Content Marketing ROI: The Best Tools, Methods, and Metrics to Measure Content Success
Before we begin, let’s consider the following stats:
“In a survey of companies using content marketing in their arsenal of digital marketing tools, 74% of companies said that content marketing helped increase their marketing leads, both in quantity and quality.” (Curata)
“Content marketing provides almost six times higher conversion rates than other digital marketing methods.” (ABG Essentials)
Content marketing is highly effective, as we all know, but just how do you measure its ROI to convince your boss to ask for a budget increase or to generate a report for your client!
There is no formula to measure content success. However, there are a few things you can focus on to evaluate your content’s performance:
- Define the goals you want to achieve
- Set their KPIs
- Track those KPIs
Now, your digital marketing goals can realistically be achieved by content marketing, such as increasing traffic, establishing trust, generating leads, and boosting lead velocity rate (LVR).
You should set goals and track KPIs for each piece of content you produce, including the repurposed content. For example, if you created a podcast and a video using a blog post, you can measure ROI on all three content formats.
Now, switch to the ideal frequency.
Almost 37% of content marketers measure the success of their content every week, while 26% do it every day.
What Is Content Marketing ROI?
Content marketing ROI is a crucial metric that justifies the spending on content marketing efforts compared to the monetary gains.
In general, we can understand it with the help of the following formula.
How to Calculate the ROI?
It isn’t easy to calculate the ROI on content marketing because the metrics marketers use can’t be directly linked with monetary gains. For example, page views, social engagement, and Time-on-Page have no direct bearing on the sales and profits of a business, but they surely contribute toward that.
Further, they don’t apply to every content marketing channel. For eg., a podcast doesn’t have anything equivalent to pageviews.
However, you can establish a relationship between a metric and measurable results such as leads and sales using data. For instance, you can calculate the average page views it takes to generate a lead or close a sale.
Still, different people may have different perceptions about these metrics as far as their contribution to sales is concerned. For example, for some marketers, the number of email subscribers and ebook downloads can be more important than page views and Time-spent-on-page.
So, here is a simple technique to calculate the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
List all the monthly-spend on content marketing, such as:
- External workforce cost (Agencies, experts, freelancers)
- Regular headcount
- Media spend
- Spend on technology (software, tools, subscriptions)
Simultaneously, you should also consider the returns such as visitors and leads, and calculate their dollar value in sales and profit. You can quickly establish it with the help of metrics such as traffic and lead conversion rate, etc.
You also need information about the sale rate, overall profit, and average selling price.
Here is an illustration that explains how you can calculate your content marketing ROI.
Below, we tell you the 4-step process for measuring content success.
4-Step Process for Measuring Content Success
Before we dive into measuring content marketing ROI, you need to understand how marketers measure content success. When measuring content marketing ROI, it’s essential to follow this 4-step process.
Step 1: Determine the Objectives of Your Content
Andrew Becks of 301 Digital Media says that the choice of metrics for tracking content performance should match your goal.
For example, direct sales and conversion should be the ideal metrics to track for an eCommerce business.
For a software tool or subscription-based service, tracking customer lifetime value (CLV) is more appropriate.
Choosing your yardstick to measure success is crucial irrespective of your industry or content type. According to Ollie Roddy, former Marketing and Business Development Manager of Catalyst Marketing, your content’s success largely depends on the goal it’s supposed to fulfill. If you are writing SEO articles, measuring your Google ranking for the targeted keyword is the perfect yardstick for performance measurement.
But, if you are writing content to answer questions and engage customers at different stages in the buyer’s journey, you should measure conversion rates. So, tracking is directly related to the goals set by you.
Step 2: Set KPIs for Each of Your Goals
KPIs are the metrics marketers choose to measure their campaign performance. For example, bounce rate and Time-on-Page are the metrics that indicate the engagement level on your website.
Similarly, improved search engine rankings and a high number of inbound links are directly linked with organic traffic.
Pro Tip: KPIs from social media engagement, user behavior, and SEO impact are all you need to measure your performance against any goal.
According to Brandon Andersen of Ceralytics, since ROI is directly linked with finance, your goals must be specific and measurable. If these aren’t measurable, you can’t assign a monetary value to them. Metrics such as likes, impressions, and shares are vague as they don’t tell you much in regards to their monetary value.
For example, you can calculate an inbound lead’s average value using this simple formula.
However, it’s not always as simple as that. Businesses these days consider various other things apart from leads – such as unique sessions and visit-to-signup – as even more crucial KPIs for calculating content ROI.
The most important KPIs to track are as follows:
- Visit to Sign Up
- Unique sessions
- Bounce Rate
- Page Views
Jonathan Aufray, co-founder and CEO of Growth Hackers, lists the following three (non-monetary) metrics for tracking:
- Traffic stats (volume and other vital stats such as demographics)
- Leads generated (through email signups)
You can measure brand awareness through impressions and clicks. For conversions, determine which content piece specifically triggered sales.
Pro Tip: The best metrics to track ROI are the ones that are related to earning more money.
The metrics such as lead magnet downloads, unique visitors, and conversions are all relevant while measuring the return on your content investment. The idea is to include everything that leads to earning a paying customer.
Step 3: Measure Your KPIs
Restrict yourself to conversion rates, especially if you want to track sales. But there are various other ways you can measure revenue growth through content marketing. Organic rankings and brand awareness are also crucial to track for your campaigns.
Metrics also change with the platform you use. So, CPC has become a crucial metric for Google Ads, LinkedIn campaigns, and Facebook Ads.
As discussed above, to increase organic reach, you need to increase backlinks by posting quality content. But how do you know the quality content is infact working? You can do this by simply measuring your KPIs.
Marketers use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMrush for measuring campaign performance.
However, the most convenient option is to use a single dashboard rather than using several third-party tools. You can use DashClicks’ automation dashboard to measure and track your content marketing performance.
Step 4: Measure Your Progress and Adapt as Needed
Most successful marketers conduct periodic reviews of their content marketing strategies. It ensures that your efforts are paying off. It also provides you an opportunity to learn, change, and adapt to achieve even better results.
For example, let’s say you published two articles within a fortnight, and Google indicated incoming traffic growth. You’d think the former article is the one responsible for this traffic. But Google tells you another story. It says your latest article brought you so much traffic.
In the review stage, you will analyze why your recent article became so popular, while your old post struggled to turn any heads. It will provide you with some valuable insights that you can use in your future articles.
Conducting reviews regularly will also help you determine the tactics and trends that yield better results than others, and help you achieve your goals.
To improve your content marketing campaigns, DashClicks provides you with the following metrics:
- Campaign Insights
- Custom date-based reporting
- Multiple integrations
- Real-time reporting
Are You Ready to Start Driving ROI for Your Content Marketing Efforts?
While calculating content marketing ROI isn’t an easy task, you can use the calculation methods described above and the 4-step process for measuring content success. You can also gather essential information to be used, such as visitors, leads, and sales, using the DashClicks dashboard.