Content ROI Best Practices

A content strategy can be highly effective at delivering an excellent return-on-investment (ROI), but only if the content is executed properly.

What does content ROI look like? For almost all of our clients, it means new revenue, either from installed base/existing customers or from prospects who convert into new customers.

Content accomplishes this by convincing your prospects that your team is extremely knowledgeable in the topic area and is decidedly insightful. In this instance, insightful means that your team sees trends, patterns and pattern deviations that your rivals miss. That encourages them to contact you and then your team does the rest.

Here are the Best Practices That Constitute an Effective Content Execution Plan


Blogs need to be easy to locate. Create a blog page for these pieces to live and then prominently—make that very prominently—and link to it from your homepage. Ideally, reference your blog page in the header on its own—as opposed to making it the ninth option under an "About Us" link.
Give it a name that clearly draws attention, such as "Security Insights" or "Our Take.” Or even simply "Blogs.” Also, reference the latest blog on your homepage as a story in order to draw people to your blog page.
Making your blogs difficult to find on your site will significantly diminish their value. Outstanding content of any kind will not advance your goals if your prospects, customers and other high-value readers cannot find them.


Marketing needs to use every tool at its command to tell people about the blog. You can't persuade anyone if they don't know about the content.

That means a lot of piggybacking on other marketing material. Add a link to your blog page in every newsletter and email to customers/prospects.

Mention it at the end of corporate speeches and other speaking or industry events. Include a link to the blog page in product brochures. Add during podcasts and news releases and every other document that includes boilerplate copy.


There are two categories of blogs: timely and not timely. If the blog in question is not timely (known in the content space as "evergreens"), such as a piece that explains the differences between various encryption approaches, immediacy might not be a factor.

Some of the most powerful blogs are tied into something that has happened (an unusual data breach with a Fortune 50 company, for example) or something that will happen (a regulatory change slated to kick in on an upcoming date or perhaps a tradeshow where you are unveiling some new products). More content jargon: This is called a news peg.


Once a blog is published, use informational (rather than decorative) images to draw prospects into that piece. This will let a reader quickly scan a page of blogs and easily find the topics that they care about. Readers are your friends; make life as easy for them as possible. Effective informational graphics include pie charts, bar charts and at-a-glance boxes (where the key points are listed as bullets).


Here is where things get interesting. To prove content ROI, your team needs to see a link between the content produced and the new revenue that materializes.

Unfortunately, many companies don't delve into the details enough to see if such a linkage exists.
For example, many companies will make a good start and ask prospects how they heard about the company and what made them the contact the company.

Prospects will often say "your website." That is an excellent beginning, but to demonstrate true ROI, you need to delve much more deeply. You need to ask "Where on the website? Was it a blog? If so, which blog? What about that blog made you contact us?”

Stats about pageviews, for example, can be misleading and irrelevant. If 400,000 users visit the blog page but none make any attempt to reach you, is that good or bad? Truth be told, it is impossible to know what it means.

The number of prospects is a much better indicator, but the literal number doesn't say much. Look at the prospects specifically. Do they have the right title?

Ask yourself: Is the content delivering your ideal prospects or the wrong people? That is criteria number one. If the content is delivering lots of the right prospects but they are not converting, the fault is likely not with the content but lies elsewhere. The function of B2B content is to attract the eyeballs of your ideal prospect.

Next, what do these prospects do? Do they convert? If yes. what is the size of their purchase? We have seen situations where one content operation's blogs deliver more leads. but not necessarily leads that convert to revenue. Our leads convert at a much greater degree and—critically—they purchase much more. That comes from directing content to enterprise-level executives.