Marketing

A Simple Way to Measure Content Marketing ROI

Here’s how measuring your content marketing ROI can be quick and easy.

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne on March 6, 2018 • 6 minute read

When it comes to content marketing strategies, there’s only one thing that matters to top management: the content marketing ROI.

The reason, according to Adam Boalt, CEO of TravelVisa.com, is simple.

“Content marketing promises to help businesses make money. Then again, so do other marketing strategies. The only way to convince the people at the top that this is the best option is to show what they will get in return in numbers.”

This alone may be already a good enough reason for you to know your content marketing’s ROI. Fortunately, this is not the only benefit you get. Here are some of the others.

Setting a budget

“Between the plethora of content marketing trends and tools available at your disposal, it is straightforward for a marketer or business owner to get sidetracked, and go with what’s popular,” Jolene Winter, Owner of Home Photogenic points out. “Knowing your content marketing ROI gives you a ceiling to how much you can spend, and still make a profit in the end.”

Realistic goal setting

Getting members of top management onboard with your content marketing strategy is not easy. When they do give you the signal to implement this, you need to make sure that you deliver. If you are not able to provide numbers showing that your content marketing strategy will deliver, it is going to be so much harder for you to get another chance. You can use SMART goals to set realistic expectations.

Choosing the right content format

“Content marketing is no longer just blog posts and articles,” says Ben Larcey, Co-Founder of StoreKit. “There’s now webinars, podcasts, and video. Each of these formats cost time and money to create. When you can measure each of their ROI, you can then weed out the least profitable ones, and allocate those resources to the most profitable ones. That way, you can further maximize the revenue it generates for you.”

The challenge with measuring content marketing ROI

Yet, a significant number of content marketers do not measure this. A study published by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers do not measure the ROI of their content marketing strategy.

image1

Data from Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing & 2018 B2C Content Marketing reports

When asked why they do not measure their content marketing ROI, the majority of B2B and B2C customers say that the process was tedious and time-consuming. Additionally, 27% of B2B marketers and 26% B2C marketers said that they do not know how to measure their content marketing ROI.

Scott Langdon, Managing Partner of HigherVisibility, says that the reason for this has to do with the lack of usable information about measuring content marketing ROI online.

“The problem is not in finding articles that talk about content marketing ROI,” according to Langdon. “You will find millions of them online. The problem is in the information these articles provide. There are not too many articles that explain why measuring content marketing ROI is crucial, let alone teach how actually to do it in a very straightforward manner.”

Langdon’s comment left a great impression on me. That is why I decided to write this article to teach you how to measure your content marketing ROI.

Why HubSpot?

HubSpot’s software is very comprehensive, especially when it comes to its inbound marketing analytics. It gives you a detailed report of some of the critical metrics commonly monitored when doing a content marketing strategy.

But, you will start to encounter challenges when you need to generate a custom report to get the data you will need to measure your content marketing ROI. While HubSpot does provide a report add-on feature for you to create the report you need, it will cost you an additional $200 a month for you to use this.

An excellent alternative for this is using Databox’s HubSpot Marketing template.

Screenshot from Databox

As you can see, the template breaks down the information for you further. Not only do you get a better insight into how your content marketing is performing, but it is easier to find the data you need to compute your content marketing strategy’s ROI.

That said, let’s get on with the steps of measuring your content marketing ROI.

Step 1: Calculate your investment

Most content marketers focus their list of expenses on just the amount of money that goes into creating and publishing content when measuring ROI. Aaron Haynes, Founder of Fenix Pro, recommends not to stop here.

“Every single element that goes into creating, distributing and even promoting your content should be taken into consideration. That includes royalty-free photos and stock images you bought, marketing automation tools you use to distribute your content, and even any advertising costs like sponsored posts and PPC ads you used to promote it.”

Step 2: Know the dollar amount of your profit

The next step is to determine your return from the content.

For this, you will need to know how many customers your content generated in the last month.

This is where the HubSpot Marketing template comes in handy since it tells you how many customers you generated in a month in one glance.

Once you get this, multiply this by the average price of your product or service. For this, I recommend using the net revenue instead of the gross since this will give you a more accurate amount of the profit you will get.

You can calculate this by multiplying the average amount of your products with the markup percentage.

Step 3: Calculate your ROI

Now that you have your figures, it is time to calculate your ROI. To get this, follow the formula below:

ROI = [(Net Revenue x Avg. Number of Customers) - Investment] / Investment

This is the same formula you use regardless of what type of content you are measuring.

Now, let’s bring everything together with an example.

Let’s say the total cost to create, publish, and promote a blog post is $7,000. On average, it converts 50 customers each month, and total revenue you receive from them is $30,000, then it would be:

($30,000 – $7,000) / $7,000 = 3.29

For this example, the ROI you get for this blog post is 329%.

Step 4: Assess and evaluate your content marketing strategy

Most content marketers would have stopped there. However, Adam Steele, Founder of Loganix Citation Building, recommends one final step. That is, evaluate your overall content marketing strategy.

“The reality is that not all computations will give you a positive number,” Steele points out. “We have experienced times in our company where the ROI was either zero or a negative value. Although looking at these number is disheartening, the good news is that you can now make the necessary adjustments to your content marketing strategy so that each content you use will give a positive ROI.”

Measuring your content marketing ROI is essential to show the effectiveness of your strategy in reaching its goals. Combining the HubSpot Marketing template with a little research and math will make accomplishing this task quick and easy. Now, you can provide your boss with undeniable proof of your content marketing success.

About the author
Kevin Payne
Kevin Payne Kevin is a HubSpot Partner that helps tech startups increase website traffic and qualified leads by planning and implement inbound marketing campaigns within a rapidly-changing, performance driven environment.
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