Content Marketing ROI Explained
One key reason why businesses are hesitant to get started on content marketing is that they find it hard to determine their Content Marketing ROI (Return on Investment). In other words, they do not know the kind of returns they can get from their content marketing initiatives.
Content Marketing ROI is actually not that hard to measure. In this article, we look at various metrics you can use to measure your content marketing success.
Content Effectiveness Metrics (Social)
The following are fundamental metrics you can use to measure content marketing effectiveness on your social media platforms.
Content Reach: The number of people that have seen your content pieces. Content Reach is a measure of how well you have distributed your content.
Engagement: Next is Engagement: So beyond the distribution of your content, you can measure how many people have shown an interest in your content. An indication would be interaction-based metrics such as “Likes”, “Reactions”, Shares” “Comments” on your post. In the case of a video, an indication of engagement could be the number of people who have viewed your video.
An industry metric that many brands use to quantify content effectiveness is Engagement Rate. This metric looks at the ratio of people who have seen your content vs the actual number of people who have interacted with your content.
Engagement Rate = (Total Engagement/Total Reach) * 100
Content Effectiveness Metrics (Web)
The following are relevant metrics if you have long-form content like articles/white-papers hosted on your Website/Blog/Content Hub.
Link Clicks: The number of clicks you received on the link from distribution points such as social media platforms/web banners.
Page Views: The number of people who have viewed your content on the web page.
Click-Through-Rate: Quite similar to engagement rate, Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) looks at the ratio of people who have viewed your content on the distribution point vs the number of people who have clicked on the post and visited the page
Click-Thru Rate = (Total Link Click on Post/Total Reach of Post) * 100
Average Time On Page: A measure of how engaging your long-form content is, would be the average time people spend on your page.
But to have a better assessment, you might want to compare it against the average time it would take to read your articles with tools like Read-O-Meter.
The above metrics might be useful for measuring content marketing effectiveness, but ultimately all efforts should always tie back to business goals. As we journey further down the consumer journey, let’s look at some business level metrics for businesses in different categories.
1) Businesses that don’t sell directly online
In most cases, the metrics discussed earlier would already be sufficient, but to go a level deeper, the following are some business level metrics you can explore if you fall into this category.
Newsletter/Email Subscription Rate
Without spending money on your Facebook post, you can only reach a certain percentage of your Facebook fans organically, so a long-term strategy would be to grow your newsletter/email subscribers instead, allowing a direct and more cost-effective method of reaching your consumers, which brings us to our next point.
A conventional method for FMCG brands to determine content marketing success would be sampling; this usually happens in the form of an online campaign that encourages consumers to redeem a free sample in exchange for their contact details.
Sampling is also a useful method to collect and expand your newsletter/email subscription list.
Number of Online Redemptions
For brands who don’t sell directly online, getting consumers who bought your products at physical outlets to visit your online platforms and redeem a gift/join an online contest would be an ideal strategy to help tie your content marketing efforts to actual sales results.
2) Businesses that sell online directly
Obviously, if you sell online, the content marketing ROI would be your online sales. Here are some metrics you can use to quantify your efforts.
Sales Conversions from CTA Buttons/Links
To tie back to sales results, include Call To Actions (CTA) that lead directly to your e-commerce page. These CTA can be embedded within an article or in a social media post.
Sales Conversion from Promo Codes
As seen in Scoot’s campaign, the use of Promo Codes can be a creative and measurable tactic.
Sales Conversions from Re-Targeting Efforts
You might have successfully directed people to your e-commerce page via the CTA Button/Links on your content pieces. However, not everyone that visits your e-commerce page is going to make a purchase.
Meet Re-Targeting: A technology which allows you to continue targeting those that did not convert the first time around with specific ads even after they leave your page and visit other websites/social platforms.
Sales Conversions from Cart Abandonment Emails
A consumer can add items to the shopping cart but due to some reasons, decide to exit without purchasing. You can send them a personalised email, encouraging them to complete the purchase. This method is most effective when accompanied with additional discounts.
3) Businesses with Long Sales Cycle
The last category would pertain to B2B companies which have substantially longer sales cycles (a least a few months). When it comes to content marketing, the key objectives would usually be the acquisition of qualified leads.
Number of White-paper Downloads: One of the most common methods which B2B businesses use to acquire leads hosted on a gated platform; i.e. users would have to provide their contact details to download the white-paper. The purpose will be for businesses to showcase their expertise on a particular topic.
Marketing Qualified Leads
Now that you’ve acquired your leads, it’s time to start qualifying them. The first level of leads to look at are the Marketing Qualified leads, meaning people who have shown a certain level of interest in your product but are not ready to make a sales decision yet. That said, you still want to continue nurturing them by regularly sending them the latest updates/white-papers/reports.
Sales Qualified Leads
Moving further down the consumer journey would be the sales qualified leads where they have indicated that they want to find out more about the product. I.e. people who have the highest potential to become actual customers. This is when your sales team takes over by arranging one-to-onemeetups with the prospects.