It’s clear that marketing matters and that content is critical to search engine optimization (SEO), but how do you quantify your return on investment (ROI) when it comes to content marketing. It’s a good question, and fortunately, there are guidelines that specifically address your concerns. The fact is that even many marketers aren’t sure how to address the ROI issue, and Content Marketing Institute shares that upwards of 40 percent are seriously invested in improving their ability to provide concrete measurement tools. While qualitative measurements can provide you with a sense of how things are going, they don’t have the gravitas of cold, hard numbers.
Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty
Measuring your ROI for content marketing boils down to calculating the percentage of revenue generated by content marketing in relation to what you spent on content marketing. The most basic ROI calculation method involves subtracting your total investment in content for a specific marketing gig from the sales generated by that specific gig and dividing this number by that total investment amount. The number generated should be expressed as a percentage, which means it should be multiplied by 100. An important caveat that should be mentioned here is that it is likely going to take some serious number crunching to come up with your total investment amount (which should include components such as your investment in time and manpower) and your total return (which should include the value of leads, conversions, and purchases).
For example, if your total investment in a marketing effort was $1,000 and your return on that effort was $2,000, your ROI calculation would include subtracting $1,000 (investment) from $2,000 (return) and dividing the remaining $1,000 (your resulting calculation) by $1,000 (investment), which leaves you with the number 1. Once you multiply 1 x 100, you’re left with a grand total of 100 percent ROI.
All of this being said, however, calculating an exact ROI can be an arduous journey. Fortunately, there are other valuable touchpoints available.
You recognize that you need to bring your strongest marketing game, but if you’re like many other businesses out there, you may not have landed on a strategy for identifying and prioritizing your marketing goals. If you haven’t nailed down the key performance indicators (KPI) that matter most to your biz, it’s time to dig deeper. If you have no success metrics – such as KPIs – in place, you can’t verify and systematically grow your return on investment for marketing content.
Table of Contents
While KPIs can vary across platforms, the basic bumps most businesses seek are similar to those encapsulated by the KPIs most commonly tracked for blog posts and online articles. Consider all of the following:
- Traffic to your website in general
- The ratio of new to returning website visitors
- The average amount of time visitors spend on your website and the average number of page views per visit
- The average amount of time visitors spend on any given page of your website
- Each page’s total views
- Your website’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page) and exit rate (the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a specific page on your site to land on a different website)
- The ratio of mobile to desktop visitors
- Geographical trends
It can feel like a lot, but having a solid handle on how your site is doing overall and how hard specific pages on your site are working individually brings valuable information to the table. All told, your ROI consists of an information mashup that supports an organic whole – a whole that can’t be accurately measured by any one measuring stick.
One metric that tends to get lost in the shuffle but is paramount to your company’s ability to flourish is brand authority. Are those visits your site is generating gaining the trust, respect, and ongoing interest of your readership? If so, you’re doing plenty right. While generating and tallying an ever-increasing number of keyword hits is obviously critical, offering your visitors content that bolsters their confidence in your brand and in what you have on offer is invaluable. While authority is tricky to measure, it’s difficult to argue with its inherent importance, and metrics like the following tend to be authoritative indicators of brand authority:
- The number and type of inbound links to your website
- The number and nature of social media mentions regarding your website
- Earned media coverage of your brand
When these measurements are on the rise, so too is your brand authority. One of the most important points to drive home here is that your business’s success is relative. If your numbers are moving in the right direction, your business is succeeding – regardless of how it compares to others in the industry.
Point of Sale
There are all kinds of businesses out there – doing all kinds of things – but ultimately, most businesses are attempting to make sales (in one capacity or another). We have reached the point that online marketing is universally accepted as critical, but we’re not sure how to calculate bang for our content-marketing buck. While you may have a good feel for what’s working and what isn’t, this isn’t likely to go very far when it comes to bosses, investors, backers, and the like. As you get better at assigning value to the marketing metrics that matter the most to your business, you’ll be well on your way in the journey toward accurately calculating content-marketing ROI – and toward making your marketing dollars work for you.
To Calculate Your Content-Marketing ROI, Turn to a Digital Marketing Expert
The digital marketing wizzes at The Web Guys understand the critical nature of providing solid content, but we’re also invested in helping you maximize your content marketing ROI. It’s a balancing act that we’re here for. Whatever your digital marketing needs, contact us at (317) 805-4933 to learn more about us and our digital marketing, paid marketing, web design, and custom development services today.