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March 18, 2022 (Updated: March 8, 2023)
Are you having trouble figuring out exactly what your content marketing campaign is doing? Because content marketing might not directly affect your sales and revenue, it can be difficult to determine just how much it’s doing for your business. Luckily, there are several ways to measure the success of a content marketing campaign by examining different key metrics. In this article, we discuss:
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Content marketing ROI is a percentage that shows how much your company gains through content marketing compared to how much you spent on the campaign. ROI stands for “Return on Investment,” which might make that definition a little more clear. It’s the results that you see from the investments you make. Generally, companies tie ROI directly with revenue and sales, but that’s not always the case with content marketing. Some content marketing campaigns might tie ROI with other goals, such as generating pageviews, creating more engagement, and increasing brand awareness.
That’s why measuring your ROI for content marketing isn’t always the same for every business. Each company compares its content marketing goals with key metrics to determine the success of its campaign. The company then uses those measurements to see the true results of its marketing investment and if it needs to make any adjustments to its advertising strategies.
According to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Report, 82% of companies actively use content marketing. It also states that businesses, in general, allocate about 26% of their marketing budget toward content creation and marketing strategies. But that doesn’t mean everyone understands how to measure content marketing ROI. In fact, 54% of companies say it’s moderately difficult to measure content marketing ROI, and only 43% attempt to measure it at all.
One of the main reasons that content marketing ROI is hard to measure is that it takes time. You won’t always see the fruits of your labor right away, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never come. It’s important to understand the key performance indicators (KPI) that tell you how well your campaign is performing. Then see how each piece of content you produce affects those metrics. It’s also important to understand your target audience. Knowing what they like and how to effectively attract them to your brand can help you boost your marketing endeavors and increase your chance of success.
Measuring specific content marketing metrics can help you calculate your ROI more easily. It can also show you if you’re on track to meet your goals. Those metrics include:
Your traffic measures how many people visit your website. The content you create drives people to your site, increasing your traffic and brand awareness. From there, you can potentially improve your conversion rate as well by placing enticing calls-to-action (CTA) on your webpages. Most often, it helps to examine your traffic alongside other metrics, including conversions and engagement.
That’s because you might be bringing a lot of people to your site, but if they aren’t doing anything, you need to make improvements to your content and your CTAs. Driving traffic to a site is ultimately the first step or goal of many content marketing campaigns. From there, it’s about converting your audience and attracting them to your products and services.
Read more: 8 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the process that helps to improve your website’s search engine visibility. Some key SEO strategies include:
Focusing on these strategies allows your audience to find your content more easily and potentially increase your traffic. But SEO can also help with other metrics, including your page’s bounce rate and conversion rate. That’s because when you make your content more informative and readable, it keeps people on the page for longer. It also helps pique their interest so they navigate to other content on your site or pursue other calls to action.
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Sales are one of the most popular ways to track ROI and see how your investment is affecting your overall revenue. Through tools, like Google Analytics, you can examine your website visitors, converted audience members, and customers who made purchases, all in one place. This allows you to see how your sales and marketing funnel functions and get a better idea of how your content marketing campaign is working. But tracking content marketing ROI through sales alone isn’t going to be totally accurate.
You’re not able to accurately predict where people are entering the sales or marketing funnel. That makes it a little more difficult to determine if your content marketing has a direct effect on your sales overall. For example, some people might find your company’s blog and other content, then through that information decide to make a purchase. Others could simply find your pricing page and make a decision on that alone.
If you’re familiar with social media, you know how important engagement can be. But for content marketing, engagement means more than just giving likes and leaving comments. You want to know how long people stay attentive to your content. That includes measuring metrics such as bounce rate, the time users spend on the page, pageviews, retention rate, and social shares. Having strong engagement with your content can tell you if you’re successfully targeting your audience and giving them the information they want to read, listen to, or view.
Converting readers and audience members is a great way to develop leads and continue to increase your company’s sales and revenue. Conversions occur through CTAs by encouraging people to interact with your company further. That might include signing up for your newsletter, downloading an eBook, or simply making a purchase. But it’s also helpful to track the quality of the lead by examining other content or pages they visit. For instance, if a reader navigates to your pricing page from your blog, that’s a good indicator they might be seriously considering a purchase.
Measuring the metrics of your social media accounts is a great way to determine your brand awareness. It can also help you see how well some of your content is performing. Most social media platforms give businesses the ability to track their engagement and social media presence. This allows you to see how many likes, comments, views, and other important metrics your posts receive.
