Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

What’s the ROI of all this content?

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We’ve heard the question, right? What’s the ROI (the return on investment) for creating all of this content? Content marketing should be measurable, right? Every story out the door should bring in $253 per reader. Things on the web are easy to measure. So, what’s the ROI?

Some people have Tweeted, blogged and Facebooked responses like this:

  • What’s the ROI of putting on my pants in the morning?
  • What’s the ROI of being nice?
  • What’s the ROI of eating lunch?

You get the point, I’m sure. Most of us wouldn’t consider leaving the house without pants on. Being nice is not required necessarily, but if we aren’t, we’ll be grumpy and going through the day will probably not be as pleasurable as it could be. And we do have to eat lunch – or at least we have to eat.

Measuring ROI

I love metrics and websites (and content) that solve a problem for me or that help me make something easier. For example, I love how I can subscribe to receive certain items in the mail every month on the same day. So useful. But, Amazon isn’t really a content site! The ROI of having the software to make buying easy is that I buy more from them. But it’s an e-commerce site. Not a content site. Amazon sells us some of the content in the form of books and other things.

We can measure a lot of things around content. We can measure how many people buy something after reading a certain piece of content. We can measure if the red or the green button increases signups to one thing or another – like our newsletter.  We can track pages per visit, how long people stick around and all kinds of other things. Those are all good and useful things to know. And we should use them to improve the user’s experience and help our business. Yes, we should.

Measuring a different ROI

But can the ROI only be counted in dollars? Is that the only thing that matters? Yes, we want to make money to live well! But perhaps, there’s more to content creation than crafting a message that makes you buy something that you may not even have wanted to buy.

Maybe it’s about education, community connection and some of those things that aren’t nearly as measurable. Maybe it’s about sharing authentic stories about our companies, communities and families and to document them in a way that future generations can look back at them and can imagine what happened today. (Related post from my 2013 Barcamp talk here.)

What if the ROI of sharing content comes down to:

  • education.
  • closer connections.
  • self-exploration. (For example: Every time I blog I learn something, even though I’m the one writing it.)
  • documentation of history for future generations.
  • creating an organic database surrounding community issues.

Maybe the ROI of authentic stories shared by organizations has nothing to do with its immediate effectiveness of convincing people to buy something right now. Maybe it’s about helping us make sense of our communities and the integral parts of it.

Then, after everyone is sharing authentic and meaningful stories, we are more connected, educated and will probably even buy something from each other – if there’s something being sold besides knowledge.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life! Some articles may include affiliate links.

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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