With marketing efforts becoming more and more data-driven, rather than ‘spray and pray’, it might surprise you to learn that many marketers and business owners aren’t super confident when it comes to measuring the effects of their efforts. In fact, a recent CMO Survey revealed that 65% of marketers can’t quantitatively demonstrate the impact of their marketing. This is a major pitfall; if you don’t know how your content is impacting your bottom line, how can you know what’s worth your time, effort and money and what’s not?

While many people believe that calculating the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing is redundant, I couldn’t disagree more. It’s simply not true. Your content marketing efforts are acutely attributable, however, there are some common mistakes to avoid.

Throughout this article, I’m going to demystify content marketing ROI and provide you with everything you need to know about measuring the performance of your content marketing efforts.

What is content marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI is the revenue that you gained from content marketing in comparison to what you spent, as a percentage.

How to calculate your content marketing ROI

To calculate your content marketing ROI, you need to use this formula: Return minus Total Investment, divided by Total Investment.

Note: Where we calculate using total investment, that’s the total investment spent, not the cost of one item of content.

For example, let’s say that your total investment in content marketing is $4, 500 per month and the amount of revenue (return) that you can attribute to content marketing is $11, 000.

(11, 000 – 4, 500 / 4, 500) x 100 = 144%

Here, your content marketing ROI is 144%. So, you’d be getting back roughly $2.44 per $1 you spend.

Why calculating your content marketing ROI is important 

While some may argue that defining the ROI of content marketing efforts requires more than just revenue, I tend to disagree. If we think about it, all marketing metrics are aimed at the same goal; to increase sales and enquiries.

So, if a content marketing campaign drives traffic, engagement and awareness, it’s not a success if your bottom line hasn’t been positively impacted. You need to understand how much money and effort goes into a campaign to see if your work and hard-earned dollars has brought with it any reward. Otherwise, you won’t know what is worth reproducing and scaling.

How to measure your content marketing ROI

While the formula above does provide a clear way to measure your content marketing ROI, there are some key considerations that many people overlook. Make sure you get a more accurate picture of your content marketing performance by following these tips:

Ensure you have the correct tracking set up

In order to get the most out of measuring your content marketing ROI, you need to be able to attribute revenue to specific content types and channels. For this to work, you need to have the correct tracking set up. This could include:

  • Tracking goals and events in Google Analytics
  • Landing ‘thank you’ pages for specific offers.
  • UTM codes that enable you to track performance by source, medium, campaign and content type

By including the above tactics in your measurement, you will be able to see which offers are getting the most conversions, as well as see which channels and content types are driving the most traffic to those offers.

Define and value your conversions

While not every conversion will have a monetary value assigned to it, I’d encourage you to assign one.

For example, if you have a gated piece of Free Value Content (FVC) that brings you around 60 leads per month, and of those leads, about 8 of them become paying customers, you can use that data to assign a value to the leads generated from that campaign.

You’ll be able to gather that information from your CRM and tracking codes.

Know your metrics

In order to assign monetary value to your conversions (and content), you need to know what metrics you need to be tracking. Here are some key metrics you should be measuring, depending on your goal:

Social Media Metrics

  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Audience growth rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Click Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate

Email Marketing Metrics

  • Open Rate
  • Click Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Subscribers
  • Unsubscribers

Website Metrics

  • Sessions
  • Page Views
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Backlinks
  • Bounce Rate
  • Keyword Ranking
  • Domain Authority
  • Page Per Visit
  • Organic Conversion

Paid Ads Metrics

  • Cost per click
  • Cost per Thousand Impressions
  • Cost per Lead
  • Click Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate

Gather ALL of your costs

While it may sound obvious, it’s easy to overlook all of the costs associated with content marketing. It’s important that all of your spend (including the cost of online tools, as well as the cost of hiring someone to execute) is included in calculating your content marketing ROI. 

Where to from here?

While measuring the success of your content marketing efforts might not be super easy, it is critical when it comes to understanding the impact of your efforts and making data-driven decisions. By following the tips I’ve outlined in this post, you can start putting the control into your hands when it comes to effectively measuring your content marketing ROI.


What is data-driven marketing and why is it important for small businesses?

What Is Content Marketing Why Businesses Need A Strategy

What is a Marketing Funnel and Why It’s Important

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