In Episode #516, Eric and Neil discuss ROI and how it takes time to see the results of your hard work. Tune in to hear why patience is a virtue when working with content marketing.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: What the ROI Is of Content Marketing
- [00:51] With any kind of content marketing, it takes time; about a 12-18 month journey.
- [01:05] Eric’s first podcast, Growth Everywhere was only getting nine downloads per day during his first year.
- [01:22] By the second year, he was still only getting thirty downloads per day. Now he’s pushing 100,000 per month.
- [01:48] Meeting face to face is helpful to ROI.
- [02:03] When they started, content marketing was text-based. Now it goes across all mediums and channels.
- [02:48] The Sexy Confidence YouTube channel gets millions of views per month.
- [03:16] It may take you a year to two years to see results from your content marketing.
- [03:33] If you got into content marketing four or five years ago, you would probably see ROI in six months.
- [03:44] If you want to do these kinds of things, spend the money up front.
- [03:50] Neil is spending $600,000-$700,000 per year on content marketing.
- [04:22] Eric did a breakdown of all their clients and 66% come from relationships based on the content they have created. The rest of it is because of SEO.
- [04:46] Literally everything that they do is content marketing.
- [05:28] The people with the most patience are the most successful.
- [05:37] There is a marketing agency in Japan that only focuses on Pachenko, which is a gambling game. They made $200,000,000 per year, but only had a few employees and a little bit of profit the first year.
- [06:28] This podcast gets 550,000 downloads per month, but they know it will take time to grow further.
- [07:00] For B2C, content marketing is helpful for building a brand.
- [07:44] A good example of B2C are Jake Paul’s and Logan Paul’s YouTube channels.
- [08:05] Hubspot has some good studies on content marketing.
- [08:16] That’s all for today!
- [08:17] Go to singlegrain.com/giveaway for a special giveaway.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: And today we're going to talk about what the ROI is, of content marketing. This is a question I get from other people. This is a question, believe it or not, that I get from my team sometimes. I feel that it's really important for us to address this. Not only when I get this question in the future, but a lot of people that are asking all the time, what is the ROI of content marketing?
The first thing I'll do to kick this thing off is, with any kind of content marketing at all, whether it's blog post, whether it's podcast, video, the thing I'll say is it takes time. We're talking about a 12-18 month journey. The story, again, that I'll share with you is my first podcast that I did, Growth Everywhere, that I've been doing for four years now, I was getting nine downloads a day after the first year. I was spending six hours a week. I was interviewing a lot of different people. I was doing the editing. I was writing the show notes, but I kept going. Even after the first year, after the second year, I was only getting 30 downloads a day.
Now, yes, we get upwards of a 100,000 per month at the high point, but it takes a lot of time to get there. Now the ROI that we're seeing from it, just to give you a couple of examples, speaking opportunities, other clients, opportunity to meet other people in person. When I was in Germany, for example, it came from the podcast. When I was in Japan two weeks ago, being able to meet people, that's the ROI of content marketing. There's a lot of intangibles in there, but certainly there's an ROI to it, as well. I'll speak to that in a little bit.
Neil Patel: When Eric and I first started content marketing, it was all text space. Now-a-days, content marketing just isn't text. If you want to get a good ROI from it, yes, you have to do it for a long time, and that goes across all mediums and channels, but you have to look at what kind of form of content are you going to use, now. Text was really popular back when we started, and it still is today, but video's growing in popularity and I bet it's going to overtake text. Audio and podcast is growing, not as fast as video is, but you should consider doing content marketing in different forms. Don't just think about text space and getting rankings on Google. Also think about videos and podcasts.
Text is the easiest to monetize, but videos does work, as well. For example, my buddy, Adam, owns this YouTube channel called Sexy Confidence, and he gets millions of YouTube views for month. He doesn't spend money on paid ads. It's all organic. He's able to generate well into the six figures per year ... not 100,000, I'm talking well into the six figures ... per year, and profit just from his YouTube channel. The ROI is huge, but it takes, as Eric mentioned, years to get there. So, don't expect results right away. The longer it takes you to start on these channels, the longer it will take you to see results.
