Content ROI

Unlocking Business Value: The ROI of Technical Content

Rita Khait, Director of Customer Enabelment at Zoomin

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In the modern business landscape, it is ever more crucial to ensure that each investment, each decision, and each strategy contributes to the business's success. This is particularly true for technical content, which is traditionally perceived as a siloed cost center. From user guides and FAQs to tutorials and product documentation, technical content is a pivotal part of the customer experience, trust in the brand, and the capabilities of the business. Yet, its value is often underestimated or poorly communicated, leading to underinvestment and missed opportunities.

Why focus on the ROI of technical content?

It's simple: to demonstrate its tangible value to stakeholders within our organization, justify budgets or approve purchases of new technology, and align our work more closely with the overall business and management goals.

The ROI of technical content is more than a number. It's a testament to your work's value, impact on customers, and contribution to your business's bottom line.

What to measure?

Remember, not everything that can be counted, counts. While it's tempting to measure everything, it's crucial to focus on the right KPIs - ones that reflect management's values and are realistically measurable. What are the company's goals and priorities this year? Is it reduction in cost, customer retention or business expansion? These are the questions you need to answer in order to align your efforts with business objectives and demonstrate value.

Building trusted relationships with key stakeholders is crucial for understanding what they value and how your work can support them. For example, work with your Support department to understand the top user problems and how your technical content can address these issues. Regularly engage with Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and other teams to align your goals, and measure the impact of your technical content on their objectives.

Remember, creating value is essential, and if you can deliver something that others find helpful or valuable, that's a win!

From Baseline Metrics to Impact Analysis

To calculate ROI, you need to track specific metrics over a period of time. Start with low-hanging fruits - metrics that are easily accessible and quickly demonstrate your work's impact.

We recommend starting with what we at Zoomin call “core infrastructure metrics” such as traffic, search and content-related data points, and work from them to “core business metrics”. For example, to measure the self-service rate (one of the business metrics that your Support organization can care for) you should know the total number of sessions to your documentation and the total number of “how-to” cases submitted.

Before you can calculate ROI, you need to have a clear picture of the "before" and "after" states of each of the metrics. Start if you haven't been already. Measure the impact after you've implemented activities that could influence your technical content's effectiveness. This will enable you to demonstrate progress and impact.

Translating the impact of your technical content into monetary terms is a powerful way to communicate its value. Instead of saying that you've reduced the number of support tickets by a percentage, show how this has saved the company money.

Finally, present your achievements in a compelling story. For example, "We reduced the time to publish our release notes from 10 days to 4 hours. This has reduced the number of release-related tickets and resulted in $100,000 savings over two years”.

Remember, the ROI of your technical content is more than a number - it's a testament to the value of your work, the impact on your customers, and the contribution to your business's bottom line. By focusing on ROI, we can ensure that our technical content is not just an operational function, but a strategic asset that drives business value and growth.

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