From there, you can compare the metrics with one another to understand how your content is doing. If a lot of people view your content, but don’t like it or share it, you might need to improve it. If not a lot of people view your content, you might need to find new ways to improve your social media and brand awareness.
Here is a list of steps to help you calculate your content marketing ROI, comparing your revenue to your investment costs:
Start by finding your overall revenue from when you started your marketing campaign to the present day. This is what’s known as your return. For example, let’s say you started your content marketing campaign three months ago. In that timeframe, you generated $2000 in sales. Your return would be $2000.
There are a few ways to find the cost of your marketing investment. First off, if you hired a marketing company to help you, generally your cost of investment would include what you paid them for their work on the campaign. But if your business conducted most of its own marketing, you need to determine that cost yourself.
When you calculate your cost of investment, include every expense that goes into creating and distributing your content. Expenses can include freelance writers, paid ad strategies, and overhead costs. But depending on the costs you’re calculating, it’s possible that you might have to add an overhead rate to your direct expenses.
An overhead rate is a set rate that you can apply to certain expenses which add important indirect costs to your content’s production. For instance, an employee’s salary might be $40/hour, but if you have a 50% overhead rate, the actual expense would be $60/hour. If you’re unsure what your overhead rate is, consider talking with your accounting team to learn more about possible costs or expenses you might be forgetting to include.
The formula for return on investment is: ROI = (Return – Investment) / Investment x 100
Use your revenue as the return, and your costs for the investment. Once the calculation is complete, you multiply by 100 to convert the calculation into a percentage. For example, say you made $10,000 in sales since the start of your content marketing campaign, and you know the investment cost $2000 in total. Your calculation would look like this:
ROI = (10,000 – 2000) / 2000 x 100
ROI = (8000) / 2000 x 100
ROI = 4 x 100
ROI = 400%
That means your company saw a 400% return on its $2000 marketing investment.
Related: How To Calculate and Improve Your Conversion Rate
Though it might seem like the same thing, measuring and calculating your content marketing ROI are two different tasks. Calculating involves the formula listed above while measuring involves a more in-depth analysis to determine if your content is performing well. Here’s how to measure your content marketing ROI and determine the success of your content channels:
Setting goals for your content marketing campaign is important because it helps you understand if your efforts were successful. Do you want to increase your traffic? Your conversion rate? Maybe simply your overall sales and revenue? Creating a simple objective can help you measure your campaign more easily and understand the return on your investment. A great way to set your goals is to use the SMART method. SMART stands for:
Once you have your goals established, it’s important to understand which metrics will help you measure the success of your campaign. For example, let’s say your goal is to increase engagement by 33% in four months. There are several metrics to include with engagement, including bounce rate, time on the page, comments, likes, and social media shares. Monitoring these metrics can help you see and understand how your audience is engaging with your content during your marketing campaign.
But it might also be helpful to look at other metrics, including website traffic. If your traffic stays primarily the same, but your engagement increases, that indicates an improvement in content quality. However, if your traffic and engagement increase at the same time, the ratio between traffic and engagement might have stayed the same. So, you might be able to increase your engagement rate even more if you focus on improving your content’s quality.
You shouldn’t measure your key metrics every day, but it’s important to measure them consistently to make sure you don’t need to make adjustments to your campaign. You’re not going to see results right away, but setting checkpoint goals and benchmarks can help you know exactly how much you need your metrics to change or improve in order to meet your goals. Checking your metrics once every week or month, depending on the timeline of your goal, is a good rule of thumb to see how your content is affecting your sales, revenue, and overall brand success.
Though it’s important to ensure you’re measuring key metrics, it’s also helpful to measure other metrics every once in a while. Seeing how your content is affecting other areas of your brand can help you identify new marketing opportunities. For example, let’s say your main goal was to improve your search engine ranking, but you simultaneously increased your engagement.
Using that information, you can start to create new campaigns or strategies to improve other metrics, such as conversions or sales. Learning how to measure your content marketing ROI and calculate its percentage can help you understand the success of your marketing campaign. If your campaign is still running, it can also help you make necessary adjustments to improve its effectiveness and eventual results.
Need help getting even more out of your content marketing? CopyPress has a team of expert writers, editors, and quality assurance specialists who know how to craft high-quality content that attracts your target audience. Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about the steps we take to boost your marketing strategies and give you a better marketing return.
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