One of the most common questions asked is – how often will it take for digital marketing to pay back my investment? This is a very sensible business question but one that is also very difficult to determine, bear with me as we explain this.
What happens for one blog might not happen for another. It is also difficult to ascertain how much financial reward blogging will earn you. Blogging is not a revenue generator; it is a brand awareness tool. As such, to create revenue it often relies upon other aspects of your business to earn its keep.
You could have the best blog in the world, but if your website design is not optimised, or your sales team not effective – the returns from the blog will be limited. Therefore, it is hard to put an exact figure on it.
The Number Of Posts
In fact, it is often not the length of time you have been blogging for but the amount you blog that determines when returns are made. Research has shown that traffic will increase naturally when you’ve published 50 or more posts. At the same time, more leads are generated when you publish 15 or more in a single month.
With this in mind, it is easy to see that those who blog more frequently are going to receive a return on their investments much sooner than those who irregularly blog.
There are many reasons why the frequency impacts the financial return of your blogging campaigns. Firstly, Google rewards those businesses that constantly update their websites by giving them higher search rankings. Secondly, there is a lot of content published every week, the more content you publish the higher the chance it will be found by online readers.
Thirdly, the more content you are publishing, the longer someone is going to spend on your site. This gives you a greater chance to convince them to make a purchase or provide contact details.
Yet, having 50 or more blog posts doesn’t guarantee you money. If your content is not aligned to the values of your target audience, they will have no interest in what you have written and will leave your site unsatisfied.
The Intangible Benefits
Digital marketing is not a sales force, it is a relationship builder. This is why your efforts have to be focused on building trust and establishing your brand’s presence. By concentrating on these you can start to develop long term leads that can eventually become good customers.
This form of return is invisible. Sometimes the customer will just appear at your shop and make a purchase and you’ll never realise that they know you know you from your blog or email marketing.
For example, we had a client who had an email marketing campaign going out once a week with a blog twice a week. One day they decided to call clients they hadn’t spoken to in a long time. When they phoned one, the old customer instantly recognised who the company was because of the emails and blog campaign.
This was very important news. It demonstrated that even though people weren’t making direct purchases, they were reading and absorbing the messages. If this is done regularly enough, as had been the case in this instance, then contacts will start to remember your brand. This makes conversations and sales easier and can therefore increase your sales.
However, it is often not a direct result of your digital marketing activities. Social media is directly involved in sales only 1% of the time; but half of consumers use social media to understand brands better. Therefore, in the long term, social media does make an indirect financial return for your business.
Yet it is hard to measure this impact because monitoring can be so inaccurate. How do you know that a customer first heard about you because of your blog if they bought something in your store? How do you know your social media was what attracted a new customer when they bought a product from a follow-up sales call?
Unless you have perfect monitoring systems it can be hard to accurately measure the financial impact of our digital marketing campaigns. Your campaigns might be contributing significantly, but you are left unaware.
Will Digital Marketing Make You Money?
Digital marketing is not about sales; it is about laying down the foundations for brand recognition and trusting relationships. Both of these are critical elements in selling but it is difficult to assign a monetary value due to poor measuring tools available. Therefore, don’t consider the financial reward digital marketing provides, instead consider the investment as an exercise to improve your reputation, customer relationships and brand identity.
How do you know whether your digital marketing campaign is making you money?
Let us know.