How much money are you wasting on paid content promotion?

how-much-money-are-you-wasting-on-paid-content-promotion-scoop-it-final

How do you get more traffic from content marketing? You can either create more or better content, or you can distribute that content better. In the latter case, it’s likely you’ve considered paid content promotion. And rightly so: if your content performs, it makes sense to promote it, right? The thing is, does it perform? The whole ROI equation for paid content promotion is in that “if”. Promoting content that doesn’t perform is wasting money while promoting content that performs is money well spent.

“Half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half” said John Wanamaker. Do you know?

1. Allocating your paid content promotion budget in a smart way

Let’s take an example. Say these are the results you typically get from your content over a given period:

  • You produced 13 pieces of content
  • They generated 9,000 visits
  • Of which 640 leads generated

It’s tempting to say each piece generated an average of 692 views and 49 leads. But averages are misleading. In reality, not all content is created equal. Content performance is not evenly distributed: you have some wins, some fails, etc… In reality, your content performance probably looks more like this:


Type of content

Volume

Traffic / piece

Conversion rate

Traffic

Leads

Top-performing

2

2000

10.00%

4000

400

Average

9

500

5.00%

4500

225

Low-performing

2

250

3.00%

500

15

Total / average

13

692

7.1%

9000

640

So now let’s say you want to double the performance of your content with paid content promotion. If you’re focused on the right content marketing analytics KPI’s, it’s likely that lead generation is the stat you want to double. So let’s see the various ways you have to generate 1,280 leads with the same 13 pieces of content.

Evenly spread your budget on each piece of content

What a lot of marketers tell us they do is that they spend a similar amount of money on each piece. This rule has the benefit of being super easy. But is it efficient?

If you’re paying $1 per click and you’re spreading a $11,725 over each of the 13 pieces of content, you’ll get exactly the result of adding 640 leads to double the initial number. In detail:

  • Each piece gets exactly $902 worth of promotion.
  • Each piece gets 902 more clicks

In terms of results, this is what you’ll get:


Traffic

Number of pieces

Budget

Additional traffic from paid

Conversion rate

Additional leads from paid

Top-performing

2

$1,804

1,804

10%

180

Average

9

$8,117

8,117

5%

406

Low-performing

2

$1,804

1,804

3%

54

Total / average

13

$11,725

11,725

640

Is the budget you’ll need with this method. Let’s compare it with other methods that use data to optimize results.

Allocate budget according to traffic performance

The most common statistic marketers measure is traffic, so it’s tempting to do just that. In real life, it’s hard to optimize this in real time because you can’t predict how content will perform. More on this later. Let’s imagine though that this is feasible and that you can allocate paid promotion budget based on traffic performance. You would spend money to double the organic traffic generated by each post. This would require you to:

  • Buy 2,000 clicks for each top performing piece to double its 2,000 organic visits.
  • Buy 500 clicks for each average piece to double its 500 organic visits.
  • Buy 250 clicks for each low-performing piece to double its 250 organic visits.


Traffic

Number of pieces

Budget

Additional traffic from paid

Conversion rate

Additional leads from paid

Top-performing

2

$4,000

4000

10%

400

Average

9

$4,500

4500

5%

225

Low-performing

2

$500

500

3%

15

Total / average

13

$9,000

9000

640

So now you’ve only spent $9,000 to achieve the same results, saving 23% of your budget

Allocate budget according to lead generation performance

Now let’s see what this would look like if the KPI that matters to you is lead generation. Again, there’s some difficulty in doing this and I’ll cover that below. But let’s say you knew which are the 2 top performing posts from a lead generation standpoint. What would you do?

Simple: bet everything on red! Allocate your entire budget on these 2 posts.

The results would now look like this:


Traffic

Number of pieces

Budget

Additional traffic from paid

Conversion rate

Additional leads from paid

Top-performing

2

$6,400

6,400

10%

640

Average

9

5%

Low-performing

2

3%

Total / average

13

$6,400

9000

640

Now you’re only spending $6,400 to double your content performance, a 45% savings on your initial budget.

In summary:

paid content promotion

This model is of course oversimplified. But no matter how sophisticated the model is, in real life, you’ll have the same phenomenon. The way you allocate your paid content promotion budget makes a huge difference in the results you get.

2. How to leverage content marketing intelligence to stop wasting paid content promotion dollars

So you might be wasting up to 45% of your paid content promotion dollars by not allocating it properly. How can you fix that?

To do the right allocation, you need data. You need to know as much information in real-time as possible to understand how your content is performing. And not just from a traffic generation standpoint: from a lead generation standpoint. This is precisely why you need predictive insights – or what we call content marketing intelligence – to guide your promotion efforts.

Here’s how it works.

Without any real-time predictive insights on how your content performs, you’re probably doing this:

What content marketing intelligence enables you to do is that:

Content marketing intelligence technology starts analyzing your content in real-time as soon as you’ve done some organic promotion. This means data on traffic but also leads generated for each piece of content. From there you can make several decisions: update or fix content or amplify its impact with paid promotion. So you’re not spending money on the low-performing content – only on the top-performing ones. And you can repeat this indefinitely as the data evolves.

As we’re consistently suffering from information overload (or content shock), marketers are fighting for limited attention from their target audience. To overcome that and get results, it makes sense to pay to play. But by doing so without having the technology to gather the data, you’re wasting a big part of this budget. With the predictive insights that content marketing intelligence system brings, you can allocate your budget dynamically on your topic performing content and generate much better ROI from paid content promotion.

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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Image by Teddy James

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About the Author

Guillaume Decugis
Co-Founder & CEO @Scoopit. Entrepreneur (Musiwave, Goojet). Engineer-turned-marketer. Skier. Rock singer. http://scoop.it/u/gdecugis
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