Content Marketing ROI: What & How To Measure Content Performance


Kevin Urrutia


Content Marketing, Marketing


July 10, 2024

Quality-optimized blogs, the right nurturing strategy, and content offer that are highly targeted and hit the mark with pinpoint accuracy. You have done it all, and yet… You aren’t sure; you aren’t sure at all. Is this thing paying off? Am I adding revenue to my company?

Well, no one knows for sure. Just 21% of marketers are saying they know how to measure content marketing ROI – so most are unsure how to create a lucrative content marketing program.

It isn’t such a surprise, though. There are many content marketing ROI blogs and articles about different methods of improving it all over the internet, from using Google analytics for tracking the right kind of fruitful success metrics to complicated mathematical equations.

Reality is harsh: Content marketing ROI isn’t that simple. But it would be best if you didn’t let your fears control you. Although ROI is a big challenge, it’s not impossible at all. And make those hard-to-convince CEOs contented without having a nervous breakdown. Follow the rest of the article to learn these secrets finally.

What is ROI?

Return on investment (ROI) in content marketing is the difference between how much money you spend and how much you receive from content marketing. We all like to calculate this in a quantitate money-making way. After all, doesn’t ROI imply this? Isn’t this what CEOs and bosses are interested in? Numbers, numbers, and more numbers. Profits, cost value, pipeline growth, and revenue? Doesn’t this kind of thing prove the success of inbound marketing efforts?

We focus on direct response and customer acquisition in e-commerce, lead gen, and mobile. When it comes to results and leads, we speak your language.

Well, such things are always certain when content marketing is in question.

Content marketing has many other tangible and indirect benefits. Which are so easily translated into dollars. So, it can be hard to prove content marketing ROI. Some of these “soft” benefits, and there are many, include:

  • Creating trust
  • Improving engagement
  • Creating relationships
  • Bigger search engine visibility
  • More social referrals
  • More time spent on-site
  • Bigger lead generation
  • Making yourself a thought leader in your industry
  • Creating brand awareness
  • Bigger conversion rates
  • Improving and building customer loyalty
  • Increased inbound links
  • A more significant number of closed sales
  • Email list-building tactics

Unfortunately, making these benefits visible is often very hard because:

  • Some of them, like building relationships, increasing brand awareness, making yourself a thought leader, or building trust and customer loyalty, isn’t measurable – it’s hard to money value on them.
  • Much of this content you’re making is top-of-the-funnel content, which you use to build awareness or educate the Audience. Again, how do you measure such things? And tie them directly to revenue?
  • Attribution is burdensome. For example, it tracks what leads to converting a lead into a customer. Was it a sales rep follow-up or a case study?

With the challenges above included, it isn’t surprising that marketers have a big problem determining if their content marketing is prosperous.

So how do we translate these indirect benefits into actual results?

Figure out how much you are spending on the production and distribution of content

No matter where you are producing, be it in-house or something else, some spending is involved. You are paying the content creator’s salary. Including any external content assets, you will have to pay for, like videos, audio material, or images. Some business resolves this issue by outsourcing content development services.

Distribution, on the other hand, has its quirks. PPC advertising, social advertising, and promotion through different media channels have their cost. Also, remember to include the price of any specialized software or tools; it is for distribution or creation. Calculate all of this mentioned before for an actual cost of distribution and production.

Brand awareness

This is one of the most crucial goals for content marketing. Consistent brand presentation increases revenue by 23%. At the same time, branding content on social media will make a twofold increase in an attractive older population, ages 55 to 66.

The evil side of this medal is how to prove ROI.

You can do this by tracking

  • Social shares and following
  • blog views
  • direct website traffic
  • returning website visitors

Customer Engagement

Content marketing win doesn’t include making people come to your site but rather making them stay there. Something must be changed if you’re experiencing a low bounce rate.

If, on the other hand, people are spending a while reading till the end, checking out other content, or maybe even coming back, then the content is working, and you are approaching sales and lead generation.

How to check this quickly? Take a closer look at the engagement metrics. Measure just how your website comers engage with your content to know whether or not the method you’re using is attracting the people who want to read about what you have to offer.

For a fast overview, use Google Analytics, find Audience, then Overview.

Lead quality and generation

The content marketing institute found that nearly 85% of marketers say that one of their most important goals is lead generation. To measure your completion of this goal, track these metrics:

  • Leads generated per month
  • Conversion rates of charges to customers
  • CTA clickthrough rates
  • Landing page conversion rates

Measuring the quality of all those leads is somewhat different. To tell if you are doing the right job, watch out for the following:

  • People are looking at your article and grabbing the lead magnets, which explains whether they are thinking about doing business with you.
  • Visitors check out connected resources that are part of the sales or marketing funnel.
  • And visitors contact the sales team to ask some pre-sales questions.

All these parameters show it is your content creating qualified leads, those that “lead” to buying.

An essential type of tracking whether visitors are qualified or are visiting important pages on the website, the pricing page, for example, is to set up goals in google analytics.

By now, you’re equipped with the right weapon to explain to your bosses how all of this ties directly to sales. The KPIs above will allow a better understanding of how good your content is doing and whether your goals are achieved. Good luck and happy hunting.

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