May 18, 2020 - Brittany Garlin

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Proving That Content Marketing Can Drive ROI with Manifest Digital

More businesses are relying on digital marketing to drive brand awareness and sales, but is this invested time and resources in content marketing driving ROI? Marketers have continually heard that “content is king”, but that phrase could not be more accurate than in today’s unprecedented times. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Any good content marketer knows the value of content marketing and can utilize this to help a business achieve its goals while nurturing their leads.

We were able to connect with digital marketing experts Jill Blocker von Bueren and Eric Shwegler from Manifest Digital, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Zurich, Switzerland. Manifest Digital focuses on providing highly personalized digital marketing services to a small group of clients, ensuring a flexible and targeted workflow with data-driven results. Manifest is comprised of both full-time employees and a reliable network of digital marketing freelancers, giving their clients the stability of a traditional agency with the agility and efficiency of the gig economy.

Let’s dive into some of the insights they provided us on proving content marketing can drive ROI.

Q1: Why is content marketing important?

Content marketing is about being able to communicate something to the consumer or end user. You can do this through various different channels and methods. For example, a blog post, a social media post and SEO website content. The important thing is being able to reach your desired audience with the content that relates to them and allows them to build a connection to the brand. 

Q2: What is content marketing ROI?

The measurement of ROI does not depend on the relation to the tactic that you’re using. The approach you take for ROI is the same you take for paid media or any other efforts. You want to see how your effort pays off for actual business goals. 

Some content marketing ROIs that we work with is the conversion rate to sale of a visitor who came to the website from a blog post or social media post. 

Q3: How do you measure content marketing ROI?

It really depends on the client and the client’s business. Content marketing is just another means for businesses to connect with their consumers and achieve their goals. The ROI can be measured the same as any other activity, such as paid media. The only difference is the input is often not as easily attributable as something like media cost.

The goal of content marketing is to build trust with the consumer and create a sense of authority as well as to drive traffic but ultimately you want the user to take a specific action (ie: make a purchase, become a lead, …) At Manifest Digital we’re always measuring the impact of any activity as clearly as possible. We don’t usually rely on proxy measurements on success. We don’t count a cheap CPCs or sessions as a success. We don’t consider “time spent on page” as a success. 

Q4: How do you measure ROI for off-site content?

Off-site content, such as social media posts, PR, or collaborations that occur outside of the brand’s website can still be tracked by looking at traffic sources. If someone follows a link from an outside source that goes to the brand site, you might be able to see it. Alternatively, organic traffic may increase during times. It’s important to have an awareness of all off-site activities, so you can see these changes in the data if they occur.

Q5: Do you utilize content marketing performance dashboards?

Google Data Studio, Power BI, and Tableau are some dashboards we use. Whether it’s content marketing or paid media, we use the same dashboards to report the performance on content marketing as we would use to report the performance of paid media.

Q6: What is the average cost of content creation?

The investment that you put into content marketing is the investment you get in return. You can post a photo to Facebook for free and reach your core followers, or you can invest in hiring a writer, videographer, or storyteller to create a blog post or article designed to perform well on social media, which can have a longer-term impact. The cost depends on the scope and the people necessary to do the job.

Q7: Does topic authority drive good ROI?

Of course, if you don’t have to convince the consumer of your brand then you will have a stronger ROI. It’s a competitive advantage to have a strong authority on your topic, whether that’s through digital content marketing, word-of-mouth, or traditional outlets.

Q8: Is ROI important for figuring out your customers lifetime value?

The return on investment is not important to establish the customer lifetime value, the customer lifetime value is important to define your return on investment. For most of our customers, we do not try to create one-time-purchase customers, we try to create lifetime customers.

Q9: How do you calculate ROI for customer lifetime value?

Customer lifetime value \ how much it costs to get the customer to buy.

Q10: What content marketing tools do you recommend?

For website hosting, we work a lot with WordPress. But for social media scheduling, we are fans of Hootsuite and Later, which allows us to organize and visualize content before publishing.

Thank You!

A giant thank you to Jill Blocker von Bueren, Eric Schwegler, and the rest of the Manifest Digital team that shared their insights with us. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts about content marketing and the topics discussed above. If you work at an agency and are interested in being a guest on our #FeatureFriday please reach out to

If you want to talk social media, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with social media marketers and creatives so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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