How to Measure Content Marketing ROI in 4 Easy Steps

Content marketing is one of the most trusted forms of marketing, and many brands use it today. In fact, about 93% of brands surveyed claimed that their organizations were very committed to content marketing. However, many brands aren’t aware of how to measure content marketing ROI.

It is crucial to do so to get an idea about your campaign’s success or failure. Without measuring the ROI, you’ll have no idea how well your campaign is performing.

That’s perhaps the reason why about 72% of successful brands measure their content marketing ROI. On the contrary, 65% of the least successful brands don’t measure it.

This statistic is a clear indicator that you need to measure your content marketing ROI to improve your chances of success.

Content Marketing Institute

Image via Content Marketing Institute

Now that you know why measuring your content marketing ROI is necessary, let’s look at how you can calculate it.

1. Evaluate the Cost Involved in Content Creation

The most basic cost of content marketing is the cost of creating content for your brand. Whether you’ve outsourced content creation or have an in-house team, there’s always a cost attached to it.

With an in-house team, the cost is the salary that you pay to your content creators. With outsourcing, it’s the fees paid to the third-party agencies.

You must also take into account the costs of acquiring any external assets such as photographs or videos. Calculating these costs will give you the actual price of your content, which can help you calculate your content marketing ROI.

2. Find Your Content Distribution Cost

Just producing high-quality content seldom brings you traffic and customers. You need to actively distribute your content to get it in front of your target audience. Distribution of content has costs associated with it as well.

Some of the distribution channels are social media advertising and PPC ads. While you need to pay for these ads, you also need to compensate the professionals who run these ad campaigns.

Some distribution methods may even require you to use software or special tools. The cost of buying or renting them needs to be taken into account as well.

Once you add up the costs associated with content creation and content distribution, you’ll get the actual cost of producing content.

3. How to Determine the Revenue Generated by Content Marketing

The next step to find your content marketing ROI is that of finding out your revenue. Once you’ve posted your content, you need to find out the number of leads it’s generating. Some people may click on the call-to-action after reading your content and make a purchase.

However, in other cases, this process is much more complicated. This can make it difficult to clearly establish a relationship between your sales and content. We’ll look at these metrics later in this article.

But, in a nutshell, you need to add up all of the sales that you received from your content. Now that you know your revenue, let’s look at how to measure content marketing ROI using it.

4. Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI

Calculating ROI is very simple once you have the total amount spent on content marketing and the revenue you’ve received. The formula for finding the ROI is:

Content Marketing ROI = {(Return – Investment) / Investment} x 100

So, for instance, if you’ve spent $100 on creating content and you managed to drive revenue of $500, the ROI will be 400%.

$500 – $100 = $400

$400/$100 = 4

4 x 100 = 400%

Now that you’ve understood how to measure content marketing ROI, let’s look at some of the metrics that you need to consider.

Content Marketing ROI Metrics You Should Focus On

Revenue is only one indicator of content marketing ROI. There are other metrics too that can count as content marketing ROI for your brand. Additionally, nearly 54% of B2B marketers and 47% of B2C marketers feel that their metrics don’t align with their goals.

Content Marketing ROI Metric #1: Lead Quality

Content marketing is essential for lead generation because it helps you reach your target audience. However, generating leads isn’t good enough. The quality of leads matters too.

One of the best ways to figure out if your content is generating quality leads is by:

  • Checking if the leads were generated once they clicked on your lead magnet. This means that they might be interested in purchasing from you.
  • Website visitors get in touch with your sales team and inquire about your products.
  • Visitors check other similar resources from your sales funnel.

Another way of finding it is by checking your bounce rate and conversion rate. If you have a high bounce rate or low conversion rate, it means that your visitors aren’t becoming leads. This could mean that your offering isn’t what they are looking for.

Content Marketing ROI Metric #2: WebsiteTraffic

Website traffic is one of the most important metrics of content marketing. Without traffic, you can’t expect to generate leads or sales. The simple reason being that if no one is reading your content, it can’t inspire anyone to pay for your products or services.

To determine your traffic, you’ll need to head to Google Analytics and look at the website traffic. If the traffic is increasing over time, it means that your content is bringing visitors to your website. On the contrary, if it’s decreasing, you may need to rethink your content marketing strategy.

Google Analytics

Image via Google Analytics

You can even check your referral traffic from campaigns with UTM codes. All you need to do is attach UTM codes to your URLs and use them for your campaigns. To keep track of these URLs, you can use UTM.io and manage your campaigns with ease. Doing this will give you an idea of how well each of your campaigns is performing.

Content Marketing ROI Metric #3: Engagement

Merely having a low bounce rate doesn’t mean that your content is performing well. Content marketing is all about keeping people on your website for a longer duration.

If people spend a few seconds on your page and leave, it won’t do much good. Instead, if they read your posts until the very end, your content might be working.

That’s why engagement is also a great way to determine your content marketing ROI. It shows you how visitors interact with your content.

To check your engagement metrics, you can use Google Analytics. Look at the pages per session, bounce rate, and average session duration. These metrics will show you how well people are engaging with your content.

Content Marketing ROI Metric Engagement

Image via Google Analytics

Content Marketing ROI Metric #4: Social Media Engagement

Yet another parameter that you should consider for calculating your content marketing ROI is social media ROI. For this, you need to find out your social media engagement and referral traffic. They will give you an idea of how people are engaging with your content on social media.

The main reason why these factors become important is because many people make purchases from social media platforms. In fact, Instagram has integrated shopping directly into the app to make things even simpler for their users.

You can use Google Analytics to find out how much referral traffic is coming from your social media accounts. By going to Acquisition -> Social -> Overview, you can figure out how much revenue social media is bringing you as well.

Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI Now!

Calculating your actual content marketing ROI is quite a difficult task as there are many different metrics to track. By checking your social media ROI, engagement, website traffic, and lead quality, you can get a better measure of your content marketing ROI.

Make sure that you account for the cost of content creation and distribution to determine the overall cost of your content. This will give you a better idea of your content marketing ROI.

What are the other things do you keep in mind while calculating your content marketing ROI? Let us know in the comments.

Dan McGaw

Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Effin Amazing, a marketing technology and analytics agency, and the creator of UTM.io, a campaign management and data governance tool. Named one of the godfathers of the marketing technology stack and one of original growth hackers, Dan has decades of experience in digital marketing, technology, and analytics. (His team won’t let him take this out even though he says it makes him sound old.)

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