I’ve got three words for you: content marketing ROI.
As marketers, we hear these words all the time — from clients, from our internal team members, from the C-suite. The thing is, you can stand up and preach the benefits of content marketing all day long, but the proof is in the pudding.
Sounds delicious, but what I’m talking about is real-life results achieved through a documented content marketing strategy implemented by experts.
At Influence & Co., we dedicate a lot of time to measuring, analyzing, and improving content marketing ROI. We’ve learned that when you align key metrics to goals, use the right tools and software, and have a dedicated team behind you, amazing results are possible.
But don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at our partnership with one of our clients, Hawke Media, and see for yourself what kinds of results are possible when you work alongside an outsourced agency to create content.
Brand-Building for the Long Run
Hawke Media considers itself an outsourced digital CMO. It provides customized full-service marketing and media solutions to its clients, which range from entrepreneurs and startups to marketers and e-commerce leaders.
Our partnership with Hawke Media CEO Erik Huberman and COO Tony Delmercado began when they identified branding as a goal. They needed help building their personal brands, as well as the Hawke Media brand, as industry leaders and experts in digital marketing.
Others in their position might have been drawn to a traditional PR approach — hiring a PR agency to help them land a few quick wins in the short term. But without a solid base of thought leadership content and established expertise, that traditional PR falls flat.
Instead of relying on short-term gains alone for brand building, Hawke Media’s leaders wanted to focus first on demonstrating their unique expertise and actually leading the conversations happening in their space.
Erik and Tony understood early on what a lot of leaders and marketing teams still struggle to grasp: One of the best and most sustainable ways to reach an audience, gain online exposure, and build a strong brand is through guest posting as part of a content strategy.
Turning Expertise Into Consistent Content
As marketing experts themselves, Erik and Tony had an idea of what an approach like this might require. They understood that successful content marketing — especially effective guest posting — depended on their unique insights.
With a dedicated content marketing team (which we call a “pod”) to support them, Erik and Tony can regularly share those insights and engage with the audiences that matter most to them. Guided by a documented strategy, this small team identifies the right online publications, ideates topics, and outlines articles and question sets for knowledge extraction. With Tony’s and Erik’s expertise, the team is then able to create, edit, and deliver content for the publications that their audiences read.
A consistent strategy is key to content marketing, so to establish that consistency, Influence & Co. recommended two guest articles a month for each thought leader. Between the two of them, Erik and Tony could cover both the entrepreneurial topics and the niche marketing topics that would most effectively speak to their company’s key audiences.
Speaking to these audiences meant targeting various publications. So, we homed in on specific marketing audiences through niche industry publications and amplified exposure and reach through larger, broader publications as well.
We’re still actively implementing Hawke Media’s content marketing strategy, so the results are ongoing. To date, though, Erik and Tony have contributed content to more than 40 online publications that their target audiences read, and each has secured a column at Entrepreneur.
Their content has helped them establish credibility among peers, potential clients, and future partners. They’ve seen their content serve as a powerful social validation tool, lead to organic PR opportunities, and bolster their applications for awards and speaking engagements. Plus, Hawke Media has been able to use its content to hire and retain top talent as the company continues its rapid growth, earning a No. 110 spot on the 2017 Inc. 5000.
You can access the full case study here for more details about Hawke Media, our partnership, and content marketing ROI.