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10 Ways to Measure the ROI of Content Marketing

content strategy Jun 11, 2024
A classic wooden ruler with neon markings stands vertically next to a potted plant and a cup of colorful pencils. The background is bright and clean, with a mint green color.

 

You can't track what you don't measure.

Content marketing is essential for B2B software companies, but understanding its value means measuring its return on investment (ROI). Here are some ideas on how to measure the ROI of your content marketing efforts.

 

1. Set Clear Goals and KPIs

Start by defining what success looks like. Set clear goals and KPIs that align with your business objectives. Common goals include increasing generating leads, improving conversion rates, and boosting brand awareness.

Example KPIs:

  • Website Traffic: Number of visitors to your site. Higher traffic indicates broader reach.
  • Leads Generated: Number of potential customers who provide their contact information. Shows effectiveness in capturing interest.
  • Conversion Rates: Percentage of visitors who take a desired action, like filling out a form or making a purchase. Higher rates mean more visitors becoming customers.
  • Engagement Metrics: Likes, shares, comments, and other forms of interaction with your content. High engagement indicates resonating content.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Cost to acquire a new customer. Lower CAC means more efficient spending.

 

2. Track Website Traffic

Website traffic is a basic measure of content marketing success. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how many people visit your site, where they come from, and which content they engage with the most.

Key Metrics to Monitor:

  • Pageviews: Total number of pages viewed. Indicates overall interest.
  • Unique Visitors: Number of individual visitors. Shows distinct people visiting.
  • Bounce Rate: Percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page. High rates may indicate content isn’t meeting expectations.
  • Average Session Duration: Time visitors spend on your site. Longer sessions suggest engaging content.
  • Traffic Sources: Identify whether visitors come from organic search, referrals, social media, or direct traffic. Helps focus efforts.

 

3. Measure Lead Generation

One main goal of B2B content marketing is to generate leads (the process of attracting and converting strangers into prospects interested in your company's products or services). Track how many leads come from your content, such as eBooks, webinars, and whitepapers. Use forms and landing pages to capture lead information.

Tools to Use:

  • CRM Systems: Track and manage leads with tools like Salesforce or HubSpot.
  • Marketing Automation Tools: Automate lead nurturing and tracking with tools like Marketo or Pardot.
  • Landing Page Builders: Create effective landing pages with platforms like Unbounce or Leadpages.

 

4. Calculate Conversion Rates

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action out of the total number of visitors. Conversion rates show how well your content turns visitors into leads or customers. Calculate the conversion rates for different content types to see which are most effective.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate: Conversion Rate=(Number of ConversionsNumber of Visitors)×100\text{Conversion Rate} = \left( \frac{\text{Number of Conversions}}{\text{Number of Visitors}} \right) \times 100

Types of Conversions:

  • Lead Conversions: Actions like form submissions, newsletter sign-ups, or demo requests. Early indicators of interest.
  • Sales Conversions: Completed purchases or subscriptions resulting from your content. Indicate successful customer acquisition.

 

5. Analyze Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics tell you how your audience interacts with your content. High engagement means your content is resonating with your audience.

Important Engagement Metrics:

  • Social Shares: Number of times your content is shared. High share counts indicate valuable content.
  • Likes and Comments: Interactions on social media posts or blog comments. More interactions mean more interest.
  • Click-Through Rates (CTR): Percentage of people who click on a link in your content. Higher CTRs show effective calls to action.
  • Time on Page: Time visitors spend on a specific page. Longer time indicates engaging content.

A word of caution: The number of followers may not be as important as it seems. More specific content could foster a deeper connection with your ideal prospects, possibly leading to fewer followers and less overall engagement. The key is to ensure your content effectively resonates with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), ultimately aiming for revenue generation.

 

6. Evaluate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the total cost to acquire a new customer. Compare CAC with the revenue from new customers to assess profitability.

Content marketing plays a significant role in influencing CAC. By creating valuable and relevant content, businesses can attract potential customers without spending heavily on paid advertising. This can lead to organic traffic and inbound leads, which often have a lower acquisition cost compared to traditional outbound methods.

How to Calculate CAC: CAC=Total Marketing and Sales CostsNumber of New Customers Acquired\text{CAC} = \frac{\text{Total Marketing and Sales Costs}}{\text{Number of New Customers Acquired}}

 

7. Assess Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the total revenue you expect from a customer over their relationship with your company. Compare CLV with CAC to see long-term profitability.

How to Calculate CLV: CLV=Average Purchase Value×Purchase Frequency×Customer Lifespan\text{CLV} = \text{Average Purchase Value} \times \text{Purchase Frequency} \times \text{Customer Lifespan}

Why It Matters:

  • A higher CLV compared to CAC indicates a profitable customer relationship.
  • Helps in understanding the long-term value of content marketing efforts.

 

8. Use Attribution Models

Attribution models help you understand how different touchpoints contribute to conversions. Use these models to see which content and channels are most effective.

Common Attribution Models:

  • First-Touch Attribution: Credits the first interaction with your brand for the conversion. Useful for identifying channels that bring in leads.
  • Last-Touch Attribution: Credits the last interaction before the conversion. Helps identify what closes the deal.
  • Multi-Touch Attribution: Distributes credit across multiple interactions. Provides a comprehensive view of the customer journey.

Benefits:

  • Provides insights into the customer journey.
  • Helps allocate marketing resources more effectively.

 

9. Monitor Revenue Generated

Revenue generated from content marketing refers to the income directly attributable to your content efforts. Track the revenue from leads and customers acquired through your content.

How to Calculate ROI: ROI=(Revenue from Content MarketingCost of Content MarketingCost of Content Marketing)×100\text{ROI} = \left( \frac{\text{Revenue from Content Marketing} - \text{Cost of Content Marketing}}{\text{Cost of Content Marketing}} \right) \times 100

Steps:

  • Track revenue generated directly from content marketing efforts.
  • Subtract the total cost of content creation, distribution, and promotion.
  • Calculate the ROI to understand the financial impact of your content marketing.

 

10. Ask Your Prospects and Customers

Getting direct feedback from your prospects and customers can provide valuable insights into how they discover and engage with your content. This qualitative data can complement your quantitative metrics and help refine your content strategy.

Ways to Gather Feedback:

  • Surveys: Send out surveys asking how they found your content and what they think about it.
  • Interviews: Conduct interviews with customers to get in-depth feedback.
  • Feedback Forms: Include feedback forms on your website or after content downloads.

Benefits:

  • Understand which channels are most effective.
  • Gain insights into content preferences and engagement.
  • Improve your content strategy based on direct feedback.

 

Conclusion

By utilizing these methods to assess your content's performance, you can understand its value in attracting and nurturing leads, fostering trust, and ultimately reducing the cost of acquiring new customers.

If you are a B2B tech marketer in need of strategic content production support, learn more about how we can assist you here.

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