4 Smart Strategies to Increase Content Marketing ROI 

by Katy French

It’s a chaotic time in content marketing. Budgets are being slashed. (According to Gartner, they’re down 15%.) Markets are shifting. AI has made its debut, and marketers either love or fear it. But one thing is for certain: No matter what type of industry you’re in, if you’re creating content, you want—and need—to increase your content marketing ROI. Lucky for you, we can help make that happen.

Between helping our clients create strong content strategies and building our own content machine, we know the pitfalls that can eat away at ROI. We also know what steps you can take to get better results (and they may not be as labor-intensive as you think). 

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How to Increase Content Marketing ROI

If you want to increase your content marketing ROI, you often need to do it from the inside. This includes re-evaluating various aspects of your marketing machine, maximizing your productivity, trying new things, and strengthening your strategy. Here are four smart steps you can take to make your work more effective and improve your results ASAP.

1) Audit your content—and your competitors.

You want to improve your ROI? Start by improving your content. Good content resonates with your audience, strengthens their relationship with your brand, and encourages them to take the next step in your buyer journey. But what does that content look like? That’s for you to find out via an audit of both your own content and your competitors’ content. 

Essentially, a content audit is a comprehensive review of all your existing content to assess its performance, analyze what works, and double down on creating that type of content. Although it may sound tedious, this exercise is incredibly insightful and drastically improves your content strategy going forward. 

How to do it:

  • Inventory your content. Create a list of all your content assets, including blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more. Comb your competitors’ sites to parse out their most popular/high-value pieces of content. 
  • Analyze performance. Use analytics tools to evaluate the performance of each piece of content based on metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversions. You may not be able to access this data about your competitors, but you can tell which content is best-performing based on its visibility in terms of search terms, likes, etc.
  • Identify trends. Look for patterns in successful pieces of content to understand what resonates most with your audience. What topics/themes are they interested in? What formats work well? What categories of content do they prefer (e.g., Q&As, tutorials, or tips)?
  • Make data-driven decisions about your content going forward. Based on your findings, adjust your strategy to focus on high-performing content, refresh outdated pieces, and fill gaps in your content library.

We know firsthand how effective a content audit can be. When we revamped our marketing strategy, we embarked on a massive audit to dissect our best-performing content and found that both comprehensive guides and simple templates were especially successful with our audience. With this insight, we doubled-down on producing both types of content and increased our sales 160% in six months—a huge success for our content marketing ROI. (On that note, check out our full guide to do a content analysis for more tips.) 

2) Create more sales enablement content. 

Sales enablement content is a fantastic tool to improve ROI. By addressing customer pain points, answering common questions, and highlighting the benefits of your products/services, this content makes it much easier for salespeople to close deals. However, most marketers are focused on generating top-of-funnel content. That content is important, of course, but good sales enablement content ensures those top-of-funnel efforts don’t go to waste. 

That said, marketing and sales teams are often disconnected, which results in sales enablement content that isn’t helpful or even used by sales. How do you avoid wasting your time?

  • Brainstorm ideas with your sales team. One of the biggest problems we see in our clients’ companies is a lack of communication between sales and marketing. Host regular brainstorms to collaborate on content, and try these tips to build a better bridge between both departments. 
  • Expand your idea of sales enablement. People usually think of sales enablement as presentations, but it can be so much more. From case studies and video guides to training materials and onboarding, there are so many touchpoints that can be enhanced by content. Find out more about the five types of sales enablement content you should create.

For more tips and tricks, take a deep dive into everything you need to know about sales enablement.

3) Use a divisible content strategy. 

Pumping out a steady stream of fresh content is crucial if you want to stay present and relevant across channels, but creating quality content at scale costs time, money, and resources. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to increase content marketing ROI is to maximize the amount of content you get from each piece you create. 

We’re big fans of a divisible content strategy, which allows you to break large content down into smaller, more digestible assets. For example, you might translate an ebook into a blog series, template, and Twitter thread to publish on various channels. 

48% of B2B marketers say there is not enough content repurposing in their organization.
Content Marketing Institute, 2024

By repurposing content, you can extend its reach, increase engagement, and improve ROI without constantly creating new materials from scratch.

How to do it:

  • Create comprehensive content. It’s best if you start with a hero piece of content that covers a topic comprehensively (e.g., in-depth guides, ebooks, or reports). 
  • Identify key sections. Break down the comprehensive content into smaller sections that can stand alone as additional pieces. For example, in ebooks, each chapter or section can often spin off into supplementary content. Determine which format each smaller piece should take (e.g., blogs, infographics, tips, video series, social media content) and what channel it will be published on. 
  • Reformat content. Make sure to tailor each piece of content to fit the specific requirements and audience preferences of the platform where it will be shared.

Note: You don’t have to use this strategy on new pieces of content exclusively. Older pieces in your archive may be perfect for repurposing into additional content. For more tips, find out how to do a divisible content strategy the right way.

4) Experiment with agile marketing.

One of the most common issues we see our clients deal with is a lack of data-based decision-making. Often, they make choices based on instincts or hunches but not on real market insights. And when their ROI is bad, they’re shocked. (We’re not.) 

If you want to do successful content marketing (or any other type of marketing), you need to understand what the market responds to, but the only way to get that temperature check is to put your ideas into the market. This can be risky when it comes to a big campaign or a controversial idea. That’s why we use an agile marketing strategy.

This is a lean test-and-learn approach that allows you to design simple experiments to test your ideas, gather feedback, optimize, and redeploy. With this approach, you can improve your ROI through a series of sprints instead of sinking all your funds into a big campaign that might be a dud. (By deploying this strategy, our campaigns outperformed industry CTR by 155%.)

This approach is particularly helpful for paid media, although it can be applied to many marketing efforts across the board. 

How to do agile marketing experiments: 

  • Formulate your hypothesis. Choose a single hypothesis to test (e.g., “Adding data points to article headlines will increase clicks by 10%”).
  • Design a small-scale experimental campaign. Test your theory in the marketplace for a set amount of time and track data. This may include A/B testing.
  • Analyze your data. Take a look at your results to determine if your hypothesis was correct. If so, you now have data-based insights to support your efforts. If your hypothesis was not correct, you have also gathered helpful insights to apply to your next sprint.  

Note: Agile marketing is meant to test a single hypothesis at a time in a controlled experiment. Don’t try to test too many things at once. You want to gather clear, definitive insights and optimize accordingly. 

For a more detailed breakdown of how this approach can transform your marketing in 90 days, see our complete guide to agile marketing

Other Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing ROI

While the strategies we mentioned here can help you improve your content marketing ROI, there are a few other factors to consider. 

But if you’ve tried everything and you’re still struggling, you may be facing a deeper strategy issue. In that case, it’s time to go back to the beginning and rebuild or bring in a fresh pair of eyes to help you strengthen your strategy. If you’re looking for the right partner, see our tips to find the best content marketing agency or start your search with us.

Either way, remember that increasing ROI doesn’t happen overnight. As markets change, your brand evolves, and your budget fluctuates, it is an ongoing process that requires diligence and discipline. Keep analyzing your efforts, keep looking for ways to work smarter, and keep experimenting. 

Good luck.

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