You can't prove the ROI of your marketing activities unless you have the right plan in place.
To prove your content marketing activity ROI you need to be clear on what you're working towards, the vision, and the roadmap that is guiding you there, the objective.
The high number of content marketers that still don't have a documented content marketing strategy is most likely the cause of the high number of content marketers that struggle to prove content marketing ROI.
It starts by breaking down the future into a combination of stretch and smarts goals.
HubSpot has a document called the MSPOT, modeled from Marc Benifoff's V2MOM , that they use to keep everything moving in a single direction.
While at Oracle, Marc grew frustrated with the lack of a documented vision and lack of hard, written goals to achieve. As he moved up in the ranks, he quickly realized he wasn't equipped to clearly communicate what he wanted to his team because he wasn't clear on what his bosses wanted.
His teams grew and so did his dilemma. It was becoming exponentially more difficult to communicate a clear message. Not being able to explain a process - because it doesn't exist - that will get you from point a to point b - both of which are unknown - won't be able to support growth for long periods of time.
Struggling to find solutions to his management/leadership dilemma, he started seeking advice from some of the most experienced people in a few relevant fields such as Leadership, Personal Development, Spiritual, Management. Through this process he started to pick up on some common themes from, what seemed like disconnected sources.
This lead him to create his own solution to the dilemma he was facing, the V2MOM.
This become the foundation of Salesforce.com's amazing journey, and on the day of their IPO, one of his co-founders, who saved the original copy of Marc's V2MOM scribbled on the back of an envelope, and framed it for him.
In a sense, that V2MOM became our business plan.
He wanted a document that would be easy to understand, and simple to implement. It had to bring clarity to what he was doing so that he could easily communicate that to his team.
V2MOM stands for:
- Vision (what do you want?)
- Values (what's important about it?)
- Methods (how do you get it?)
- Obstacles (what might stand in the way?)
- Measures (how will you know when you have it?)
At salesforce.com, everything we do in terms of organizational management is based on our V2MOM. - Marc Benioff
Marc R. Benioff is the chairman and CEO of salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), which he co-founded in 1999. The article I have used as source is an excerpt from his book, "Behind the Cloud".
HubSpot's MSPOT is designed is to create transparency and encourage autonomy.
It begins with the company's overall mission.
Your mission isn't going to change very frequently. Essentially it's the description of what the business set out to accomplish.
Next is the annual strategy.
What is the overall strategy this year? If your mission is where you are going, then your strategy is how you are going to get there.
For example, if I was going to go on a road trip to visit the top 50 restaurants in the country, what strategy will I use to find the shortest route that gets me to each restaurant once and only once and back home the fastest.
This is an actual version of the traveling salesman problem. Other than directly testing every route, there is no faster way to find the shortest possible route. This problem grows exponentially more complex with the number cities, in fact there are 40,320 possible routes with just 8 cities.
This principle holds true for optimizing user behavior on your website. Adding and testing every call-to-actions, pages in the navigation, hyperlinks, and footer links, to find the best possible "conversion path" would be impossible.
image of spreadsheet
The next best solution is continuous improvement through rapid development, detailed testing, focused learning that creates a stream of knowledge that informs and empowers other departments.
Focus on a strategy that works for your strengths. There is no such thing as a perfect strategy because there are infinite possibilities to what route will to achieving your mission.
Then you need to break your strategy down into core focus areas.
What are you big plays for the year, what projects are you getting behind.
Set targets that you can effectively build smart monthly plans from. You don't want to plan out content for more than a month. To stay relevant you should have a mix of content that is being repurposed and content that you are optimizing around keywords and for optimization.
This will guide your daily activity and provide context to communication. Break down
Followed by omitting anything that's a possible distraction.
Omissions may be just as important as your strategy, if not more important. They tell everyone exactly what not to focus on for the year. To stay focused you not only need to know what you're doing, but also what you're not doing. Making these decisions upfront can help you to avoid certain struggles that only divide your attention.
Finally, what in the world to be tracking.
To get a clear view of performance and progress along the way, you need to know what the target is. Define the target so you know exactly when you arrive. From here, start to think about how you can organize your key performance indicators as subsets of your objective. This will help you to correctly weight each contribution.
Operating your content marketing inside a solid framework is the key to success. Your framework will act as the process, the system, that allows your team to effectively execute content marketing.
Your content marketing framework is set up to deliver a specific result. Your team is operating processes inside of the framework.
This is how you build a predictable and scaleable content marketing machine. By designing your framework to deliver a specific result, the only step left is following directions.
To effectively develop a content framework that works for you, you need to know the state of your current operation. Sign up for a content audit with a certified content marketer so you can develop the right framework for your goals.
If you're of the 39% of marketers who actually have a documented content strategy, how did you go about developing your own framework? Anything else you would add?