For example, as Eric mentioned, it may take you a year to two years to see results. It's roughly in there, but let's say you start on Facebook and YouTube a year from now. It may end up being where the ROI time won't be a year. It will be a year and a half to two and a half years. You see how I'm extending it out. If you got into content marketing four or five years ago, you would see ROI within six months. As time goes on, it gets more competitive because people learn about it, which means that if you want to do these kind of things, push the money on it right now. Don't wait before you get into it.
Eric Siu: Neil, how much do you think you're spending per year on content marketing right now?
Neil Patel: Including YouTube podcasting?
Eric Siu: Everything.
Neil Patel: Everything? Many six, seven hundred thousand.
Eric Siu: Okay, great. So, Neil spends a lot on content marketing. When I looked at our P&L, how much we're investing into content marketing, including salary, payroll, and all kind of stuff, it's about 200, around that range. I had someone from my team come in and say, "We're putting all this in there, what's the ROI of it?" So, I finally did a breakdown of all the clients that we have from an agency perspective. 66% of our clients come from relationships that come from the content that we create. Another 15-20% or so, that's from the podcast. Finally, the rest of it caps off with SEO, which is a function of the content that we're producing and the content that we have on the website. It all is content marketing, literally everything that we do is content marketing.
So, whenever somebody asks you about content marketing, point them to this episode, "Okay, you get clients from it. You get leads from it. You get speaking opportunities. You get to meet incredible people that you would have never been able to meet before. It adds a lot of credibility for you." It just takes a lot of time. The problem is, especially when the people that come and ask me these questions like, "What's the ROI of content marketing?", it comes from a very short-sighted point of view where they need to see results very quickly.
You think about Wall Street. Wall Street needs to see results quarterly. It's that kind of mindset that can be damning, and you got to convince people, "Here's the results and here's how long it took, and we're playing the long game." If you think about it, at the end of the day, it's the people that are the most patient that end up succeeding the most, for the long term.
I'll give you another example. This was two weeks ago. When I first landed in Japan, I met a guy from EO. This guy runs a marketing agency that only focuses on Pachinko, which is gambling. He's just been constant with that business. That business is a publicly-traded company in Japan. They do 200 million dollars a year. The reason why he succeeded, he's done so well, is because he stuck with it. I was like, "How did it go in the first five years?" The first five years, he only a couple of employees. First year, first two years, just himself. Five years into it, maybe five, ten people or so. Now, it's a publicly-traded company in Japan. It's because he stuck with it.
How does this apply to content marketing? It's the same idea. You got to stick with it. You got to be patient, because you look at how Neil does things, you look at how I do things right now, we're really patient. We'll play the long game all day. This podcast right now, we're at 550,000 or so average per month downloads. We want to get it to a million. We want to get it to 1.5, two million. We know we're going to get there. It just takes time.
Neil Patel: The last thing for me is, when you look at content marketing, it's much better from an ROI perspective for the B-to-B niche than it is for B-to-C. If you're selling high-ticket items, or even items that are 1,000 bucks, Eric and I go into the six figures, but even if you're selling products and serves at 1,000 bucks or 500 bucks, you can do really well for content marketing, especially in the B-to-B niche. For B-to-C, it does work assuming you're selling products like supplements, fitness, yoga, meditation, digital products, eBooks, but if you're selling things like baby strollers and dolls and stuff, it's hard to see ROI from content marketing, and when it comes to B-to-C, content marketing is most effective to build up a brand, being instant famous.
If you look at the Paul's, Jake and Logan Paul, they make well into the seven figures per month through YouTube and Instagram and what other channel they're on. If you look at their content, it's mainly just about jokes and laughing and messing around. Think of it as Keeping up with the Kardashians for a YouTube version of their lives. They do extremely well. That's a good example of B-to-C. I've seen most of the people doing content marketing generating a huge ROI when it's building up your own brand, but in most cases, it works way better if you're in B-to-B. If you're in the consumer space, make sure you're selling them things like supplements, weight loss products, eBooks, and digital goods. That's what converts really well.
Eric Siu: Yeah. If you're interested in those kinds of numbers, HelpSpot actually has some good studies on the ROI of B-to-B content marketing and how the lead costs are much lower, things like that. You can definitely go Google it.
Before we go, go to singlegrain.com/giveaway for a special giveaway, and we will see you tomorrow.
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