A detailed breakdown of the ROI you can expect in the first 12 months that you work on content with Nutgraf.
Yesterday, I was chatting with Evan Kurland, formerly the Associate Director of the famous B2B performance marketing agency called Directive. Evan has just started offering an amazing new service where he helps in-house marketing teams thoroughly vet agency partners to make sure they receive the most value out of an engagement.
So naturally, I had to ask Evan what he thinks of our content marketing services here at Nutgraf. After taking a look at our website and brand, he pointed to an obvious flaw. Sure, we claim we offer revenue expansion for no-code content marketing teams. But we don’t actually have any numbers to show how much of a revenue increase we can offer.
Our current case studies talk about KPIs (aka, key performance indicators) like search rankings, website traffic, conversion rates, and demo signups — all very important stuff — but they do not offer actual numbers in terms of an ROI. So, I took his advice. I crunched some numbers to figure out the potential ROI of my engagement with Glide. And now, I’m writing this article to break down the step-by-step process we use to calculate the potential returns from a typical engagement with any client.
Generally speaking, it’s never a good idea to enlist a content marketing agency unless they can guarantee a minimum ROI of 300% in the year following the first 12 months of your engagement.
That means if you invest $10K per month or $120K a year in an agency, you should expect a return on investment of at least $360K or more if they are really good at their job. (‘Cause otherwise, why would you want to work with them?)
If you find yourself wondering if this is a realistic bottom line expectation, consider this: most no-code startups already have some kind of content motion in place. It’s also usually a lot cheaper, and more flexible, to just contract a team of freelancers to outsource some of your SaaS content production if you find your in-house B2B marketers to be really swamped.
But, to take on the additional overhead of managing an agency relationship, not to mention the very real cost increase when you hire agencies that are worth their grain of salt — you don’t want to do that unless they guarantee returns that are leaps and bounds ahead of what even a high-quality freelancer can offer.
Of course, first you have to understand how we come to this calculation. There are a number of different factors that impact the effectiveness of SEO content, but not all of them are measurable. Thankfully, there are a few educated guesses that you can make, which if you combine with the results that good agencies currently offer, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of how much of a return to expect.
First, is your Average Deal Size. This is the amount of revenue your SaaS can expect to generate on average from a single client over a 12-month period. Then, you have a number of other metrics, from the average traffic per piece of content for your competitors, to the typical conversion rates and average win rate in your industry, to the number of content pieces you are actually producing each month.
Crunch these numbers together, then pit them against your website’s current Domain Rating per an SEO platform like Ahrefs, and you’ll start to see what to expect out of your engagement. Once you have those numbers, simply subtract from them the amount of money you’re investing into your content marketing efforts over the next 12 months. There’s how you measure ROI.
All of that brings me to the point in question. What’s the ROI of a typical engagement with Nutgraf? (And a quick shoutout to Evan for encouraging me to think on this. I highly recommend checking out his consultation services if you’re in the market for an agency.)
We offer a lot of things that set us apart from other agencies in the SaaS space. We’re hyper-focused in the no-code startup segment, we have hands-on experience with product marketing, we use investigative journalism to extract insights for original content, and we have a killer strategy process to get you smoothly from A to B.
Many of these things are hard to quantify. Others, not so much. So, I once again crunched the numbers for a future content marketing campaign with a no-code client in the product feedback management space. Note that this is an actual no-code SaaS that we’re in the conversation with about a potential long-term engagement right now. In fact, we’re probably going to show this to them when we have our sales call.
So, this company has a budget of $10K/month. With Nutgraf, that’s enough to get them:
With an annual investment of $120K a month, a typical engagement with any other (good) agency will strive for a 600-800% ROI as per current B2B marketing benchmarks. They’ll probably throw in 4-5 pieces of content instead of the 3 that we offer. They won’t usually offer social media assets. But, more importantly, content distribution is not going to be part of that offer for most agencies.
Why does content distribution matter? 90% of the B2B content agencies that offer distribution services don’t do it well, or they don’t do it at all. They expense your B2B marketing budget to support more pieces of content creation per month rather than asking you to invest in a long-term distribution strategy, simply because there’s more margin in it for them.
Sadly, this leads to a gross underutilization of your content assets. But because Nutgraf is focused on maximizing your ROI from each piece of content rather than simply asking you to create more, we pair each piece of content we create for you with a concrete distribution strategy. And this is not run-of-the-mill distribution strategy. We don’t just write a few posts for your social pages or hand you a list of influencers to reach out to on your own.
Instead, we allocate a significant portion of your monthly retainer to work with our distribution partners. They make sure that each piece of content that we produce for you is picked up by leading outlets in the no-code SaaS space. (Think Fast Company, Crunchbase, Teachable, and HubSpot.) This ensures that you can squeeze the maximum revenue possible out of each content piece, leading to a 70-100%+ increase in whatever ROI any other content marketing agency can guarantee you for that specific budget.
Going back to our example of a potential customer’s engagement with Nutgraf, the no-code product feedback management SaaS investing $10K/month in Nutgraf’s content journalism can expect to see a 2000%+ annual ROI once they break even after the first 12 months of their engagement with us.
That means, with a minimum deal size of $160 a month per paying customer and a standard conversion rate of 3% per article, assuming that about 20% of those 3% conversions are paying customers, they can expect an ROI of $1,944,000 USD (~2160%) for the $120,000 USD they invest in the first year with Nutgraf. That’s more than twice the value they get from an engagement with even the best content marketing agencies in the world.
Keep in mind, these aren’t exact projections. We make a few assumptions here and there regarding their current conversions and close rates. But, in the end, the results can also very well be more than what we are calculating here. It just depends on the actual quality of the product, the effectiveness of your sales team to capture MQLs, and the typical retention rate of a paying customer who signs up with you.
Nutgraf is currently taking clients ahead of our full launch in Q1 2024. If you’re interested in partnering with a no-bullshit content marketing agency that cares about driving material revenue for your no-code SaaS, let’s set up a 30-minute discovery call where we can chat 1-on-1.