There are two important things I need to tell you about process. By process I mean the series of actions needed to achieve a goal. Applied to content marketing, process refers to the succession of steps resulting in the efficient and effective ideation, creation, publication, distribution, and analysis of content and content campaigns.
A well-defined content marketing process differs depending on the organization. For example, some industries (such as financial services) have layers of approvals to go through before content can be published. Some align content assets to specific themes or target verticals. In our process, we define the call to action before before ever getting started.
So while the actual steps vary depending on the goals and needs of your company, establishing a process that maps out the steps from filtering through ideas to reporting on KPIs is critical for making content marketing actually work for your organization.
1. When there’s process, there’s action.
As you can see from the graphic above (get the full infographic here) companies with a well-defined process for managing content development see an average website conversion rate that’s 55% higher than other companies (5.9% vs. 3.8%), and an average email click-through rate that’s 30% higher (4.5% versus 3.4%).
These numbers are powerful indicators that process-driven companies produce more effective content – significantly more effective. Their content drives valuable action. Whether moving from an anonymous visitor into a known contact, subscribing to a newsletter, or requesting a sales call, these buyers are choosing to engage with an organization and taking the next step toward purchase.
Speaking of engagement, it goes a step further when you look at the email click-thorough rate. Not only do companies with a process convert visitors more than twice as often, but their on-going email communications drive action 30% more often.
2. When there’s process, it costs less to acquire new customers.
If driving action didn’t get you excited, hopefully dollar signs will.
Content marketing leaders have a much more process-driven approach to content marketing than followers. As I discussed in an earlier article, leaders align content to buyer personas and the sales cycle, and track performance across channels. Combined, each of these best practices result in significantly lower acquisition costs. Take a look at the table below from Aberdeen Group’s report, Crossing the Chaos (you can download the whole report for free here):
For every new customer acquired, content marketing leaders save more than $12,000 compared to followers. One more time. That’s $12,000 saved for every new customer that’s acquired through marketing! Beyond action, process-driven content marketing leads to results at a much lower cost to the organization.
If you’re looking for a way to show the value of content marketing, that number can help you out.
Defining Your Process
Now that you understand the benefits of process, it’s time to define the process in your organization.
To help you out, grab the eBook, The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign. It walks you through the steps it takes to build out an effective content marketing operation.