It can be hard to measure content marketing ROI by equating the number of social media likes, or the number of eDM clicks with a dollar value, and this is one of the reasons why many people think content marketing isn’t worth the return on investment.
But when 85% of customers are researching brands online before making a purchase, content marketing meets customers where they’re at. Clicks, views, likes, and sign-ups can all transform into tangible marketing results for your business.
See how we recommend measuring the value of content marketing with this guide.
The value of content marketing
When it comes down to it, content marketing is an invaluable tool to businesses. Activities that fall under the content marketing umbrella such as SEO, social media, blog content, eDMs, and landing pages, hit every touchpoint of the customer journey and marketing funnel.
A solid content marketing strategy guides the user from awareness, all the way through to conversion and retention.
So what does this value look like in action? Say you run an eCommerce business selling sneakers and only sneakers. Your end goal is to sell those sneakers, but how can you drive awareness around your brand, get people to your site, encourage them to purchase, and then keep them coming back for more? Here, content marketing acts as a key factor in the marketing funnel to help you achieve your end goal.
Awareness: Content marketing can act as a key awareness driver for your business. Content marketing activities used to drive awareness such as social media advertising, PPC campaigns and solid SEO are all measurable activities you can create benchmarks against to track your strategy.
Engagement: Once you’ve used those key tactics to get your customers to your website, how do you engage with them once they’re there? You add value to their shopping experience by offering fresh blog content that shows how to style your sneakers, and you provide social proof through other customer reviews.
Conversion: You convert your customers through clear, action-driving landing pages that combine photography, clear and catchy copy with video, that provides a great user experience. A conversion in this scenario is a pair of shoes added to the cart and paid for, but there are other types of conversions too: eDM sign-ups mean you have an interested customer wanting to have an ongoing conversation and social media likes mean your customer is keen to see more from you. Content marketing conversions can be a number of activities.
Retention: So your customer bought a pair of shoes, amazing! Now how do you retain their attention and loyalty? By using your newsletter database to sling them offers and showcase new styles, as well as having them join your social channels to always stay up to date. Content marketing is a key retention driver for targeted and simplified messaging.
How to measure content marketing ROI
Establishing key metrics is the most effective way of measuring how successful your content marketing efforts are against your business objectives that can cover increasing brand awareness, increasing sales or increasing brand share of voice, just to name a few.
You can get a sense of how users behave with your site and content, what works for them and what doesn’t — it’s all in the data that’s readily available to you.
Here’s what we recommend tracking and measuring back to your business objectives, so you can know if your content marketing strategy and activity is paying off.
Track where your customers are coming from and how they move through your site
How: Traffic sources and pages per session
You’ll know whether your SEO activity or your social media strategy is paying off by looking at how people are getting to your site, and then how they move through it. While it’s hard to pin a number against this activity, you’ll want to see your traffics sources reflecting your activity and your pages per session be more than one to be making a real impact.
Track the popularity of your content
How: Pageviews and bounce rates
This is a pretty simple one — set realistic benchmarks against how many page views you want to see on your content, as well as bounce rates below 60%. This will provide you with quantifiable numbers as to how popular your content is, and whether it’s encouraging your users to take more actions on your site.
Track the growth of your remarketing database
How: eDM sign-ups and data tags
This is an important one — setting numbers and targets for your remarketing database. Growing your database is critical to your success, as it allows you to remarket to already engage customers.
Track engagement on your social channels
How: Likes and click-throughs
Your social channels are a fantastic source of traffic to your website, and provide a really good insight into the kind of content your audience is interested in. Set benchmarks for the number of likes and clicks you want from this channel, and always look for ways to increase.
Need more content marketing tips in your life?
We created a Content Marketing Strategy eBook to provide you with tools to:
- Align your business goals to marketing objectives
- Develop a Brand Personality & Tone of Voice
- Create your Buyer Personas
- Map content to Customer Journeys
- Identify the right topics to create content around
- Distribute and amplify your content
You can download it for free here.