How to measure content marketing ROI?
The only way to accurately measure the return on content marketing investment is, first, to know the cost of creating content, and then the cost of distributing it.
You also need to understand how much revenue content marketing has made for your business. After all, your business exists to make money.
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Do you know how much it costs to write, and then distribute a blog post?
I’m going to show you an oversimplified model, but this is how you might think about measuring your return on content marketing investment.
A few assumptions to kick us off:
- A “solid” blog post takes an average five hours to research, write, and edit. That’s an authoritative, well-researched, piece of thought leadership.
- Let’s assume you earn £45,000 a year. (This includes no charges or overhead, and is 100% hypothetical)
- Let’s assume you work 45 weeks a year, and 48 hours per week, and that your hourly rate is £45,000/2160 hours = £20.83 per hour
- So, the hourly cost of creating a blog is £20.83
- This means that the cost of creating one solid blog post is £104.15 (£20.83 x 5)
- Therefore, the cost of creating 3 posts per week is £104.15 x 3 blogs week = £312.45
- Multiplied by 45 weeks = £14,060 per annum
- This equates to 135 posts, which is considerable pulling power!
- Using the same type of calculation let’s assume content distribution costs another £12,501 per annum (there is no paid content promotion)
Based on this very hypothetical calculation, the minimum cost that needs to be recouped via online channels is £30,000 to cover the expense. But remember that the pages you’ve created do not disappear after 12 months. If they’ve been written to attract visitors and they deal with “evergreen” themes and topics, they will have considerable online longevity.
- The posts each drive 150 new visits to your website per month
- 1% of your new visitors fill in a contact form, download PDF, or sign up for your newsletter
- You nurture these new contacts via email and other direct channels
- As a result, 1% of your new leads turn into new business
Well, now that we’ve calculated revenues generated, and the overall cost of your content marketing here is equation:
(New Revenue Generated – Cost of Content Marketing) / Cost of Content Marketing = ROI
So, if you make £100 in revenue from content marketing and the total cost of undertaking content marketing is £50, the ‘return on investment’ is ‘1’ (or 100%).
Now compare this against the costs of doing other types of marketing: Such as running adverts in the classified section, or the yellow pages, or doing a PPC campaign and you have the basis for a comparison from which to make a decision about where to invest to get the best return on your marketing investment.
What content marketing metrics should you track?
The two big content marketing metrics to watch are:
- Quality of leads. Are leads turning into customers? Knowing how many leads your content brings in, and how many of those leads convert to sales is what matters.
- Cost of sales. Are we saving money? You’ve got to spend some money to make money, but if you’re spending as much or more to bring in customers than they’re giving back, that’s bad for business. Are you seeing a decrease in cost-per-lead or cost-per-acquisition compared with your other more traditional options?
This is a highly simplified model. However, you can learn more about how to calculate your content marketing ROI in my guide.