22 ROI Examples of Content Marketing showing Hard Business Results
In the end CEO’s prefer to see clear results. Hard business results. They want to see the ROI of Content Marketing.
In this article I show you those hard business results using 22 examples of companies that used content marketing, and which had clear business results. These are not business results in terms of brand lift, social following increase, or whatever vanity metric you can come up with.
I will show you real cases, providing you with real numbers, where content marketing is increasing revenue for both B2C as B2B companies.
Before we jump into those 22 cases of hard cold business results of content marketing, first a little intro on the business value of content marketing.
Scroll down hard if you can’t wait to get to the goodies ;-)
The Business Value of Content Marketing
The value of content marketing doesn’t need to be proven anymore. Kapost, Hubspot, and many more have endless numbers of statistics available. It has become thé preferred marketing strategy of modern marketers.
- Cold, Hard Content Marketing Stats – Kapost
- 50 Stats You Need To Know About Content Marketing – Newscred
- 15 Shocking Content Marketing Statistics to Prepare You for 2014 – Inbound Writer
- Over 100 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2014 – Toprank blog
- 2013 Brands Redefining Content Marketing – iMedia Connection
- Content Marketing Strategy & Content Marketing Case Studies – Newscred
- Content Marketing Case Studies – LinkedIn
- Case Studies | Content Marketing Institute – Content Marketing Institute
- Six case studies that prove the power of content marketing … – Econsultancy
- B2B Marketing Case Studies – Anders Pink
But it’s much harder to find those that are willing to share hard business results.
Content Marketing with Hard Business Results
Just click on the link of any of the above sections to jump straight to the section you are interested in.
Here they come…
Tambo Blanquillo (small travel company)
Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, about as deep as it’s possible for tourists to go, is a family-owned lodge called TAMBO BLANQUILLO.
- 160% increase in unique visitors
- +661% email subscribers
- 52% ROI in 4 weeks
Good Greens Bars (small food company)
- 50% sales increase in 4 months
- 50kUSD in sales per month
Natural Stonescapes (small landscaping firm)
It was 2013 before Mark Higginson decided to create a website for his successful landscape design and construction business. But within weeks of launching naturalstonescapes.ca, the website had generated $200,000 in new business for the Meaford-based company – an impressive 4000% ROI.
- 200kUSD in new business
DirkZwager (lawyer office)
- 10% of customers via the web.
- 1 million pages views and 500k Unique visitors
- News app downloaded 35.000 times.
- Considered the most innovative office in their category.
Those where the small to medium companies. Here come the B2C companies…
ZAGG (online retailer of mobile accessories)
ZAGG, an online retailer, knows its blog results in sales, as it earns 172% ROI and 10% of the company’s site traffic.
- 172% ROI increase through blog
- Blog draws 10% of the site traffic
- 60% of blog traffic are from new visitors
Zillidy (personal lending)
Personal lending company Zillidy launched in 2012 with a view to making a name for itself as an alternative to the established consumer banking industry.
It relied on content marketing to build awareness of its brand and concept, attract press coverage, build and nurture active communities in social media, publish authoritative content, draw targeted traffic to the website and convert that traffic to preliminary online loan applications.
To achieve its goals, Zillidy implemented the following course of action:
- The website was made “stickier” by recommending engaging forms of content such as video, press coverage snippets and customer testimonials on the homepage.
- Site architecture was modified to funnel more visitors into the online application, thus improving the conversion rate optimization for the site.
- It published weekly blog content, which typically covered Canadian startups and personal finance advice-driven topics, and also contributed with highly authoritative articles in places like the Huffington Post and New York Times.
As a result of the new strategy:
- Zillidy’s social media audience grew from under 100 people to more than 1,000.
- Search impressions increased 1,350% in the first ten months of the engagement.
- Over 2,500 unique social shares were earned from editorial content from January through October 2013.
- Most importantly, online applications steadily improved each month.
City Index (financial services)
In September 2012 financial services company City Index launched a Trading Academy to give eight wannabe traders the chance to win £100,000.
The competition led to the best ever month for account openings, and a boost in organic search rankings. Here are the results:
- 20m impressions generated by the #TradingAcademy Twitter feed.
- 1m views across all content channels.
- 67,000 clicks generated by the #TradingAcademy Twitter feed.
- A 1443% increase in social referral visits.
- 81% increase in unique site visitors.
- 60% increase in PPC acquisition for brand terms.
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.
- Infographic gave 96% increase in revenue from their emails
- 3,9 million views of which 90% new visitors
Those where the B2C examples. Now come the B2B companies…
Whitepapers, webinars, events, case studies and videos aimed at specific personas, buyer concerns, industries and departments beckon online visitors to the website. Then, as buyers enter the database through a demo, free trial or gated content asset, 36 automated email nurturing programs deliver timely and relevant content based on buying stage and persona.
- Shorted sales cycle
- Doubled their pipeline in 2012
- 127% of their revenue goals in the first 6 months.
