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7 Crucial Metrics for Measuring your Content Marketing ROI

Content marketing return on investment (ROI) provides an accurate indication of whether your content marketing efforts are helping you meet your goals. For this reason, understanding how to measure content marketing ROI is a crucial part of your strategy. If you want to evaluate your content marketing strategy, then you need to understand what metrics go into the ROI.

What is content marketing return on investment (ROI)?

Content marketing ROI is a percentage that shows the revenue gained from content marketing compared to what you spent. If the revenue you earn is more than what you’ve spent, then you’re doing something right. However, if you spend more than you earn, then you need to identify the problem and fix it.

Why do you need to measure content marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI can help you to make decisions and improve on your content marketing strategy going forward. Once you learn how to measure your ROI, it can help you in the following ways:

1) Justify your budget

When you’re setting a budget for your brand, you need to understand where every single cent is going. So do the executives. In order for your content marketing budget to be approved, you might need to prove that it is a worthwhile endeavor. You can do that easily if you’ve already calculated your content marketing ROI. If your ROI is higher than your expenditure, then you’ll have an easier time convincing executives to sign off on your budget.

2) Inform your content marketing strategy

Your content marketing ROI can help you gauge how effective your content marketing strategy has been. Measuring your ROI can give you a good idea of what you need to do to increase your leads, retention, SEO, and authority in the future. You can also compare your content marketing ROI from one duration to the content marketing ROI from another duration. This gives you a good idea of whether one content marketing strategy is more effective than another one.

How to measure content marketing ROI

Ultimately the goal of your content marketing is to help you connect better with your audience. Be that as it may, you cannot simply measure the outcome of your content marketing qualitatively. You need to do quantitative measurements too.

You can measure your content marketing return on investment in many ways, and we’ll get into all the metrics you can use shortly. However, there is a standard formula that can help you calculate your content marketing ROI quickly.

In order to arrive at a figure for your return on investment, you need to do the following:

1) Calculate how much you spent on creating one piece of content.

2) Calculate how much you spent on distributing the same piece of content.

3) Calculate the total sales that particular piece of content generated.

Once you have the above information, all you need to do is plug the figures into this equation:

((Return – Investment)/ Investment) x 100 = Content marketing ROI

If what you spend is less than what you earn, then you know you’re doing something right. However, if you’re making a loss, then you need to go back to the drawing board and fix your strategy.

7 metrics for measuring content marketing ROI

If you want a quantitative measure of your content marketing return on investment, then you can focus on 7 key metrics. We’ve divided these metrics into categories, depending on what aspect of your content marketing outcomes you want to analyze. We’ve also provided instructions on how to do some of these calculations in Google Analytics

Does your content marketing have high earnings potential?

Measuring the earnings potential of your content can help you determine whether your content is good enough to bring in money from your leads. Is your content appealing enough to convince a lead to become a paying customer? In order to gauge the earnings potential of your content marketing, here’s what you need to measure:

1) Lead quality

Are you getting a high enough number of leads to your website? More importantly, are they visiting the important pages on your site?

It’s important to go beyond making sure you have leads – make sure you’re getting high-quality leads. A high-quality lead is anyone who has a high potential of converting into a paying customer.

A promising lead will find themselves on your landing page from wherever your content has brought them. Once they land, they will either end up checking out your prices or consulting a customer care representative for more information about your product.

You can set up a goal in Google Analytics to measure the quality of your leads.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Conversions >>> Goals >>> Funnel visualization

2) Sales figures

How many of your initial leads turn into actual sales? Comparing your sales with your leads will give you a good idea of how effective your sales funnel is.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

If you’ve enabled the eCommerce feature on Google Analytics, here’s how to find your sales:

Behavior >>> Site content >>> All pages

Many of your leads won’t convert into paying customers immediately. On the contrary, they will probably look around and wander off, only to come back to buy your product another day. Sometimes you remain top of mind even after someone leaves, and they find they can’t resist your offer. Alternatively, they might see another piece of content from your brand that reminds them of the products they left behind on your website. Either way, it’s also important to pay attention to how these leads eventually wind up converting to sales.

If you’ve set up Google Analytics, you can find this information easily.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Conversions >>> Multi-channel funnels >>> Assisted conversions

You can also compare this data between different time periods. This comparison will help you gauge what your most effective pieces of content are.

Is your content marketing generating engagement?

It’s not enough to simply produce quality content. You need to know that your content matters to people. If people are interacting with your content and navigating from one piece of content to another, then you know they find this content useful.

measure your content marketing ROI

On the other hand, if people leave as soon as they view one piece of content, then you can conclude they’re bored. If this is the case, then you need to revamp your content to address the needs of your audience.

