How to Measure Your Content Marketing Performance

Written on
August 28, 2020
by
Jessica King
in
Content Marketing
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How do you measure content marketing performance? If you’re not measuring your results, you can’t know if your content strategy is working. You may be wasting your marketing investment, or you may be missing opportunities to optimize your performance and increase your leads, conversions and revenue. Here are five different ways you can measure content marketing success:

  1. Return on investment (ROI)
  2. Brand awareness
  3. Engagement
  4. Lead generation
  5. Customer retention

Read on to learn more about how to use each of these different methods to track your content campaign results.

How to Calculate Content Marketing ROI

One of the most direct ways to measure the success of your content marketing strategy is tracking how it impacts your bottom line. You can use a simple formula to assess this:

[(R – I)/I] * 100

Here, R represents your return on investment, while I represents your investment. The difference between R and I tells you how much you profited from your marketing campaign after your costs are subtracted from your revenue. Dividing this amount by I compares the profits of your campaign to your costs as expressed in terms of a ratio. Multiplying this ratio by 100 converts it into a percentage.

For example, if you invested $5,000 in a campaign and got $10,000 back, R minus I would be $5,000, and dividing this by $5,000 would yield a return factor of 1, equivalent to 100 when multiplied by 100. This would mean that for every dollar you invest, you’re getting that amount back plus an additional 100%, equivalent to doubling your investment.

The bigger your R value compared to your I value, the more profitable your campaign. On the other hand, the closer R is to I, the closer your return gets to 0, meaning you didn’t get any more back than you invested. If R is smaller than I, you’re spending more than you’re getting back.

If your ROI is low, review the performance of your various content marketing campaigns. Identify which ones are performing well and which ones aren’t. Focus your investment on high-performing campaigns, while seeking to boost the performance of struggling campaigns and discarding ones which aren’t profitable. Seek to replicate your best campaigns by identifying why they’re doing well and duplicating these factors with other campaigns.

To apply this metric accurately, you must have a tracking system which allows you to identify which of your sales conversions came from the marketing campaign you’re measuring, rather than from other sources. This is easy if you have a dedicated landing sales page for a given campaign. It can be more complex if you don’t directly steer leads to a single sales page. In this case, one solution is to use a CRM or Google analytics to identify leads that came from a given campaign. You can then correlate these leads with sales conversions to determine which conversions came from that specific campaign.

Other Ways to Measure Content Marketing Success

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While return on investment offers one of the most direct ways to measure the financial impact of your content marketing campaigns, it isn’t the only way to gauge success. You can also track your results by monitoring variables which indirectly impact your revenue results. These include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Customer retention

Each of these ways to measure content marketing can be expressed in terms of its own distinctive key performance indicators.

Brand Awareness

Building brand awareness serves as a preliminary step towards driving traffic and sales conversions. You can measure brand awareness by tracking several key performance indicators:

  • Unique website visitors: distinct visitors landing on your site or a specific page through clicks generated by your content campaign
  • Average time on site: the total duration of sessions on your site or page during a selected time frame divided by the number of sessions
  • Referral links: the number of referral shares generated by your content marketing

Use these metrics to evaluate how well your content efforts are building awareness of your brand among your target audience. If these numbers are low, you may need to increase your content marketing activity or review whether you’re targeting the right keywords for your intended audience.

Engagement

Engaging your audience represents the next step towards a sales conversion after instilling brand awareness. You can measure engagement through a number of measures, including:

  • Social media engagement metrics, such as likes, follows and shares
  • Comments on your blog posts
  • Average number of pages viewed per visitor to your site

Use these types of KPIs to assess whether your content is generating interaction with your brand. If these numbers are low, you may need to adjust the subjects, keywords or wording of your content in order to invite more engagement.

Lead Generation

Brand awareness and engagement serve to generate leads, bringing prospects a step further towards becoming customers. You can use a number of methods to track lead generation from your content campaigns:

  • Opt-ins for your email newsletter
  • Completions of forms on your website
  • Free trial registrations for SaaS services

If these numbers are low, consider split-testing the copywriting on your landing pages to make them more effective. For instance, you may need to use a stronger offer as an incentive for opt-ins or free trial registrations, or you may need to appeal to a more compelling benefit.

Customer Retention

After you’ve successfully converted a lead into a customer, a key to maximizing your marketing ROI is retaining their business. You can use a number of metrics to gauge customer retention directly and indirectly:

  • Onboarding rate: how often buyers are taking follow-up actions such as creating profiles and installing apps
  • Adoption rate: how often buyers are taking actions which reflect product use, such as logging into SaaS portals
  • Customer service metrics: indicators of service satisfaction, such as how quickly service tickets are resolved and how often they are resolved on first contact
  • Net promoter score: the percentage of customers who would recommend your brand to family or friends
  • Cross-sell and upsell revenue: how frequently customers are making follow-up purchases
  • Customer retention: the percentage of customers who remain buyers over a given time frame
  • Customer churn: the percentage of customers lost over a given time frame

If these numbers are low, consider reviewing your customer journey map to identify points where you can boost customer engagement with your product or service and improve customer service and satisfaction.

Measure Content Marketing to Improve Your Performance

By tracking return on investment and other metrics, you gain invaluable insight into your marketing performance, laying a foundation for taking steps to improve your results. The groundwork for better results starts with keyword research to identify which search terms can help you improve your on-page SEO. SimpleTiger helps B2B SaaS providers scale up your results by developing content marketing strategies tailored to the keywords your target audience searches on. Take a few minutes to fill out our online form and schedule a discovery call to discuss how we can help you boost your content marketing return on investment.

Simply effective marketing.