Evaluating and Measuring Content Marketing ROI
A successful content marketer knows that it isn’t just about doing what brings guaranteed results; it is also about being able to objectively measure whether what you’re doing brings guaranteed results or not, and then take the appropriate and necessary actions.
What is ROI?
Evaluating and measuring your content marketing ROI doesn’t have to be a confusing and challenging task. This guide is written to show you the importance of evaluation and measurement – and how to do it effectively for your content marketing strategy.
ROI, an acronym for “return on investment,” is one of the most, if not the most important metric content marketers use to determine the effectiveness of any campaign or strategy. ROI is a concrete metric that evaluates and measures the absolute return on the total amount invested on a particular marketing effort.
So if your ROI is positive, you’re on the right track – strive to improve it. But if your ROI is negative, there is something wrong with what you’re doing – change it, throw it away, get a new one.
ROI Evaluation and Measurement
1. Setting and Measuring Goals and Objectives
Evaluating and measuring content marketing ROI can help you plan, set and eventually measure ideal goals and objectives for your organisation that will lead to business success.
The definition of ‘success’ may vary by company but you still have to figure out what goals and objectives you want for your content marketing so you can eventually have a baseline for measuring its efficiency and effectiveness. Using the SMART criteria can help you determine goals and objectives that does not only matter for your brand but will also contribute to meaningful progress and sustainable success.
Setting, achieving, and measuring goals and objectives is an on-going process. There should be constant modifications and adjustments to hit more feasible, meaningful, and realistic targets.
2. Identifying Successes and Failures
Experimentation and risk taking in content marketing is vital for long-term success. Maintaining a dynamic, ever-changing strategy or campaign can ensure you’re giving exactly what your target audience wants or expects from you.
However, the lack of stability can do considerable damage to your brand, if not played out well. This is why evaluating and measuring content marketing ROI is a crucial aspect of your business so you can find out which of your experiments are working and which ones aren’t.
3. Generating New, Fresh, or Original Ideas
Taking time and effort to evaluate and measure content marketing ROI can lead to gathering of new, fresh, or original ideas that your content marketing campaign needs. Plus, it can show key opportunities you might be focusing on, depending on what types of traffic you’re attracting or which part of the campaign is leading to a boost in sales conversion.
6 Principles to Success in Evaluation
1. Evaluate and measure everything.
In this digital age, it is possible to keep track of every aspect of your content marketing performance, so why not do it? It isn’t enough you have specific goal, SMART objectives, or designated platforms for your campaign; it is always a better and smarter move to know every single detail, information, data so you won’t overlook something.
2. Evaluate and measure consistently.
After setting up the parameters for evaluating and measuring your content marketing ROI, do this consistently. It helps you stay focused on achieving your goals and objectives. Plus, that wealth of data you have gathered can provide you with more clear and accurate insights and conclusions.
3. Choose the right tools.
Among the plethora of marketing analytics tools in the market these days, only a handful can track exactly what you need them to track – in a convenient, relevant, and cost-effective format your brand needs.
4. Relate everything back to goals and objectives.
Always use the data you gathered to determine if has a positive or negative impact to your goals and objectives. Non-purposeful data is meaningless to your campaign. Frame everything in a context that will help you ensure your goals and objectives will come to reality.
5. Avoid the temptation of confirmation bias.
You plan, set, and launch a content marketing strategy with total faith it will work. As you browse through the data sets, you select the part that confirms your expectation and justifies your belief – even if it is unjustly verified because of your bias.
Do not fall into the trap of confirmation bias – it is a very common yet very dangerous threat to getting authentic results and guaranteed success of your content marketing efforts.
6. Make your insights actionable.
Now that you’ve armed yourself with the necessary numbers and valuable insights, what’s next? Don’t let it go to waste and utilise it to contribute radical change in your campaign - increased sales, engagement, brand awareness, and customer retention.
6 Key Content Marketing Metrics to Evaluate
If you find yourself sifting through a sea of information that will lead you to the right metrics, here are the top six you should focus on to have an in-depth understanding of the efficiency and effectiveness of your content marketing efforts:
As an inbound strategy, content marketing has one ultimate goal: to increase web traffic. Whatever demographics you’re aiming for or whichever platform you’re utilising to reach them, one thing remains crystal clear – quality traffic is a vital sign of the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign.
Different companies employ different strategies or campaigns but they are all geared towards one thing: boost sales conversion. During this stage of marketer-customer relationship, an end user voluntarily or eagerly responds to your call for action – either through completion of form, downloading of a piece of written resource or digital media, or making a purchase.
Conversions are essential to identify which content attracts how much or which type of traffic but more importantly, if it leads to converting readers into customers.
There are written resources or digital media in your content line-up that would be more appealing to your target audience than others on your site. This can be determined through the number of comments, likes, shares, or inbound links as well as the quality of engagements.
Whatever it is, make sure to identify these content pieces that stand out among others and repurpose it. Those that did not merit such prominence have to be modified or replaced.
4. Brand Awareness
An extremely difficult data point to evaluate and measure, brand awareness is something big and small companies put a considerable amount of investment into, simply because of its strength and influence to provide exposure to a wider group of audience.
There is no universally confirmed way to evaluate and measure it, and some organisations even call it a pointless exercise. Whatever your views about brand awareness, you still have to pay attention to it; it is a direct reflection of your ability to effectively promote your business.
5. Consumer Engagement
Consumer engagement, like popularity, does not possess an inherent objective value but is still a vital aspect of your content marketing campaign. The more engaged your readers or loyal customers are the higher value they find in your content offering. It can take various forms – comments, tweets, likes, shares, downloads, discussions, etc. – all of which can be used to determine how well you’re doing at what you do.
6. Brand Reputation
Brand reputation though an intangible and finicky measurement can show you which goals and objectives to make as well as point you in the right direction – towards long-term sustainable success.
What KPIs to Consider During Evaluation and Measurement
Measuring success is important – but KPI's vary a great deal from brand to brand.
For example, if a particular part of your content marketing strategy is geared towards increased sales leads, email sign-ups and contact form completions are some of the KPIs you should watch out for.
As a general rule, do not let up on your data collection because all the insights, proofs, and numbers it will provide can lead you to better understanding of the differences in performance between different types of content – so you can execute each one to specifically satisfy a particular group of target audience.
It might seem complex and exhausting but doing that hard work right away will save a lot of trouble later on. If you’ve gone to great lengths to understand your target audience, and even go out of your comfort zone to reach an untapped customer base, you’ll have the best possible chance of success for your content marketing efforts.