building tool that is about delivering information that is relevant and will reflect well on the brand behind it in the long term.

The report is full of worrying research that concludes there is little tracking against objectives and perhaps a complete lack of objective setting. Of particular concern is the finding from a report for the Content Marketing Institute that showed 10% of marketers do not track ROI.

It doesn’t have to be a choice between branding and sales. Social media is several miles ahead but has been on a similar journey. Social loving brands have concluded that there is a need for a clear definition of objectives against business strategy in exactly the same way the success of all marketing should be measured; otherwise return cannot be determined. Content marketing should be no different.

Content marketing is very much part of Ann Summers’ ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ themed campaign, with ‘how to’ guides that promise to take the reader on an “erotic journey”. CEO Jacqueline Gold is clear on the objectives of this and other activity – female sexual liberation. Her story is not all about riding crops and cuffs, however. Read how Gold is setting about the not insubstantial task of empowering women in the boardroom as well as the bedroom.

The ‘Fifty Shades’ campaign has been launched to coincide with Valentine’s Day as has the publication of our trends article, which details the rise and rise of the online dating industry.

From content to bondage and the search for love, there’s plenty to love (and learn from) this week.

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