Imagine going to a website and there’s not a single word on the page. No section headings. No product descriptions. No updates or blog articles. Would you spend a considerable amount of time on a site like this? Probably not. Why? Because a website’s written content is what encourages users to explore your site, make purchases, and research a brand. These consumer actions are key factors for a positive return on investment (ROI). This blog looks at the ROI of content marketing and how you can better set and measure goals.
Why Does Content Marketing Matter?
Content marketing involves publishing relevant and regular content for your website. Doing so expands your customer base so you can acquire leads toward your goals. Content marketing is content posted with a purpose. Publishing content on your site can be done with your sales, reach, or engagement goals in mind. You must then take steps toward measuring this process.
Solving the ROI Puzzle
Many businesses struggle to measure the ROI of content marketing and therefore 44% of B2B companies do not measure it at all*. Reporting and calculating ROI goals is not one-size-fits-all, nor is it straightforward. However, it can be done by taking a big-picture approach.
To illustrate, say that a user visits your blog page 7 times over the course of a month, and while they were there, took a look at your weekly blogs. At the end of the month, they decide they have enough info to make a purchase. While each of their six previous sessions did not directly lead to a sale, your content updates over the course of the month collectively led to a positive result.
So, how do you measure the ROI of content marketing when it can be a prolonged process? And how do you know what you are looking for?
By defining clear goals and monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Setting Your Content Marketing Goals
What is it that you hope to accomplish when users visit your website? Sales? Brand visibility? Blog views? Client leads? Whatever your goal is, it should be specific enough that you understand how your content development strategy informs and benefits it.
For example, if you make a broad goal like increased web traffic on your homepage, you may not truly understand what this traffic means.
You should instead look closer at the benefits and quantitative values that result from this traffic. For example, check how many pages are visited on an average browsing session, how much time visitors spend on pages, and conversion rates. These can be turned into targeted goals such as:
- Build an audience with X percent in the 20-29-year-old age demographic in 6 months.
- Gain X number of new followers or subscribers in 3 months.
- Reach a conversion rate of X from site visitors by Q3.
Minding your Metrics
Once you have identified a clear goal for your content dev strategy, you must look into correlating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to measure the ROI of content marketing objectives.
For example, if your goal is to determine if you are reaching your target audience, you may check the demographics of the visitors on your home page. If you are looking to see if visitors are reading your blog page, you may analyze the average time spent on the blog page as your KPI. Another performance indicator is adding an exit survey to your sales pages to ask customers how they heard about your business. Their response gives a clear indication of what content drove sales.
Next, you will want to convert your KPIs into a quantitative, monetary value to represent Return. This can be represented by lifetime value (LTV), average sales costs, or an LTV/conversion representation that shows how much visits are worth based on your conversion rate.
Finally, go back and sum up the total cost it took to create this content. This constitutes your Investment.
With both your return and investment values, you can use the basic formula below to calculate the ROI of content marketing:
ROI = ((Return-Investment)/Investment) x 100
As you embark on your content dev journey, it is important to remember that the ROI of content marketing is neither immediate nor one-size-fits-all. It will take time before you can accurately measure the return on your investment. Additionally, as your business grows and changes over time, your ROI strategies may also have to adapt. You can use the same process of identifying goals and assigning quantitative KPIs to help you stay dynamic in your investment analysis.
If you are looking for more resources and insights on ROI in the design, development, or marketing realms, FYD can help. From goal-setting to analytics reporting and crafting an informed content strategy, we can help guide your vision.
*Brenner, M. (2022, March 22). How to define and measure the ROI of content marketing. Marketing Insider Group. https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/how-to-define-and-measure-the-roi-of-content-marketing/