Calculating content marketing return on investment (ROI) can be the first step in improving your content marketing and controlling your budget.
At first, measuring content marketing ROI seems simple like its formula: ((Return – Investment) / Investment ) * 100
But if you want to know all the details of what the ROI of content marketing is, how to measure it properly, what metrics to consider, and in depth analysis, then continue reading.
What Is The ROI of Content Marketing?
Content marketing ROI is a percentage that reflects how much profit you made compared to how much you invested in developing and distributing your content. Calculating and understanding the ROI of your marketing activities, particularly content marketing, can help you distribute the budget more effectively to meet your marketing objectives.
You need to create content that is not only creative but also is successful in boosting sales. Many businesses now spend millions of dollars on content, but they need to calculate ROI to understand the success of their content efforts. It’s not a simple task to do as many business owners don’t even know where to start and how to measure the results.
How To Measure Your Content Marketing ROI?
Let’s dive into the essential steps of measuring your marketing ROI to help make your calculating process less complicated. Calculate content marketing ROI by following these steps and we’ll also cover the metrics you need to consider:
- Determine the cost — How much do you spend to create content? You need to consider literally everything, including video, writing, design, tools you use, etc. Let’s say you write a blog, what do you need for it? Keyword research, SEO-friendly content, proofreading, image design, necessary videos, infographics, and more. So, your cost will include your content writer’s salary, work done by other departments, any design, audio, video, and outsourced work that are involved in performing these tasks. Determine all these costs needed for creating your content.
- Identify the money spent on distributing content — Once you have your ready-made content at hand, you need to distribute it so that other people will see your efforts and come to your website or designated platforms. For distribution, you can use paid promotions, such as social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and other tools and services. You need to calculate the amount you spend on these tools and services as well for measuring ROI.
- Calculate sales — Once you know what you’re spending on, you need to understand how much sales every piece of content generates. If you sum up all of the sales that came as a result of one content, you’ll get an idea of how much money you made, which would be your return. This step is one of the most complicated ones because sometimes it’s really hard to understand what metrics to consider for summing up the sales, we’ll get to this in a minute.
- Time to measure content marketing ROI — You already know the formula for content marketing ROI, now let’s see an example to make it more clear. Let’s say you’re a B2B company owner and want to calculate B2B content marketing ROI. You find out that your return (leads, brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales) is $6000 and you’ve spent $2000 (team salary, tools, software, platforms, etc.) on creating content. The B2B content marketing ROI would be 200% by considering the above-mentioned formula — (($6000-$2000)/$2000 * 100) = 200%.
How can you tell if the time and money you invested in content marketing were well spent? Calculating content marketing ROI is a difficult task as content marketing doesn’t lead to immediate results. You can find out your content marketing efficiency, by comparing its ROI to the ROI of your other marketing activities.
Content Marketing Metrics
The majority of people measure content marketing success in terms of its financial impact. However, you can consider other essential metrics to evaluate content performance. Now, it’s time to understand the key metrics that matter for content marketing ROI.
- Website Traffic — One of the main goals of content marketing campaigns is boosting website traffic. How can you sell something when no one sees your content? You must combine traffic statistics with other key performance indicators (KPIs) to guarantee that your website receives the appropriate traffic. For example, let’s say a lot of visitors come to your website daily and you have very high web traffic, but then you look at the conversions and can see that none of them made a purchase. This will mean that the traffic doesn’t have good results. You must ensure that the right people are visiting your site and their actions are in line with your overall business objectives. You need to regularly check your buyer’s journey to ensure that your content addresses your customer needs and pain points. The reason behind poor conversion rates may be the fact that you target the wrong people and don’t address your prospect’s problems.
Digi-Tip: Whether you’re doing your marketing in-house or via outsourcing, ensure you receive comprehensive and frequent reports of your stats for analysis. Google Analytics is a great tool for this.
- Social Media Performance — Using the Google Analytics tool, you can determine how well social media is functioning in terms of generating traffic for your blog or website. You may use YouTube, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to promote your content marketing efforts. When you write a blog, you can promote your material on social media channels and then track visitors by considering these channels. You can check social media engagement by considering your followers, likes, shares, and comments that your audience left.
- Customer Engagement — Engagement refers to a metric that indicates how well your material is received by your target audience and how much they interact with it. We understand that attracting visitors to your website is critical, but how you intend to keep them there is also crucial. Analytical tools can help you figure out how visitors interact with your material and how engaged they are. For instance, when evaluating your blog, you can look at metrics like ‘average time on page’ and ‘pageviews’ in Google Analytics to get some insights. If your audience reads your blog till the end and even checks other pieces of content or completes a form, then your content can be considered successful.
- Lead Generation — One of the most typical metrics used to assess the performance of a content marketing campaign is lead generation. Great content is the first step in attracting the correct audience. Engaging well-organized sales funnels and lead magnets are frequently used to convert audiences into qualified leads. The conversion rate can be calculated by dividing the number of conversions (e.g. downloads or subscriptions) by the number of visitors. For instance, if you have 2000 visitors and only 40 of them made an action then the conversion rate will be 40/2000*100 = 2%.
Digi-Tip: When you analyze your blog performance by using Google Analytics and find a piece of content that generates a large number of leads, you may want to continue posting such content.
- Backlinks — When another website links to your material, this is known as a backlink. This indicates that your work is useful, authoritative, and worthy of sharing. Backlinks are also important for SEO since they help to boost the visibility of your content on search engines, which leads to increased organic search traffic. You need to understand where the backlinks of your content come from to understand which content is more valuable. You can use Semrush and Ahrefs for that.
- Brand Awareness — Brand awareness is essential for your content marketing, as you get more leads when people like and trust you. You can measure this metric by considering your website traffic, social media engagement (how many people follow, like, share), the volume of brand-related searches, media mentions, etc. When you see an increase in some of these elements, you may understand that your brand recognition has increased.
- Sales — Use Google Analytics to understand which content works best in boosting conversion rates and sales. You can compare your current blogs with the ones from previous months. You can understand which content continues to be successful and boosts conversions.
These were some of the key metrics you can consider, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t track all of them in the beginning since you don’t want to get tangled up in a web of metrics and not know what to do with that information. Choose a few of them and stick to them when tracking the content marketing ROI of your new campaign. You can use a content marketing ROI calculator to get some results. Whenever you opt for content promotion services, always measure the ROI of your marketing activities to see whether the efforts were worth your money and time.