ROIOnce again, Seth Godin hammers the proverbial nail through the floor. Our audience is made up of two types of businesses:

  • those not doing well, which don’t have the resources to spend on us,
  • and those doing well, which have the resources – but don’t want to rock the boat.

The logical conclusion? Reach them by telling your story in a way that doesn’t upset their status quo.

But then how are we to deliver change, let alone positive change? Yes, this doesn’t only come about with stirring things up. But with content marketing, we have an opportunity to change minds, and going the safe route – reinforcing what our audience already believes – may not always be the best way.

Of course, if we want to challenge ways that already work, we have to show that our ways work better. Hence, ROI.

There has been a lot written about content marketing ROI. Social media buzz, visitor tracking, inbound conversions – all these are great for measuring how our content works for us. But can we measure how it works for the client?

We probably can’t – at least, not until mind-reading technology goes commercial. But we can start by accepting that ROI metrics, such as they are, are not the be-all, end-all.

Our products and offerings may have effects on people that we can’t measure, and these are the things we should be playing up. That means not just “15% difference in energy savings”, but “empowers your staff to concentrate on what they enjoy doing” as well.

A blend of both is far more moving than just the parts. Because as rational as we try to be, human beings are still emotional creatures – and humans make purchase decisions, not computers.

Showing buyers proof of what they’ll get should never be less than a top priority. Because

  • it’s essential if we are to challenge established perspectives,
  • and, when paired with the right offering, it might get those that aren’t doing well to consider a way to break out of the rut. Our way.

So, ROI isn’t just a topic for ourselves – it’s also for the folks we market to.

And it isn’t just fixating on numbers. It’s also the intangibles, that are no less powerful as benefits: convenience, quality of living, aspirations, and so many more.

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