As a variety of marketing trends come and go, it’s no secret that Content Marketing reigns supreme and is used by approximately 91% of B2B (business to business) marketers and 86% of B2C (business to consumer) marketers, according to the Content Marketing Institute. However, fewer than 10% of marketers truly know how to track their content marketing results…. And that means a whole lot of time and money is being wasted by businesses of all sizes.
If your company is struggling with creating a successful content marketing strategy, the first step is to evaluate the WHY the WHO and the WHAT of your content marketing plan. What are you hoping to accomplish with content? Who are you trying to target? And what information do your targets need that you can be a resource for? Answering these questions will help you determine what kinds of content you need to be creating, who you should be targeting, and what success will look like…. particularly with regards to results accomplished compared to your goals and your overall ROI (return on investment).
Why ROI for Content Marketing Matters
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Marketing Association, 64% of marketers stated that they don’t know how to calculate marketing ROI or don’t have the proper tools to calculate ROI.
The significance of an ROI should not be underestimated. A return on investment is a quantification of the revenue produced by your content marketing strategy, represented as a percentage. You’re not bringing in a profit if your campaign costs are greater than what you are getting back in return. You may very well end up losing money if your ROI calculations are incorrect (or you fail to include them in your content marketing strategy).
How to Calculate the Figures You Need
Believe it or not, there are actual formulas that marketers can use in order to calculate general ROI, as well as Content Marketing ROI. For instance, if a campaign’s goal is to make visitors purchase products from a certain web page, it isn’t hard to calculate the amount of sales the campaign will bring in, along with the ROI of the campaign. This is known as simple ROI.
(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI
On the other hand, if your campaign’s call-to-action is to get newsletter sign-ups and increase exposure for your brand, it might take a while for leads to be converted into paying customers, making the calculation of ROI more challenging. It’s vital to establish success metrics for all campaign stages for the sake of figuring out which practices are effective, regardless of whether or not they have a direct influence on revenue.
Drilling Down on the Content ROI
For every campaign, there are three pieces of information you’ll need for content marketing ROI calculations:
- Content Expenses
This figure represents the amount of money spent on campaign creation, which includes writing, graphic design, video shoots, freelancer hires, the value of your time, and research costs.
- Distribution Expenses
This figure represents the amount of money spent managing the campaign, which includes analytical software, specialist distribution, influencer fees, paid promotions, and server costs.
- Revenue Generation
This figure represents the profit or loss generated by the campaign. Calculating this step is not as easy as it sounds, because it’s not always clear where sales originate from. However, there are steps you can take to simplify this process, one of which includes matching each campaign with a promotional code your customers type in during the checkout process.
ROI Calculation Metrics for Content Marketing
When establishing what metrics to use, put some thought into your campaign objectives, and choose metrics that correspond with your goals. Use metrics to monitor your success during the marketing process, as well as for ROI calculations. Metrics are comprised of the following:
The purpose of content marketing is to create content that works to HELP vs. SELL. If a question is answered that benefits many people, your visibility will be enhanced. Valuable content is capable of developing loyal customers for your business, alluring more traffic, and helping you rank better on search engine result pages (SERPs). You can establish visibility by researching page viewership, traffic volume to your website, and search placement.
In a perfect world, customers would start buying your products the minute your content is seen. Of course, this is impractical and unrealistic. For the most part, leads will be generated by your marketing endeavors. Customers who express curiosity about your services or products are more inclined to convert to leads. Establish leads by determining how many people contacted your sales staff, signed up for your newsletter, or made use of a “wish list” on your digital store.
An essential content marketing step is to develop connections with potential customers. Strive to be seen as a resource for whatever you specialize in and provide content that gives people information about your brand. In doing so, you’ll stimulate curiosity in potential customers and steer them towards a CTA (call to action). Engagement can be established by assessing subscriptions, comments, shares, and likes.
For the most part, your endgame is sales, and your ROI can be quantified with this metric. Profits, revenue, orders, and pre-orders are figures you can use for sales calculations.
Bottom Line: Evaluation Value
Studies suggest that content marketing produces three times the leads that outbound marketing does. Best of all, content marketing costs are 62% cheaper than outbound marketing costs.
You might not see an investment return right away, particularly if your main objective is to enhance audience engagement or build a sales lead database. Assessing your campaign’s success at every stage is a vital aspect of a profitable and properly structured campaign. Systems should be in place to measure your content marketing for the sake of setting yourself apart from the competition.
Remember, 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers don’t bother quantifying the ROI of their content marketing. Use statistics to your advantage rather than becoming a statistic.
If you would like help with creating a content marketing strategy or calculating your content marketing ROI, we’re here to help! Email is at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-305-2017 for more information.