11 Effective Lean Content Marketing Practices To Generate ROI

11 Effective Lean Content Marketing Practices To Generate ROI

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s and MarketingProfs yearly survey on the state of content marketing, lack of time and lack of budget are among the top challenges B2B content marketers face. The other 2 challenges in the Top 4 are “producing enough content” and “producing the type of content that engages”.

Challenges of B2B Content Marketers

In short: most B2B content marketers don’t have enough resources to both scale their content volume and maintain the required quality to generate ROI.

For the past 3 years, we’ve worked with top marketers, influencers, marketing software founders as well as our customers and users to define Lean Content Marketing as a set of best practices that make it possible for SMB marketers to generate positive ROI with limited resources and budgets. We’ve compiled our findings, experiment results, advice and best practices in the Lean Content Marketing Handbook for SMBs and today, I’d like to focus on the most effective practices that generate ROI.

What is Content Marketing ROI?

ROI = Return / Investment

Investment in Content Marketing consists of the following:

  • Cost of producing content
  • Cost of sourcing content externally
  • Time spent planning and managing a content strategy
  • Software and tools
  • Content distribution and advertising costs

Return from Content Marketing should include the following benefits:

  • Brand awareness and thought leadership
  • Leads and revenue

How are those returns generated?

  • SEO
  • Engagement
  • Traffic

So let’s look at the various strategies that improve ROI of Content Marketing.

Strategies that generate equivalent results with smaller investment

1. Content Curation

Sourcing, enriching and publishing 3rd-party content likely to interest your audience:

  • helps publish content for less;
  • adds credibility to the editorial line;
  • helps build relationships with influencers.

Data point: content curation helps SMB Marketers generate 3.7x the amount of content for the same amount of time and 5.2x the amount of content for the same costs. Source: http://business.scoop.it/content-curation-roi/

2. Participation marketing

Involving influencers, employees and clients in co-creating content:

  • reduces the cost of creating quality content;
  • amplify distribution.

Data point: by involving 40+ influencers in a campaign with the Content Marketing Institute, Lee Odden’s TopRank Marketing generated 218,971 Total eBook Views, 4,023 Total eBook PDF Downloads and 1,040 Total Leads Captured in a few months. Source: http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/01/influencer-marketing/

3. Content repurposing

Transposing a piece of content into other formats, breaking down a large piece of content into smaller ones or aggregating individual pieces of content into a larger one:

  • enable marketers to create new content at marginal costs;
  • increase the life-time of their content;
  • help them reach a larger audience through multiple channels.

Data point: by repurposing our blog posts into SlideShares, we found they performed as well as original content which helped us generate more than 1 million views on SlideShare with minimal investment. Source: http://blog.scoop.it/2014/03/21/5-lessons-we-learned-using-slideshare/

4. Software & automation

Simple Content Marketing solutions like Scoop.it Content Director:

  • enables content marketers to plan, source and distribute content in a streamlined workflow;
  • saves them time by automating repeating low-value adding tasks;
  • helps them measure the impact of their content and report on their goals.

Data point: 88% of SMB Marketers found content tools like Scoop.it helped them finding more time to publish content. Source: http://enterprise.scoop.it/white-paper/

5. Being lean

Adopt a lean mindset:

  • experiment, don’t over think;
  • plan and act fast;
  • measure and iterate quickly.

lean content marketing handbook

Strategies that generate more returns for an equivalent investment

6. Focusing on a Content hub

Publishing both your created and your curated content on your own content hub (blog, mini-site, resource center…), as part of your website:

  • directs all your content traffic to your website;
  • expands the lifetime of your social content;
  • generates SEO value;
  • increases engagement.

Data point: using curation hubs delivers 3x the engagement and 2x additional traffic through SEO compared to sharing third-party content directly on social networks. Source: http://blog.scoop.it/2014/06/18/social-media-publishing-is-dead-as-we-know-it/

7. Convert through content

Feeding your inbound marketing with content (calls to actions to landing pages, subscribe forms…) and measuring the impact of your content on lead generation:

  • generates more qualified leads;
  • helps educate and convert prospects;
  • proves the value of content marketing within your company.

Data point: Businesses with websites of 401-1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages. Source: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

8. Nurture through content

Feeding your marketing automation with content (email nurturing, newsletters, social selling…):

  • enables sending more emails without being spammy;
  • creates conversation opportunities with your prospects;
  • establishes your company as a partner rather than a vendor.

Data point: Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. Source: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

9. Leverage existing audiences

Tapping into existing blogs (partners, media…) or content platforms (SlideShare, Medium…):

  • extends your reach;
  • amplifies social distribution;
  • adds credibility to your content;

Data point: republishing content gave us a 80% boost in page views and a 65% increase in social sharing. Source:http://blog.scoop.it/2014/07/18/is-re-publishing-your-content-worth-the-effort-a-data-driven-answer/

10. Amplify your social channels

Adding more social channels, using images and hashtags in your social posts, scheduling your posts to repeat several times on social media:

  • ensures more visibility with your audience;
  • enables your content to be further reshared.

Data point: using images in our tweets increased engagement 2.8x and link clicks by 88% Source:http://blog.scoop.it/2015/03/18/how-to-share-your-content-with-an-image-on-twitter-for-greater-engagement/.

11. Adopt a lean mindset:

I said it before but I want to hammer it as it’s probably the most important practice of all.

  • experiment, don’t over think;
  • plan and act fast;
  • measure and iterate quickly.
All these practices are detailed with concrete examples and expert advice from Rebecca Lieb (@lieblink), Lee Odden (@leeodden), Jason Miller (@jasonmillerca), Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer), Erika Heald (@SFerika), Stephanie Clegg (@StephanieFrasco) and many others in our latest free ebook. And if you have suggestions on content marketing practices that work and want to contribute ideas, let us know in the comments or join the movement!

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About Guillaume Decugis

Co-Founder & CEO @Scoopit. Entrepreneur (Musiwave, Goojet). Engineer-turned-marketer. Skier. Rock singer. http://scoop.it/u/gdecugis
  • http://www.medicalwebsitesolutions.com.au/ David Douglas

    I have just started a business http://www.medicalwebsitesolutions.com.au – One of my blog posts has ended up on Scoopit. As a result I have had a peak in traffic to my website and more enquiries. How can I place some more of my high value content on Scoopit?