How to Prove the Value of Content Marketing (Before You Call It Quits)

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Are you under pressure to prove the ROI of content marketing? Or are you stuck trying to figure out is your marketing working? In this entrepreneur vlog, Eric Siu shares his view on long term marketing and how to build a brand through content marketing.

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Full Transcript of The Video

Eric Siu: If I get asked one more time, "What is the ROI of marketing? Or what is the ROI of content marketing?"
I'm going to throw this iPad, and break this camera.

Camera guy: No!

Eric Siu: You know, we're a digital marketing agency right, that's what this is. Digital marketing is a lot more trackable. You can see how many impressions you got, how much money you spent, how many conversions you got, and all that. But it tends to make us think that we can track everything in the world. Digital marketing, when I first started learning, it's like, "Yeah, it's all about digital marketing. It's all about tracking. TV's going to go away. Da de dah de da."
But in fact, you look at it today, TV spin is actually still going up because that's where the attention is. A lot of these things like billboards, if you think about, there's a company that we use called Zoom. They're good for presentations, good for webinars. And they just do billboards. They do a ton of billboards. What's a ROI billboard? How do you even track the ROI of that?

male glasses: The last few years, SCO was conquered by listicles. What SCO is moving is already in that direction now, those kind of peaked last year, is better longer articles that can stand the test of time.

Eric Siu: When people ask me, taking this into content marketing for example, "What's the ROI of content marketing?"
Here's the ROI. The first year I was doing content marketing with the podcast, growth everywhere. I spent six hours on it every single week. I was recording it. I was writing the show notes. I was doing all this stuff. After the first year, I was only getting nine downloads a day. If I had anybody else that I had to answer to on that, they would probably say, "Shut it down. It's not worth the effort. Dah di dah di dah."
But I kept going. The second year, I was spending the same amount of time, didn't get any help on it. I was getting 30 downloads a day, shouldn't have given up. I had two years to give up. Two years of going through that is pretty painful. Eventually, that persistence led to the podcast that now gets 80,000 downloads a month, the same podcast. And that led to the marketing school podcast, on track with 640,000 downloads a month. What is the ROI of that? Let me tell you what the ROI is. The ROI is, a couple weeks ago, I was at SaaStr. I was walking around. People were looking at me. "Hey, podcast guy! Love your podcast, man. Hey, we should talk. We should work together."
It's because I built this relationship over a long period of time. These people know me. That gives me access to people that normally, I wouldn't be able to talk to. I can talk to them for free. I get to throw dinners with amazing people. I get invited to do speaking gigs, paid speaking gigs. I get clients from it. I get partnership opportunities too. It adds clout for me as well.

female speaker: Customer advocacy. The more information you give your customers, the more they realize it's a value. Then they're going to start to want to maybe do case studies with you, a partner webinar with you. There are ways that you can bring them in, and engage them, and make [inaudible 00:02:36] a community.

Eric Siu: I think most people want a ROI quickly. That's the problem. It's not, "What's the ROI?"
It's, "When am I gonna get an ROI?"
The reality is, if you're doing anything amazing, it's going to take a long time to get an ROI.

3rd malespeaker: Is our content remarkable, or is it boring? I think that's a question that we need to consistently be asking ourselves. Is it something that we're going to watch again and again? If it's not, is there something we can do to make that content actually be remarkable?

Eric Siu: That's the thing. It's the same thing with when you look at branding. Neil and I actually don't monetize the podcast. We spend a lot of time, a lot of money too investing into it. Our main thing is, if we can continue to build Mindshare, we can continue to add more value to the audience. That's the main thing. If you're able to do that, the brand is one of the most defensible things you can have. It's a moat. You protect yourself.

3rd malespeaker: How can we integrate indoor content so we're not just producing content, but we're creating a community? And that community would then circle back and start to be advocates, and start championing our brand instead of just consuming it and then walking away.

Eric Siu: Warren Buffet talks about the concept of having moat. It's a defensible business. You can protect yourself if you're able to do that. That's the ROI. The ROI takes time. If you want examples of ROI, I just gave you some ROI just from content marketing/podcasting alone. I'm telling you, this branding stuff comes into play. If you can leverage digital marketing and offline, and combine them together, you're going to do amazing things that other companies aren't doing. Other companies are so focused on the short term. Don't be focused on the short term. Think about the long term. Have a big sense of urgency in the short term, but think long term. You're okay with things taking time.

4th male: And so I'm like, "How can we be more purposeful about repurposing content? Why are we doing it? Is it because it was particularly good, or particularly helpful, or something that they said in that video was remarkable, and if we put that in written form, people are gonna love it? Or are we just taking shit and spinning it 15 different ways and shitting it out across all our different platforms just because?"

Eric Siu: That's it for today. If you enjoy videos like this, just hit subscribe. And we'll see you tomorrow.

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