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The Basics of Measuring Your Content Marketing ROI

“Did my content marketing efforts deliver a return on my investment?” It is probably the most common question digital marketers ask themselves. Measuring the success that a content marketing program has on revenue is essential.

Content marketing ROI is a percentage that shows how much profit you gained from content marketing compared to what you spent. ROI directly links to revenue which is why it’s the most critical measure of a content marketing campaign.

Challenges to Content Marketing ROI Measurement

Yes, it is somewhat difficult to measure content marketing ROI. Why? Because we need to know when to measure multiple touches, multiple influencers, and other extraneous variables. For example, it takes multiple touches to convert a lead into a sale, which makes it hard to allocate revenue to any individual touch.

How to Measure Content Marketing ROI?

Let’s take a look at this 4-step process to help you weigh the cost against the revenue.

1. How much did you spend on content production?

The cost of content production includes the salary of your in-house content creators, as well as external for any outsourced work.

2. How much did you spend on content distribution?

These include social advertising, PPC advertising, and other paid promotions across different media channels. Also, add the cost of software and tools required for content creation and distribution.

3. How much did you get in return?

Content is working, it generated leads, and they’ve turned into sales. In some cases, when people find your content, click on the CTA, and make a purchase, there is a direct link between content and revenue. Other times, it’s not as direct due to some less obvious content marketing metrics. In any case, add up all the sales that a piece of content generated, and that’s your return.

4. Calculate the ROI

For example, if you spent $300 on creating a piece of content and got $1500 worth of leads, then your ROI is 400%.

$1500-$300 = $1200

$1200/$300 = 4

4 x 100% = 400%

It’s simple: spend less on content production than you earn in sales, and your efforts will be worth it.

Important Metrics

The seven essential content marketing metrics are – sales, lead quality, social media engagement, onsite engagement, web traffic, exposure and authority, and SEO success. You don’t have to track all of them, but a few (depending on your goals.) A high content marketing ROI is achieved when:

– Sales or conversions are increasing. It is the end measure, but it shouldn’t be the only one because you’ll miss the big picture. Content marketing is not a quick sale but rather a slow process of building a reputation, trust, and brand awareness. Don’t look for significant, sudden differences but cumulative changes. The real value comes with customer loyalty.

– There is an increase in web traffic. The number of page views are rising, and that can easily be tracked. But what about engagement? Are your website visitors finding what they are after? What do they do when they arrive at your site? Where do they go next? How fast and at what point do they leave?

– You have high onsite engagement (low bounce rate). However, the bounce rate doesn’t tell everything. For example, if your visitors arrive at a simple landing page, find what they need in a few seconds, and click to go to the next page in their buyer’s journey – the goal is achieved even if your bounce rate is high.

– You receive high-quality backlinks. It is an important SEO factor, and your content should earn it if it is good quality. You gain backlinks when other websites start using your material as a resource, which helps raise your search ranking.

– Your content can get a lot of social sharing. Likes, Tweets, and shares are essential for your content marketing. It’s called offsite engagement, and it’s necessary because peer recommendations influence a lot of buying decisions. To track your social media traffic, use Google Analytics.

Remember the metrics you track depend on your content marketing goals. Now that you know how to do it – start thinking about ideas for some new and engaging content for your audience. If you get stuck, take a look at these content format ideas for inspiration.

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