Quality optimized blogs, the right nurturing strategy, content offers which 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. All over the internet, there is a bunch of content marketing ROI blogs and articles about different methods of improving it. 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 you shouldn’t let your fears control you. Although ROI is a big challenge, it’s not impossible at all. Follow on the rest of the article to finally learn these secrets. And make those hard-to-convince CEOs contented without having a nervous breakdown.
What is ROI?
Return on investment (ROI) in content marketing is the difference between how much money you spent and how much you received 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 CEO’s and bosses are interested in? Numbers, numbers and more numbers. Profits, cost value, pipeline growth, and revenue? Doesn’t this kind of things prove the success of inbound marketing efforts?
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 this “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 creating customer loyalty
- Increased inbound links
- A bigger 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’ hard to money value on them.
- Much of this content that you’re making is top-of-the-funnel content, which means you use it to build awareness or to educate the audience. Again, how do you measure such things? And tie them directly to revenue?
- Attribution is burdensome. For example, how to track what lead to converting a lead into a customer. Was it sales rep follow-up or case study?
With the aforementioned challenges included isn’t surprising that marketers have a big problem with determining is their content marketing prosperous.
So how do we translate these indirect benefits into real results?
Figure out how much you are spending on production and distribution of content
No matter where are you producing, be it in-house or something else, there is always some spending involved. Paying the content creators salary. Including any external content assets, that you will have to pay, like videos, audio material or images. Some business resolves this issue by outsourcing for content development services.
Distribution, on the other hand, has its own quirks. PPC advertising, social advertising, and promotion through other media channels have their cost. Also, remember to include the price of any specialized software or tools be it for distribution or creation. Calculate all of this mentioned before for a true cost of distribution and production.
This is one of the most crucial goals for content marketing. Consistent brand presentation increases revenue by 23%. While branding content on social media will make a twofold increase in interesting older population, ages of 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
Content marketing win doesn’t include only making people come to your site, but rather making them stay there. If you’re experiencing bounce rate that’s low, then something must be changed.
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 in an easy way? 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 actually attracting the people who want to read about what you have to offer.
For a fast overview use Google analytics, and find Audience, then Overview there.
Lead quality and generation
Content marketing institute found out that nearly 85% of marketers are saying 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 leads 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:
- People looking your article and grabbing lead magnet, which explains are they thinking about doing business with you.
- Visitors checking out connected resources which are a part of sales or marketing funnel.
- And visitors contacting the sales team to ask some pre-sales questions.
All of these parameters show is your content creating qualified leads, those that “lead” to buying.
An important type of tracking whether visitors are qualified or are they visiting important pages on website, 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 KPI’s above will allow a better understanding of how good your content is doing and whether your goals are achieved. Good luck and happy hunting.