How To Measure Content Marketing ROI And Use Results To Grow Your Business
“To continue winning the internet marketing game, your content has to be more than just brilliant—it has to give the people consuming that content the ability to become a better version of themselves.”
– Michelle StinsonRoss, Managing Director of Marketing Operations, Apogee Results
Content marketing is a long-game strategy that can yield great return on investment (ROI), and who doesn’t want to see those great results? But content marketing can only produce great ROI if you invest the time to strategize and create excellent content for your audience.
Are you writing weekly blogs but not seeing those turn into sales? Does your content get a lot of engagement but you’re not seeing that same success with sales numbers? Do you know exactly how to measure content marketing ROI and put those numbers to use?
Surprisingly, 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2B marketers do not measure their content marketing ROI. Yeesh, why are so many people not taking advantage of this valuable information?
It can be challenging to find valuable information on how to measure ROI—a lot of what you’ll find is either much too vague or is way too high-level for what you need and have time for. We understand, learning how to measure content marketing ROI and consistently doing it is tedious and time-consuming. It’s a lot of hard work, but if you understand the value of that hard work, it’s totally worth it, even if that means hiring a content strategy team to take the tasks off your plate.
Why Measuring Content Marketing ROI Is Crucial For Success
We know that content marketing is currently at the center of the marketing game, and we also understand that keeping track of the success of marketing efforts is extremely valuable information to utilize. In particular, content marketing is one of the most important things you can track for your small business, then you’re able to tailor content towards what’s working and figure out exactly how content marketing drives sales for your brand.
Tracking the performance of content marketing efforts allows you to see what content and which channels are driving the most sales. By having this information, you can continuously update and refine your content marketing strategies to meet the needs, questions, concerns, and inquiries of your audience. When you understand what your audience wants, you can then deliver as much value through content marketing as possible.
Because content marketing can be time-consuming for whoever’s creating and posting content for your brand, upper-level management is going to want to see hard facts showing that all the time you’re spending creating and sharing content is worth their pretty penny. Measuring ROI will allow you to show the CEO that it’s worth the time and effort. If you can show them the numbers, you’ll continue to have the approval.
Measuring content marketing ROI also lends itself to stronger sales conversations. Because you know what the people in your audience are searching for and engaging with, you can personalize sales conversations based on the engagement and behavior that’s already happening with your branded content.
How to Measure Content Marketing ROI
Yes, it may be a head-scratcher, but keeping track of the performance of your content marketing can lend itself to business success. So before you call it quits, consider what you’re measuring and understand why it’s important to calculate.
Are you measuring traffic, bounce rate, clicks? Do you know what to measure and why?
The key to content marketing success doesn’t end with creating content, you must also distribute it and track data. If this all sounds like a bit much, don’t worry quite yet. Use this step by step guide to measure your brand’s content marketing ROI. It’s simple, even if you’ve never done it before. And if you have done it before and have already started tracking metrics, that’s a great start, but try taking it a step further.
1. Assign The Right Goals
This number one tip is the number one most important step in measuring content marketing ROI. Without goals, you’re going to be pushing forward directionless.
So often people say that their goals aren’t measurable. That’s simply not the case. Keeping track of how content marketing drives sales can and should be done consistently to align with your goals. An easy way to do this is to set business goals based on the metrics you’re going to measure.
Jay Baer discusses four types of metrics in the eBook A Field Guide To The 4 Types Of Content Marketing Metrics. The metrics he discusses can be measured to help marketers and business owners understand how their content impacts business. These four metrics are:
Consumption Metrics: Consumption metrics help you understand how many people viewed, downloaded, watched, or listened to your content. This metric will help measure website traffic and brand awareness.
Sharing Metrics: Depending on the places that your content gets shared depends on the amount of consumption it will have. Sharing metrics help you keep track of sharing on different channels and measure brand awareness and engagement.
Lead Generation Metrics: Often one of the biggest goals marketers have, lead generation is an important metric to pay attention to. These metrics will help understand lead generation, management, and nurturing of those leads.
Sales Metrics: Every business wants as many sales as possible, right? Sales metrics will help you understand if the content you’re creating and sharing is converting to sales and making your business money.
Use a SMART Goal Tracking Tool to help you set the right goals and keep track of your metrics. By using a SMART tool, you can make sure your goals are:
- Time Bound
2. Calculate Investment
Like we said before, content marketing can be a time-consuming beast, but if you have the resources and prove the success your content is creating for your company, it is in fact worth the time.
In order to measure your ROI, you have to calculate the amount of money your business is investing into content marketing. Now, this calculation is not just about the time it takes to create the content you’re publishing, but the time and money spent for the entire content marketing process.
In addition to tracking the time it takes to create (or curate) content, you must also calculate the time it takes to publish, promote, and reevaluate your content, as well as the ad money spent promoting that content.
If you’re working with an agency to create content and set up campaigns, this calculation might be an easy one to figure out. But if you’re executing content marketing internally you’ll need to put in a little more work. If this is the case, try keeping track of the time and ad money spent for a period of 3-4 months and find an average that you can continue to use in the future.
3. Calculate Profit
How many customers did your content return and turn into sales? This is something you’ll need to acquire analytics tools to determine. Good news is that there are many resources and tools to help you figure this out, ones that are fairly simple to use. Google Analytics or CRM software are the best routes to go when it comes to calculating profit.
When you’ve acquired the needed information from one of your analytics tools, a simple math equation will give you the numbers you need. Databox shows a great way to calculate profit, but basically you’ll just need to do the following:
ROI = [(Net Revenue x Average Number of Customers) – Investment] / Investment
Let’s walk through an example together. You determine that creating, publishing, and promoting a blog post costs $7,000, and on average your content converts 50 customers per month. If the total net revenue you receive from those 50 customers is $30,000, then:
ROI = (30,000 – 7,000) / 7,000 = 3.29
The ROI you get for this single blog post is 329%. Now that’s math that’s worth it!
Even though these numbers look excellent, not all content will perform as well as others. Determine what’s working best for your brand and continue on that content marketing track. And remember, content takes time and so do these calculations, but they’re worth it!
4. Apply Findings To Refine Your Content Strategy
Now that we’ve demonstrated how to find ROI for a single blog post, you can now determine which posts have the highest ROI. When you return to those well-performing posts, assess the reasons that they’re so loved by your audience and refine your content strategy where appropriate.
Remember to keep your goals in mind and return to them to determine whether the ROI supports those goals.
Need An Expert?
Content takes time and strategy, and so do analytics and ROI calculations. Are you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to creating, publishing, and strategizing content marketing? Or maybe you’re just in need of a few more eyes (and brains) to help you get on the right track with your content. Beers a good place to start.
Buy Us a Beer and let’s have a strategic conversation about what’s going right with your content marketing and what could use a pick-me-up.