A Guide To Content Marketing ROI

Content marketing is an effective way to increase thought leadership and lead generation. But how do you calculate your ROI on these efforts? Is it even important?

Content marketing ROI focuses on the money and time you spent on creating and promoting content. The success of the content depends on the goals you set for your content, whether it’s social shares, qualified leads, page views, etc.


Here is a simple equation: ROI=Return (divided by) Investment.


Content marketing is a long-term game. Almost every campaign begins with negative ROI because of the time and investment needed upfront. It should improve over time. There are a few benefits that content marketing offers that are hard to quantify numerically. Brand perception is one. Thought leadership is another.

When measuring your return, you need to place a dollar value on each metric, listed below, which is not always an exact science. The simplest way is to work with your financial teams to assign an approximate value to each metric. Of course, it’s imperfect, but it’s a standardized system that you can refer back to when putting a number to your ROI.

Don’t forget about additional investment costs such as the cost of producing content, cost of sourcing content, time spent planning or managing content strategy, content distribution and advertising costs or software and tools when calculating your total investment.

Now calculate your ROI using some content performance metrics that measure your content marketing strategy: consumption, sharing, lead generation, and sales.


Consumption Metrics

When measuring consumption, ask yourself how many people are consuming your content, what channels are they using and what’s the frequency of the consumption?

Some ways to measure consumption include page views, time on page, downloads, unique visitors, keyword rankings, click-throughs, open rate. Most of these metrics can be measured in your Google Analytics.


Sharing Metrics

In regards to content sharing – find out more about what is being shared, who is doing the sharing, how are they sharing it and how often does sharing take place?

Some measurement metrics include shares, retweets, likes, or how your sales teams share content with potential customers.


Lead Metrics

Leads are the easiest elements to track through a content marketing automation platform. When looking at leads, look at those generated across the customer journey. Ask yourself – how is your content supporting demand generation and lead nurturing?


Sales Metrics

And lastly, there is sales measurement. This may be the most important element, as usual, it comes down to how much money your content is making your business, specifically how is your content driving revenue?

The ultimate goal of measuring ROI for your content marketing is to drill down to its dollar value. And then referring back to the value determined by your financial team to have a clear view of what was successful (and maybe not successful). You will have a good idea as to who sees your content, how they interact with it, how they feel about it and how it makes them act or react. Don’t forget the additional benefits you gain such as brand reputation, visibility and the future value your content will bring to your business when you determine the ROI and start investing more in what works.