how to measure the ROI of your content

Content creation and marketing is one of the most common forms of getting your firm noticed online. Over 67% of marketers state that this strategy generates leads and demand for their clients, and it’s just as easy to measure the ROI of your content as it is with other forms of marketing.

That said, there are many moving parts that you’ll need to understand to truly measure your content’s return on investment.

Here are some tips I recommend you follow to better understand whether this whole “content thing” is working out for you.

Focus on the Channel – Not Individual Pieces of Content 

According to Search Engine Watch, 27% of B2B marketers say they don’t know how to measure ROI. A major issue that I find is that people try to measure small elements of a “whole” to determine their content’s success.

Confused? Let me explain.

Let’s assume that you have a blog with 100 posts and a readership of 10,000 people per month. Your latest post may receive 100 views and drive leads to your doorstep. However, the accumulation of posting over the years helped build up your readership, increased rankings and led to you enjoying organic leads to your firm.

Blogging as a channel helped you attract leads even if your first 30 posts barely had any measurable impact on your ROI at the time.

Content goes beyond blog posts and can include:

  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Social media
  • Images
  • So much more

If you try to narrow down your ROI for a single piece of content, you’re going to get unreliable data. Instead, you want to focus on the marketing channels ROI instead of a single, individual piece of content.

Here are some tips:

  • For your demand creation channels, use self-reported attribution to measure ROI instead of software-based attribution. To do this, add a text field to your contact or client onboarding form that asks, “Where did you hear about us?” Let’s say that a client saw your video on LinkedIn and Googled you. If you’re focusing on software-based attribution, you would think that the lead came from Google. While technically true that the lead came through Google, the demand was actually created by your LinkedIn video. Self-reported attribution can help you properly measure your demand creation channels.
  • Use software-based attribution for your demand capture channels. So, using the example above, demand would be created by your LinkedIn video and captured by Google.

When measuring ROI, the focus is on the accumulation of engagement and other high-quality activities over time. It’s not about how many comments or shares a single post receives but how well your channel is performing overall. 

When you focus on the channel and not the individual piece of content, you get a much clearer picture of your content’s ROI and whether it’s helping you reach your goals.

Look at the Quality of the Activity 

Every day, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content. However, not all of this content will have an ROI that is easy to determine. Does that mean that the content isn’t a success?

No.

Imagine that you have a social media profile with 1,000 targeted followers who trust your advice. You decide to post a reel today, and it has 100 views and 0 likes. 

In this case, a person can measure the ROI of the post in views and likes. This is a quantitative measurement because the reel was viewed and liked a certain number of times.

However, you might find that the same reel had qualitative impacts such as:

  • Engaging comments that help you build deeper relationships with your audience
  • Direct messages, which allow you to reach potential leads in a deeper manner
  • 6 months down the road, someone comes to you and talks about the impact that singular reel had on a thought process, idea, etc. 

Often, it’s the qualitative elements from your content production activities that are more important for your ROI than just the quantitative data that you collect.

Why?

You can use these signals to:

  • Optimize your content to create more than product ROI
  • Build further relationships with these engaged individuals and possibly convert them into customers
  • Create new content that people want to see

Sometimes, qualitative data from DMs, comments, and other responses don’t bring an immediate ROI, but it’s still extremely beneficial. For example, you can use these responses to create content that has 20 leads knocking on your door because you know what your audience’s pain points are from their responses.

Don’t Compare One Piece of Content to Another

When measuring the ROI for your content, it’s important not to compare one piece of content to another. Why? Because taking this approach is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • You may have a piece of general evergreen content that appeals to a big audience. It may receive a lot of shares and engagement because more people are interested in the content and consuming it.
  • You may have another piece of content that’s more niche and narrowly-focused (i.e., it only appeals to a small sector of your audience). That content may not get as many shares or comments, but it may have a higher conversion rate.

Comparing the performance of two posts will do little to help you understand your overall content ROI because each piece of content will speak to one or many audiences and may even have a different purpose.

In fact, you may have various types of content with different purposes and audiences. 

The Bottom Line

Measuring your content’s ROI will help you understand whether your marketing strategy is driving the results you want. But it’s important to take a big-picture approach to your analysis instead of focusing on each individual piece of content.

You might find that 70% of your leads come from your videos on YouTube, which was grown through multiple channels, such as: blogging, Facebook and others.

Instead of looking at singular content to determine ROI, when you look at the whole, then it’s often easier to see if a certain marketing channel is working for you.

Do you need help with content creation or measuring your content’s ROI?
Click here to schedule an introductory call with us today.

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