Here at Scripted, we recently undertook a month-long project to see how effective content marketing is in relation to other marketing channels. We measured our own webpage with Google Analytics over the four-week period to see where content marketing is most effective and provided our results for the Content Marketing Institute, which you can find here. I've shortened the article below, as well as included some thoughts as to how this might affect Scripted's writers and businesses.
We primarily looked at web traffic referral sources and new registrations to analyze effectiveness, and segmented our sources into six categories: content, outside content, press, social media, cold emails, and deal sites. All stats are from a four-week period. Content stats were pulled from the time period directly after a post was made, as were that of deal sites.
Content marketing was the most effective channel for us by a long-shot. It brought in almost half of new visitors, and these were high-quality leads as well. After being referred from our written work, visitors went on to view more pages (on average, our visitors go to 3.5 pages. Those coming from our content marketing efforts visited 4 pages).
After normalizing for effort put in to producing a blog post (since tweets are much easier to write, for example), blog posts would still have referred twice as many visits as social media. This means that, per word, our posts on social media websites saw half as many referrals as posts on a blog.
Content marketing attracts the most visitors of all our marketing efforts. Content marketing significantly outperformed other forms of marketing we were using. Posts written on other websites drew in significant amounts of traffic because we demonstrated expertise in the field. People were drawn in by that, and it showed in the numbers.
Content marketing creates higher engagement with your audience. When visitors are looking to make a decision on which service or website to use, they are drawn in by regularly updated blogs that indicate activity and expertise.
Content marketing is the best tool in your marketing arsenal. Potential customers are looking for thought leaders -- experts in the field. Having high-quality content on your company's webpage bolsters your online presence and provides visitors who are much more likely to become customers than any other referral source a company can control. The effort is worth it.
What this means for the Scripted writers and businesses:
Creating content presents a major dilemma to the average business. On one hand, as the data proves earlier, it's effective enough to merit the effort. By increasing SEO rank, content like blog posts bring in a regular flow of visitors. Writing content for larger media sources, like TechCrunch, can create an absolutely massive effect on a company's growth (one post brought in roughly 4000 referrals within four weeks). With the opportunities presented by content marketing, more and more businesses should be starting a company blog and creating more content in general.
On the other hand, it takes more time and more effort than drafting a few Tweets or Facebook posts. Building a loyal following for a company blog is a lot harder than getting more "likes." Each post requires more thought and effort than 140 characters.
This is a problem Scripted hopes to address. For the Scripted writer, it means now is a great time to be involved in this industry; with more and more businesses understanding the value of content marketing, there will an increasing number of jobs. This is a trend we've been seeing so far, and one we project will continue to grow.