Content marketing can offer a great deal of value to your business, from increased engagement to increased sales. However, it is a lot harder to determine return on investment (ROI) with content marketing than other more direct sales advertising and marketing-like sales pages. Content marketing isn’t going to provide immediate success. It’s going to provide long-term success over time.
Content ROI doesn’t always equate in monetary terms right off. For example, content created to inform your audience about a specific problem might return new signups for your newsletter instead of direct sales. Therefore, your ROI for those particular pieces of content is more in the result of signups than the result of a monetary incentive.
The metrics you want to measure are:
Brand awareness – How is your content driving brand awareness and exposing your products and services to new people?
Engagement – How is your content creating situations where engagement can occur?
Subscribers – Have subscribers increased to your email list and if so can you trace it to a particular piece of content?
Revenue – As your customers move through your product funnel, have revenues increased and can you determine what started the increase?
Are these metrics in line with expectations or falling short? When you put out content, can you determine the impressions, traffic, subscriber rate, engagement and how far the information went? Plus, do you know how much time your audience is taking to consume your content? How often are they sharing it? At what point do they convert to buyers?
These are all important metrics to answer to help determine your content ROI. If you have developed a documented content strategy, you likely have also developed specific goals for each piece of content that you create. Use the tools you have available through your newsletter software or Google Webmaster Tools to help you analyze whether or not you’re meeting your goals.
As you can see the important things about content marketing are reach, engagement and conversion. Any numbers you can study relating to these three metrics are important to track. Tracking these metrics is the only way to know for sure whether you’re reaching your content marketing strategy goals. In addition, you can use projections to plan your content marketing budget.
By forecasting what ROI you expect, then studying those metrics to determine what really is happening, you’ll get better each time determining the right path to take with your content marketing planning and budgeting. However, remember that if you’re tracking these metrics and you find that what you’re doing isn’t working, it doesn’t mean content marketing doesn’t work. It means something with your strategy isn’t working or the content is not the right content to help you reach your goals, and it signals a need to adjust your strategy.
We believe so strongly in this that we create dashboards (see example below), for our clients so they can see the progress in the key areas they are measuring. Contact us to ask about getting a dashboard for your company.