According to a content marketing survey report published this month, 54 percent of companies view increasing leads as the most important objective of their content marketing strategy in 2014. Fifth on the list was increasing direct sales revenue, coming in at 29 percent.
In the same survey report, only 13 percent of companies rated their content marketing programs as being very successful in achieving important objectives. 72 percent were somewhat successful, and 15 percent were not successful. So, fully 87 percent of companies have room for at least some improvement in their content marketing outcomes.
As we drill down into this data a little, a valid argument could be made for increasing emphasis on using content marketing to increase direct sales revenue, in addition to other important objectives a company may have. Many believe that generating sales should be the primary goal of most marketing initiatives. I would argue that increasing direct sales should be at least as important as increasing the number of leads generated, or any other objective.
Swiss Army Knife
Consider this: If an individual who reads one of your blog posts or web pages makes a purchase from that page, they not only represent a direct sale, but a generated lead as well. If they choose not to make a purchase, but opt-in to your autoresponder list in exchange for an informative report, ebook, or other free offer, you’ve still succeeded in generating a lead. If they choose to do nothing at all, the fact that they found your page in the first place indicates that your SEO objectives are being achieved.
If you think about content in terms of the several things it’s commonly used to accomplish in the world of online marketing, it really is something of a Swiss Army Knife for marketing. In the report cited above, there were a total of nine specific objectives mentioned that content marketing is used for:
“Increase number of leads generated, increase brand or product awareness, increase the number of website visitors, improve organic search rankings, increase direct sales revenue, improve sales-readiness of leads, increase marketing ROI, increase social media engagement, and improve customer retention rate.”
Whether your objectives are part of this list, or you have some that aren’t listed, chances are your content marketing program is among the 87 percent that could use some improvement. That being the case, doesn’t that also provide an ideal opportunity to reevaluate the priorities of your content marketing objectives, and make adjustments as necessary?