3) Web traffic

Measuring your web traffic is an important part of evaluating the success of your content marketing strategy. However, some brands celebrate high web traffic without realizing that web traffic in itself can tell you very little about your content marketing.

Since this can become a distracting vanity metric, it’s important to use web traffic in combination with other metrics. For example, you could combine web traffic with lead quality and sales. After all, just because someone visits your website doesn’t guarantee that they will become a customer.

When you’re measuring web traffic, it’s important to look at how this traffic grows over time. It’s equally important to focus on referral traffic. This will give you a good idea of which channels most of your leads are coming from. With this information, you can see what part of your content marketing strategy is driving the most traffic. You will also have an idea of what areas of your strategy are simply wasting your time.

You can measure your web traffic easily with a Google Analytics profile.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Behavior >>> Site content >>> Landing pages

This will show you where your web visitors land when they first visit your website. Google Analytics lists these pages ranging from the ones with the highest traffic to the lowest.

If you want to study your referral traffic, you can also do this in Google Analytics.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Secondary dimension >>> Acquisition >>> Source/Medium

4) Website engagement

You should pair web traffic with onsite engagement to see how people engage with your content once they land on your website. After all, if people immediately bounce away, then you can’t count that as meaningful web traffic.

Google Analytics keeps track of specific engagement metrics including pages viewed per session, average session duration, and bounce rate.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Audience >>> Overview

You can also study the engagement on each page on your website. This can give you an idea of which pages are more valuable to your web visitors.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Behavior >>> Site content >>> All pages

5) Social media leads

If you pay attention to your leads from your social media channels, then you’ll get a good idea of which channels are pulling in more people. This can help you refine your social media outreach strategy to appeal to more people across all your channels.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Acquisition >>> Social >>> Network Referrals

Beyond just studying your social media leads, you can get an overview of how much revenue is coming from your social media.

How to find this in Google Analytics:

Acquisition >>> Social >>> Overview

In addition, you should keep an eye on some engagement metrics directly on your social media channels. For example, keep track of shares, retweets, and likes. More importantly, pay attention to the comments you get on your posts. Make sure you engage with people who are commenting so that you can build positive relationships with your audience.

If you get disappointing engagement metrics then you and your team need to figure out what part of your content marketing strategy isn’t working.

Does your content rank high in SERPs?

If your content ranks high in search engine results pages (SERPs), it means you’ve optimized it well. A high ranking also means that both search engines and people find your content valuable. After all, Google ranks the results that have high SEO and those that people click on often higher after a while.

6) SEO ranking

In order to measure your SEO ranking, you can do several things.

  • Type your keywords in the Google search bar to see if you’re ranking for these keywords.
  • Measure your domain authority with Ahrefs’ Website Authority Checker. Generally, a domain authority of 74 or higher is noteworthy.
  • Measure the quality of backlinks you earn with Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker.
  • Check whether you’re in the top 3 results in Google for your keywords. After all, most people only click on the top 3 results.

7) Online and offline authority

Most of the metrics we’ve already covered are directly related to the performance of your website. However, people’s perception of you as a thought leader can also give you an idea of how well your content is doing.

Ultimately, you can’t assign a figure to your authority – both online and offline. This is because authority is more about the sentiment surrounding your brand. If people rely on you for advice and quality products and services, then you have high authority.

To measure online authority, you need to engage in social listening. That way, you can answer the following questions.

  • Are you earning quality backlinks from other thought leaders in your industry?
  • Do you get positive media coverage from respected online media outlets?
  • Are people sharing your products and services with their online networks?
  • Are you getting positive reviews online?
  • Is your brand being mentioned in positive contexts?

Similarly, to get an idea of your offline authority, pay attention to how people interact with you offline.

  • Are thought leaders inviting you to industry events?
  • Do journalists, bloggers, and influencers reach out to you for quotes and insights?
  • Have you received invitations to collaborate with other brands?
  • Do you get positive media coverage from respected offline media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and radio?

Over to you:

As much as all these metrics are important, you don’t have to use them all at once. In fact, to get results that you can make sense of, you shouldn’t use them all at the same time.

Rather, you should set a content marketing goal and pick the metric that’ll help you assess that goal. For example, for a particular month, you might be aiming to increase the engagement your content generates.

In this case, it would make sense to evaluate your website engagement and social media leads for that particular month. Once you have these figures, you can compare them with results from the previous month and see what you need to change.

Measuring your content marketing ROI is an important part of your content marketing strategy. After all, once you’ve implemented any strategy, you need to measure the results. With these 7 metrics, you will be well on your way to identifying which elements of your strategy are working and which ones need tweaking.


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