I probably don’t need to convince you of the value of content marketing as much has been written on the topic in the past few years.

However it can still be difficult to measure the precise ROI of content marketing, as one can’t simply point to a blog post or YouTube video and say it definitely led to someone making a purchase.

However there are methods of proving the value of content marketing to an organisation, as highlighted by these case studies.

And for more on this topic, download our content marketing periodic table or the skills matrix.

And head over to our new(ish) Case Study Database if you need further real world examples...

SunGard AS

A common marketing tactic is to draw a tenuous link between a product and seasonal or newsworthy events – step forward software company SunGard AS and its campaign describing how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The zombie-themed content was used to generate awareness among IT professionals for SunGard AS cloud products in the run up to Halloween. It included an ebook on zombie apocalypse survival as well as an infographic.

Both were tied back to SunGard AS’s product offering with a CTA that directed users to a landing page detailing how to improve resilience without breaking the bank.

Overall it achieved a 150% greater clickthrough rate than the company’s other campaigns and delivered a 200% higher click-to-open rate.

Most importantly, the zombie content generated 24 leads.

Logicalis

Logicalis used content centred around thought leadership to help build up its HP sales pipeline among existing contacts.

The marketing department designed six email creatives, an ebook and an eight-page microsite that enabled the telesales team to personalise messages based on a prospect’s participation in the campaign.

Logicalis targeted 2,000 existing and prospective customers, with these results:

  • 11% to 15% click-to-open rate for the microsite.
  • 100 to 200 unique opens from each email.
  • Nearly $8m in closed and new pipeline business.

Zagg

Blogging has been a spectacularly successful marketing tool for Econsultancy, but even we can have problems giving a specific ROI on our endeavours.

However online retailer Zagg’s blog apparently delivers 10% of the site’s traffic and an ROI of 172%.

The mobile device accessory provider publishes 25 to 35 posts each week that are targeted at its tech-savvy audience.

60% of blog traffic comes from new visitors, so it’s an important way of bringing potential customers to the site.

Zagg pays three writers who are tasked with producing content that is shareable, popular, and also promotes its product range. This includes news, how-to articles and entertaining posts.

But the initial investment in hiring staff and building up the blog has clearly paid off.

HCC Medical Insurance Service

Infographics have been overused in recent years, but they’re still an effective medium for content marketing.

HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS) managed to increase blog traffic and email revenue using an infographic aimed at its travel customers.

The graphic had three sections:

  • The anatomy of the adventure traveller.
  • An adventure quiz.
  • Worldwide bucket list.

The idea was that the content becomes more interesting and shareable if there is an element of interactvity.

Once it was completed the graphic was initially shared with HCCMIS’s list of influencers before being shared more widely across social and via email.

Compared to its normal sales emails the infographic achieved a 96% lift in email revenue, while on Facebook the post that featured the graphic had more than 2,000 interactions compared to an average of 10.

Overall HCCMIS’s blog post featuring the graphic achieved 3.9m views, of which 90% were new visitors. 

Fisher Tank

Content marketing can even work for industries that might not appear to be all that sexy, as demonstrated by Fisher Tank, a company that makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks.

As you can imagine, Fisher Tank’s products have a long sales cycle and it has traditionally relied on cold calling or referrals from existing clients.

However the company altered its approach to include a greater focus on its new website, blog articles, and downloadable content such as a free comparison guide.

Just 12 weeks after launching the new site it achieved the following results, though it’s obviously important to note that not all of this can be directly attributed to content marketing necessarily:

  • Web traffic: 119% increase
  • Organic search traffic: 70% increase
  • Social traffic: 4,800% increase
  • Lead conversions: 3,900% increase
  • Page one keyword rankings: 600% increase
  • Quote requests: 500% increase
  • Value of new qualified sales opportunities from content marketing: $3.4m

ShipServ

ShipServ is an online marketplace for the marine industry, connecting suppliers and ship owners around the globe.

Its online offerings include a trading platform, supplier search tool, ordering guide and an ad network.

The problem ShipServ encountered was that its customers weren’t always that tech-savvy so many had issues with the switch to an online marketplace from more traditional purchasing channels.

To remedy this, the company implemented a content marketing strategy in 2008 with an initial budget of $30,000. ShipServ launched a new website, started blogging, published a series of white papers and created a LinkedIn group.

After three months ShipServ had broken even on its investment and achieved the following results:

  • Website visitors increased by 59%.
  • Contact-to-lead (landing page contact) conversions increased by 150%.
  • Lead-to-opportunity conversions increased by 50%.
  • Number of sales-ready leads increased by 400%.
David Moth

Published 8 September, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (2)

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Jarem Atkinson

Hi E-consultancy,

Thanks for the great article. Definitely a good reminder of the importance of content marketing in the mix for any company. Also, thanks for the great mention of the ZAGG Blog!

I am curious, being the social media & content marketing manager for ZAGG, how/where you sourced your #'s for the ZAGG Blog for this article? I'm not concerned or accusing anything, just curious?

Would you be willing to share? Thanks!

about 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Jarem, thanks for commenting. I got the info from this blog:

http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/e-commerce-blog-content-marketing#

about 3 years ago

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