What is Content Marketing ROI?
In the words of the great Bill Gates, “Content is king.” If you are a marketer, is it is likely that you agree with this statement and that you see the establishment of this concept each day.
You have likely seen those popular and insightful articles from the Content Marketing Institute and the likes of Neil Patel and Seth Godin that reveal how vital content marketing is to a company’s bottom line.
While you may know this, when it comes to convincing leadership of the power of content marketing, it is better to “show” rather than “tell.”
At the end of the day, their concern is about the bottom line. Therefore, it is essential to plan to show them the Return on Investment or ROI of content marketing.
They want to know the costs of content marketing and the potential revenue that can be had from it. As a result, your goal is to show them why they should care, and the best way to do this is through calculating content marketing ROI.
However, before you start to discuss this concept with leadership, it helps to have an understanding of the potential components of content marketing ROI to help you determine the value you should add to content types you may use every day.
The Components of Content Marketing that Play Into ROI
When you are creating a strategy for calculating content marketing ROI, it helps to have an idea of the content types that work for yourself and your company.
Knowing these content types can help you create a strategy to attach values based on the significance of these various kinds of content to your overall strategy.
Small businesses that have blog posts can generate almost 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses who do not.
Blogging can be an excellent way to communicate with audiences, educate them on what you do, and provide value.
Email is also still king. From newsletters to automated emails, the ROI on email marketing is $38 per every $1 spent.
This tactic is indeed a component to consider in your content marketing ROI strategy.
Sharing your input on someone else’s blog can be a great way to reach a new audience, establish credibility, and solidify yourself and your company as a thought leader.
Guest blogging can boost your brand, and help you build links that send others to your website.
Social Media Marketing
It is an understatement to say that social media marketing is just as important as other forms of digital marketing.
Much like how having a website established credibility years ago, a social media presence can encourage audiences to give your brand a chance.
There are many stats out there that show the potential impact of social media on content marketing ROI.
One, in particular, reveals that 57 percent of consumers say that social media impacts their shopping decisions.
These are a bit different from social media marketing as these are paid advertising opportunities. Most social media postings are free opportunities for gaining free engagement, in contrast, Facebook ads require you to pay for potential traffic.
However, Facebook’s paid ads allow businesses to target specific groups in their advertising strategy. Approximately, 26 percent of Facebook users who clicked on an ad reported making a purchase.
Paid Ads and Re-Marketing
With the right planning and investment, strategies that include tools like Google AdWords and re-marketing can be successful. These are a little easier to understand regarding ROI since you can easily quantify the amount of money you put in, and can see the cost per click.
These are just a few of the component that should be included in your content marketing ROI strategy.
However, this is not an exhaustive list.
Take a look at your content marketing strategies and see what techniques you use so you can begin to put together accurate ROI calculations for your leadership teams.
Why Content Marketing ROI is Critical
ROI is critical to assessing the usefulness or viability of any potential project undertaking as it can be applied to other functional areas within a business.
However, when it comes to marketing, there are times where an emphasis on creativity can overshadow the importance of ROI and resulting calculations.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to consider ROI in your content marketing strategies.
ROI measures how much revenue your content marketing strategies are producing.
It is usually presented as a percentage, and if the ROI is less than what you put into the campaign, then your content marketing strategy was unsuccessful.
This number is going to tell the monetary story of your content marketing efforts, and it gives leadership, as well as yourself, something to work with as you all decide which tactics are successful.
How to Calculate Content Marketing ROI
One of the main reasons why content marketers do not invest in tracking ROI when they are creating strategies is because it can be a complex number to produce. The main issue for this is that content marketing tactics may not always generate conversions quickly.
For example, if you create a webinar that encourages audiences to sign up for your monthly newsletter where you also share promotional content, it may take a while to find out if these efforts led to purchases.
This situation can make it challenging to calculate sales in the long-term.
However, there are ways to still produce an accurate ROI calculation. Below are three steps you should stake to correctly and efficiently calculate your content marketing ROI.
Track Your Content Creation Costs
Be sure to track all of the expenses that went into creating and distributing your content. Did you purchase any software? Did you have to hire a freelancer to help out?
Whatever expenses you incurred to develop the content, track it.
Also, don’t forget to calculate and include your time spent by breaking down your salary into per hour costs.
Track Your Content Distribution Costs
How much did it cost to get the material into the hands of your audiences? Do you have a monthly subscription for an email marketing platform that delivers your content? How much are your web hosting costs?
These are all questions that will play a part in your ROI calculations.
Calculate Your Revenue
This may be one of the most challenging components of the ROI process, but some pre-work can help make this a lot easier.
For example, if you want to track how many people went on to purchase an item or service after they viewed in a webinar, create a special link for these individuals to click on to be taken to the marketplace, or give them a unique promotional code.
From there, you can more easily track their buyer journey and calculate the amount of revenue you have made from these content marketing efforts.
Lastly, to officially calculate ROI, subtract the costs from your revenue, then take this number and divide it by your costs to get your final ROI percentage.
This number will help you make the case to your executive leadership. So, it pays to keep complete records, and become familiar with as many metrics and analytics as possible to track along the way.
So, what are some important metrics you should be keeping tabs on as you move through your content marketing ROI strategy? The next section covers some helpful analytics to measure in addition to content marketing ROI.
The Various Ways to Measure Content Marketing ROI
Your executive leadership are definitely going to want to know the ROI of your campaigns, but to further sell the importance of content marketing, it is crucial to have additional metrics and analytics to track and share.
They can help tell an even more detailed story concerning your content marketing strategies.
The Level of Engagement
Are individuals retweeting, sharing, and commenting on your material? Engagement stats are excellent metrics to share in addition to your ROI. They can even provide a look into how you may have arrived at that final percentage.
Analytics like web page hits, the time spent on a page, and the pages individuals visited while on your website are excellent indicators of your content marketing strategy. It reveals how well your campaign did in steering visitors where you wanted them to go.
Did your audience accomplish what you set out for them to do? Did they sign up for the newsletter, watch the webinar, or join an email list to receive an e-book?
Be sure to see how many of your audience converted.
Be sure to check in and see how your customers feel about you. Pulse surveys and social media interactions can reveal favourable or unfavourable opinions about your company.
This information then allows you to either go a different direction or keep on course with the content marketing strategies you currently have in place.
At the end of the day, to your executive leadership team, this is likely the most important figure. How much of your good or service did you sell?
This number is a direct component of the ROI calculation, but it also helps to present it separately.
Is it worth it?
In short, content marketing ROI is a valuable calculation for yourself and your company.
This number can ensure that you are meeting revenue goals and lining up with the company’s overall strategy.
Also, monitoring and sharing your ROI lets company leadership know that you are thinking about how your efforts impact the company as a whole, which will make it easier to receive more funding and buy-in for future content marketing campaigns.