InsideOut (corporate training services)
Corporate training company InsideOut began content marketing in 2012 to try and shake up its marketing strategy, which previously had focused on outbound, sales-based communications, especially in its email program.
- 20% higher clickthrough rate.
- 87% lower opt-out rate.
- 388% more leads generated.
ADP (business services)
Multi-Touch and Integrated ADP is a Fortune 500 company that offers various business processing services like payroll and human resource management. ADP’s Value Added Services division created a quarterly, multi-touch campaign using unique themes that included a mix of digital assets such as infographics, “cookbooks” and other collateral.
- 3,7MUSD in revenue
- 23MUSD in pipeline
- ROI for Q1-Q3 : 905%
SunGard Availability Services (IT services)
Sungard provides IT operations support and serves more than 70% of Fortune 100 companies. SunGard Availability Services created a video series based around the holidays, injecting humor into educational content on pain points and industry trends. The company analyzed its audience’s content consumption patterns, and used the data to map out a campaign that would promote the content across multiple touch points via email, social, PR and paid media at a time when the audience would be expecting it.
- Over 3,000 leads generated in 3 days.
- Email click and click to open rates were 2-3X average.
- CTAs to download a white paper at the end of the videos had a 87.4% click-through rate.
Newscred (marketing software & services)
Newscred is an end-to-end content marketing software technology providers. They run their content marketing using 4 blogs per day, 2 whitepapers, 1 webinar and 1 though leadership piece per month. Amplification is done using Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and are using Slideshare for infographics and presentation. “Publish daily, distribute broadly, is the mantra of the successful content marketer” they say. Not that difficult when you see it in a list. Of course having the right technology helps. And Newscred is using its own content marketing software.
- $5Million in revenue in the first 8 months of 2014, through content
- This equals for 70% of their revenue.
Toshiba (point-of-sale systems technology)
Integrated Demand Generation Campaign
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions offer integrated in-store solutions which are implemented in 60% of the top 25 global retailers. Toshiba created a series of content assets based on omni-channel retailing including an infographic, checklist, executive brief and an eBook.
- Over 19,000 opens,
- 1,100+ clicks and
- 309 leads generated.
IBM (technology & services)
Integrated Demand Generation Campaign
IBM is a $100 billion company with 431,212 employees. The IBM “Smarter Commerce” program challenged industry executives to recognize and rethink about the value of empowered customers. A microsite provided content for each of the IBM 12 lines of business buyers and included a mix of digital assets: video, eBooks, case studies, white papers, and reports – each tailored for distinct Lines of Business audiences.
- The program overall has had over 38,000 impressions,
- 100,000 page views and
- over 13,000 responses.
The leads generated from this program have been high quality and have rapidly progressed through the pipeline, generating significant wins for IBM.
Xerox (document solutions)
Xerox created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips.
- 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite,
- readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns,
- added 20,000 new contacts,
- generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments,
- and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.
Logicalis (IT solutions and managed services)
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.
Hubspot (marketing software)
Hubspot is an all-in-one marketing software platform for small and medium-sized businesses. 4,000+ companies use HubSpot to generate over 500,000 leads per month. They produce case studies, videos, podcasts, webinars, and ebooks for their audience, educating them about their industry. All of these educational tools help HubSpot customers use the platform more effectively. Last year, HubSpot revenues grew +81%, year over year, to $29 million. The company reported it gained 2,000 new customers. The company’s “service marketplace” partners generated an average of $75,000 in revenue, each, using HubSpot’s platform.
- +81% in revenue in 2013
- Gained 2000 new customers
Monetate (marketing technology)
Monetate is a young marketing technology company in the US. They hired a 3-person content team but their content doesn’t talk about Monetate. Rather, the content team mines information Monetate collects in order to create compelling content about trends in the industry, giving their “subscribers” – customers and prospects – news they can use. Visits to the website increased 255% and unique visits jumped 353%. Best of all, sales doubled in 6 months as a result of this effort.
- Website traffic increase 255%
- Unique visitors increased 353%
- Sales doubled.
Fisher Tank (manufacturing)
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 (marketplace for marine industry)
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.
- 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%.
Newtec, a Belgian satellite technology equipment manufacturer, started investing in content marketing. Within 1 year it saw a 32% increase in web traffic, while previously the organic growth was 2%. Using landing pages, ebooks, webinars and blog post, amplified via email and social media, its social following grew 57% on LinkedIn and Twitter, Youtube and Slideshare received 50k+ views. Lead generation using a marketing automation platform generated 800KEUR worth of marketing qualified leads revenue within 1 month after using the automation platform.
The indirect return, measured in press attention, being asked to tender in large project and thought leadership visibility are estimated at 10 to 15 Million Euro in 1 year.
- 32% increase in web traffic
- 57% increase in social following
- 50K+ Youtube and Slideshare views
- 800kEUR in MQL
- Indirectly, estimated 10 to 15 million euro ROI
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this rundown. If you want to follow this blog, just drop your email below.
Tom De Baere