When was the last time you snuck over to Starbucks and bought yourself an upside-down caramel macchiato? You usually get plain black coffee because it’s healthy and cheaper, but when was the last time you indulged in the rich, sweet, creamy goodness of a handcrafted coffee drink?

What made it worth the indulgence?

It’s a reasonable question.

You work damn hard to keep your body looking and feeling like your temple, why is it worth it to you to put that sugar-filled deliciousness into it?

You work damn hard for your money. Why is it worth spending $4 extra dollars on the same amount of caffeine?

Let’s talk about that word “worth” for a second, shall we? Because it means something different to everyone.

Perhaps for you, the upside-down caramel macchiato reminds you of the drink your mom got. Perhaps it’s the drink you only allow yourself to devour when you’ve finished up a huge presentation that had you feeling nervous for months. Perhaps you snuck it on a day when your husband worked late, knowing that you could enjoy every… last… sip without him judging or critiquing your drink choice. It was your moment to enjoy without excuse or apology.

No matter the reason, one thing is certain. You didn’t order the insanely expensive coffee drink for the sugar and caffeine. There was something a little more emotional about your choice of beverage.

What makes your marketing worth the money/time you put into creating it?

Marketing isn’t as sexy as a venti iced upside-down caramel macchiato… or is it?

As a business owner, your website is often the first impression your customers have of your business. It’s the content on your website that makes or breaks whether they choose to stop into your business or keep driving.

How much is content marketing worth to you? A lot, when your reputation is at stake.

But that’s an intangible, big-picture, hard-to-measure metric: pride. You’re a smart business owner. Although reputation is important, you also need to see the cold-hard facts about what makes your marketing worth your spending. How do you know it’s your content and copy that’s driving in new business? How do you know it isn’t the ad you just put in the local paper that’s bringing people in?

You’re smart. You want proof.

Fortunately, digital content is one of the easiest things to track to back this emotional appeal up with cold, hard, data-driven proof of your online marketing worth.

To know if your website is bringing you new business, you have to look at a few critical factors.

Are you seeing more traffic each month? 

How many visitors land on your website each month? Is that more or less than last month?

Content doesn’t just serve to coax your buyer into seeing your worth and opening her wallet. Your content serves double duty by offering valuable help online. Blogging appeals to both website visitors and search engines. If you’re blogging enough and on the right topics, you should see an uptick in your traffic each month.

What type of traffic are you seeing?

It’s not just an increase in traffic that matters – it’s the type of traffic you’re getting. What is your visitor doing once she lands on your website? Here’s how you can tell based on the data in your Google analytics reports:

  • How much time is she spending with your content? A few seconds or less shows she’s not interested in what you have to offer. A minute or more shows you have some hot leads landing on your pages. They care about what you’re saying.
  • What’s your bounce rate? This shows how many people land on a page and then leave your website again. If your bounce rate is high, a lot of people are leaving without exploring all the exciting things you have to offer. They’re not interested.

Are people getting in touch with you?

This is two fold. People can get in touch with you in a variety of ways. They can:

  • Reach out to you directly using your contact information;
  • Sign up for your email list so they can continue to learn more about what you have to offer;
  • Start following you on social media to stay up-to-speed on what your business has for them.

Tracking leads, email subscribers, and social media trends will show you how effective you are at moving your website visitors from “what is this?” to “I have to learn more!”

Where do you rank among your competitors on search engines?

The goal of SEO is to land the top slots on search engine rankings. Do you know where you rank and for which keywords?

An important note about keywords: You don’t want to try to rank for short, broad keywords. For example, if you own a local auto repair shop, you don’t want to go after “auto repair” as a keyword. Instead, you want to make it longer, more location specific, and more refined to what people in your area are searching for.

Searchers are smart. They don’t type in short, broad keywords anymore. They’re using four to seven words to make their search and find your business online. Focus on the longer, less competitive keywords and you’ll get far better results from your content marketing.

How else are people finding you, besides search engines?

Your content works beyond search engines. Your buyers can find you

  • On social media: Are you using hashtags when promoting your content? Is your content getting shared by people who have influence in your industry/area?
  • On referring websites: Have your guest articles/posts sent you new traffic? Did the event you sponsored send you new traffic? Are you a member of local organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, and is that sending you new traffic? Monitoring your referral websites will tell you.
  • Offline: Are people going directly to your website? Chances are some of them found you or heard about your website offline from your print marketing materials.

Are people “liking” your content?

It’s not enough for your content to get seen. You need people to engage with it on some level.

Tracking likes, shares, comments, retweets, and other social media metrics is a good indicator of how much people like from what you’re putting out there.

Get more specific and track what types of articles are getting buzz. Create more of those.

Are you reaching enough people in  your area?

Your analytics reports will show you where people are finding your website. Which countries are they coming from? What cities? What regions? If you own a local business, this data shows you whether you’re reaching the people in your target market.

How do you know what’s working for your business?

You have to track your data. Study your analytics and see what’s working.

Most business owners don’t have time for this. That’s why I offer monthly SEO reports to give your business a quick glimpse at what’s working and whether your content marketing spending is worth the money/time.

Want to get a free copy of one of these reports? Contact me anytime by email (Kimberly@KimberlyCrossland.com) and I’ll send you a FREE audit that digs into the details of your website. See instantly what’s working and what isn’t. 



6 thoughts to “How Much is Content Marketing Worth to Your Business?

  • Desiree

    This is fantastic! I have been wondering this exact same question for a little while so I took a break from content marketing over the summer. I have found the reverse of all of these to be true over my break and it just confirms that it is worth all the time and effort put into it 🙂

  • Steven Ma

    Great post Kimberly. I have one post on my website that brings in about 90% of my traffic, and it’s mostly organic search. The post ranks #1 on Google for a search term. People spend about 1 minute 30 seconds on the page, so I know it’s somewhat helpful. But my bounce rate is 93%, so I’m not really sure how to keep people on my site. They seem to get what they need from the post then leave. Have you encountered something like that?

    • Kimberly Crossland

      There could be a number of factors at play – how many times did you link to other articles/pages? What was your call to action at the end of the post? What’s your goal of having them land on this post? What do you have in your sidebar (if a sidebar is appropriate here, which it sounds like it might be). This is great inspiration for another blog post – stay tuned! 🙂

  • Jennifer

    Loved this article! Very informative and a great read.

  • Christopher Jan Benitez

    Great read! I like the focus put into site/blog traffic as one of the primary indicators to the effectiveness of one’s content marketing strategy. If I may add, I would like to turn the attention to what I feel is a much more valuable metric that must be measured in relation to content marketing: conversion rate. If you are selling a product or service through your site/blog, then you should justify your content marketing efforts through the money you make from your goods. In fact, it doesn’t matter if your traffic reaches thousands or even millions. If you have less than hundreds of visitors but have built a highly concentrated audience that is much more likely to convert into leads or customers, which is the aim of content marketing, then it’s more than worth it.

    • Kimberly Crossland

      100% agree!


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