How to Calculate Your Content Marketing ROI

You’ve finally created a content strategy and taken action into creating and distributing your content, and now it’s time to see how successful it’s been. 

Measuring your content marketing ROI is important mainly for one reason: its success is directly tied to your revenue. No matter how brilliant your content is, if it’s not converting into sales, you may need to rethink your strategy or your content budget.

But when it comes to measuring your content marketing ROI, it can be tough to know where to begin, and that’s because everyone’s values are going to be different. Our advice? Establish a method and measurement that works for you and your goals. 

There are a lot of ways to measure your content marketing strategy’s success, but we’ve found that this method works for us. While it may not fit your goals perfectly, it’s a great point to jump off of. Let’s get started:

Step 1: Calculate the cost of production

The first thing you want to do is calculate the cost of production. This will include how much you pay for:

  • Content creator’s salary
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Work by other departments
  • Other outsourced work

Note: Even if your content is produced in-house, still take this cost into consideration.

Step 2: Calculate the cost of distribution

After figuring out how much it costs for you to create content, it’s time to find out your cost on distribution. This will include:

  • Paid promotions such as PPC, social media and other channels
  • The tools and software used in creating and distributing the content

Step 3: Calculate your return

Now that you have the cost of making and distributing your content, you’ll want to find the dollar amount of your return. You can do this by adding up all of the sales that resulted directly from a piece of content.

Step 4: Calculate content marketing ROI

After gathering all this information, plug it into this formula:

| Content Marketing ROI 1

 

For example (and for the sake of easy math), if you spend $500 on creating content, and your return is $2,000, your formula will look a little like this:

| Content Marketing ROI 2

 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is if you put less money into producing content than you earn in sales, then your content strategy is worth it.

 

Step 5: Track metrics that matter

If you want to learn more about the success and sales potential of your content, there’s a metric for that. The only problem is that there are so many out there, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start. 

Don’t try to measure every metric for every piece of content you put out there—find the metrics that matter for your content or business goals, and go from there. Here are some of the metrics we like to keep an eye on:

  • Lead Quality: Take a look at the quality of the traffic your content is attracting. If you’re getting a lot of traffic but have low conversions and a high bounce rate, your content is attracting low-quality leads.
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualization

  • Sales: Find out the number of sales that came from these leads and the value of these sales.
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions

  • SEO Success: This is your opportunity to check that your content is ranking well for target keywords, your site’s domain authority is high, your content is appearing in answer boxes for relevant terms and you’re getting more inbound links.

  • Web Traffic: Be sure to evaluate your site’s engagement levels, particularly how much traffic your content is driving and your referral traffic. Simply put: no traffic, no revenue.
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages

  • Onsite Engagement: Take another look at your bounce rate—if you have a low bounce rate, that means something is working for you! If your bounce rate is high, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

  • Social Media ROI: Don’t forget to take off-site engagement into consideration! Keeping social media ROI in mind is important as it helps measure purchase decisions made by peer recommendations and network referrals.
    • Tool: Google Analytics – Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals
    • Tool: Buzzsumo

  • Other Key Metrics to Consider: While these are metrics that we like to look out for, these may not be the best for your brand, so here are other metrics you may want to look into:
    • Backlinks
    • Bounce Rate
    • Comments
    • Conversion Rate
    • Organic Traffic
    • Pageviews/Sessions
    • Time on Page

 

After you discover the ROI of content marketing and what metrics you want to focus on, you can plan your next steps accordingly. If you want to increase brand awareness, you may want to consider other methods for future content marketing campaigns (such as email marketing or increasing/improving your blog posts).

If you want to boost the quality and the number of leads, you may want to put more of a focus on the best practices for search engine optimization practices.

 

Regardless of your goals, they are now so much more attainable because you’ve made this calculation. You know exactly what you can do to make your content strategy more cost-efficient, and you know exactly what needs to be focused on for optimal success.

Looking to revamp your content strategy or amp up your written content? You can read up on all of our content marketing tips and tricks here

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