Some businesses are fairly easy to quantify. Numbers are how they know that they're successful.
If you're selling units of anything, you're tracking your numbers because they represent the health of your business almost definitively.
How many units did you sell this year? How many more than last year? Are you hitting your revenue targets? How much inventory do you have on hand? There are a million of these sorts of questions.
Then there's a fuzzier one: what is your customer acquisition cost? In short - how much money are you spending to acquire each new customer? (or client, or buyer, etc.)
While many businesses can put a dollar figure on this, how they're acquiring customers can get a little bit harder to track.
Take social media, for example
In recent years social media has become a key tool for client and customer acquisition for businesses of all sizes.
Where it once might have been novel for a product to advertise on Instagram, or for a small business to have a Facebook page, today social media platforms are where your customers and clients are going first to find you.
Where we once all watched television commercials (remember the days before PVR?) and were catered to on our big screens, now we're catered to on our small ones.
An effective social media strategy does not revolve around a 'one trick pony.' A single post on any platform will not make any significant or noticeable dent in revenues, just as a single airing of a television or radio commercial would have a limited reach.
Instead, social media promotion involves a complicated, calculated strategy of how and when to reach the right audience, and with what approach. Everything from which platforms to use to which hashtags will be effective to which groups to join make a difference in that ultimate customer and client acquisition.
It can also take at least 8 separate impressions before somebody picks up their phone, or opens their wallet. A single viewing of an ad usually isn't enough to do it, but establishing your business or brand as a presence in the market through multiple impressions is what starts to leave an imprint.
The reality of social media is that for as effective as your strategy is - you never know exactly who's seeing or engaging with that post at any given moment. Instead you make best efforts by monitoring your digital marketing spend, monitoring any increase in your online activity, and keeping an eye on any changes in revenue.
You'll also gather results by asking questions. Ask new customers how they heard about you, just like you would ask any new clients who referred them. Partly it's to thank any referral source (if they're a person), but it's also to recognize what of your efforts are actually working.
Writing works the same way
Social media and content writing often play in the same space, and so it's no surprise that their impact is often measured by the same metrics.
Content writing is a hard game to measure. Much like social media, you can track the readership metrics on a published piece of digital content. You can tell how many people have read something on your website, at what time, what part of the world they are from, what sort of device they are using, etc. - all of which can be helpful data.
Yet to think that one single post or one single update is enough to revolutionize your business is a fool's errand.
It is amazing what a great piece of content can do. If something is informative, educational, and engaging, word gets around. People not only read your content, but are inclined to share it with others who may be interested. Readership may track higher than expected. If topical, it might even get picked up by the media for additional exposure.
A single post in isolation though, no matter how much traction it may get, is a flash in the pan if it stands alone. Unless you give readers a reason to keep coming back, they're not going to have any reason to return.
Instead, an effective content strategy runs for the long haul. It involves producing content that keeps your audience informed, educated, and engaged. It's about answering the questions that your readers are asking themselves about your business and industry, and becoming a helpful resource by providing key insight into important topics and issues.
It involves looking at your copy across various media, and making sure that one is as engaged as the next. A great and informative website will look dated if the blog hasn't been updated since 2019. Similarly, a great LinkedIn following can only go so far if it connects you back to a tired, outdated, unimpressive website.
Most of all, though, a great strategy involves telling your stories. Stories are some of the best and easiest ways to engage your readers across most any platform. Tell your story, and tell the stories about how you can help - both the person reading, and the people who they might know and share your content with.
It may be hard to pinpoint what precise word or sentence gets someone to connect, but a long term effective content strategy, just like a long term effective social media strategy, is a great way to invest in your marketing while keeping those customer acquisition costs in check.
Take a look at your current strategy, and your current content output. Is there a strategy at all? If there is, is it up to date? Is it working for you, and having the impact that you want it to? Does it accurately represent where your business is today, and where it's headed in the future?
If it's working for you, great! If it's not though, it's probably time to try something new.
Reach out today and let's book a time to chat about where your content is today, and how we can shake things up to better engage your desired audience. It won't happen overnight, but broadening your long term reach and becoming more engaging is a great way to build your brand without breaking your bank.
You never know where stories can take you.