Though most companies today have some kind of online presence, 22 percent of marketers find that getting buy-in for online content marketing is still their greatest challenge. Even if there's enough buy-in to give it a shot, marketers still need to convince their companies to invest in the staff and resources that will make online marketing possible. Successful online content marketing begins by convincing your own company that the ROI merits the investment.
Online content marketing tools and goals
When we talk about online content marketing, it's important to make sure we have a clear idea of what's most effective. Marketing company HubSpot reports that "the most popular marketing content assets [are] ebooks and whitepapers, webinars, and blog posts." Other content marketing tools include Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that link to these files, webinars, and posts.
Another idea for content marketing is an online coupon promoted through social media. According to Samir Balwani of SiteFox, "Whenever a brand needs to know an estimated reach and return of its social campaigns, it could push a small coupon (10 percent off, free shipping, or free gift with order). The coupon should only be available and promoted through social media." While a lot of content marketing creates brand awareness much like a traditional commercial, coupons provide results about a brand's reach into a particular community that are easy to measure.
Define your measuring sticks
It's important to define up front what exactly you're expecting to gain through your content on blogs and social media. Wildfire Marketing asked businesses where they see online content paying off, and they listed a number of categories: "88 percent of marketers point to growth of brand awareness as a benefit of social media activities, followed by 85 percent who point to engaging in dialogue, 58 percent who point to increased sales and partnerships, and 41 percent who point to reduced costs." The growth of brand awareness and dialogue could be downloads, video views, subscribers, followers on Twitter, or "likes" on Facebook.
These various benefits fit into what Wildfire Marketing has classified as "three phases brands go through in their social media campaigns: growing, engaging, and monetizing their fan bases. 'Currently, the market is focused on the first two phases while monetization has yet to be the focus.'"