How to measure Content Marketing ROI

Content Marketing ROI

A strategy for tracking content consumption should be included as part of any greater content strategy. It enables you to measure return on investment (ROI) across different channels and refine your content delivery, to serve it how, when, where and to those who want it, leading to increased consumption.

By assigning a monetary value to different forms of engagement, Content Marketing ROI can be easily measured – with Google Analytics offering automated tracking of a number of metrics when you set up “Goals”.

While digital engagement and ROI is easier to track than print, both are measurable. Here’s how:

Tracking Digital ROI

Key metrics which should be monitored are:

 Click-throughs /Time spent /  Shares / Comments / Contacts / Data Collection / Leads / Sales / Revenue / Conversions 

+ broad metrics: Retention / Loyalty / Brand perception – end user and suppliers / Average life time value of a customer / Ongoing engagement over time.

Consumption Metrics: How many people consumed your content: eg page views, bounce ratio, app / pdf downloads, video views. Google Analytics tracks audience acquisition, flow and consumption down to who skims through your article and who actually reads them. This enables you to refine content delivery based on what people are consuming the most. Moreover you can assign content consumption monetary value in Goals.

Sharing & Engagement Metrics: How often do your content consumers share it with others or comment / like / link etc. You should measure social audience acquisition, flow and consumption. What content is gaining traction on Social Media?

Lead generation metrics: How often do content consumers turn into leads? eg newsletter or membership signups. Use Google Analytics and insert a browser cookie that tracks signups and assign that lead a monetary value through Goals.

Sales Metrics How often do content consumers make purchases? eg purchase online or in store. Are content consumers bigger purchasers? Which content? Tracking offline/in store purchases by members can be cross-referenced to  content consumption where their login is required, however a login requirement can minimise total content consumption.


Tracking Print ROI

ROI and engagement with a custom publication is harder to track. Ideally, audience analysis and market research should be conducted and then regularly cross-referenced. You should assess how much your print content is being consumed and what effect is it having. You should be looking at how print influences:

Leads / Sales / Conversions / Revenue / Retention / Data collection / Loyalty / Brand perception – end user and suppliers if relevant / Average life time value of a customer / Ongoing engagement over time. Other ROI comes from contra sponsorships (in exchange for publicity) of events, teams or organisations

If you are connected with your target market and audience, Print engagement can be monitored through digital channels such as social media, forums, blogs and other two-way communication channels. Moreover your sales reps and retailers are tapped into your market and should be your ears and eyes on the ground. 

Generally, engagement times with print are higher than digital, however deciding whether the printing and distribution investment is worthwhile depends on your target market and their propensity to consume print or digital media.

A 2011/12 McNair Ingenuity Research report into custom magazines found that:

  • 74% of people read their magazine immediately upon its arrival.
  • 88% of people read their magazine up to 5 times for an average of 40 minutes each.
  • Nearly 80% recommended their magazine to a friend or colleague.
  • An average of 2.3 people read the magazine. B2B magazines perform above average.
  • A custom magazine creates a deep association of trust with the brand.
  • 54% of respondents visited the brands website as a result of the magazine.

Whatever channels and mediums you use in your content marketing matrix, you should understand who is consuming your content, why, when, where, on what and ultimately what effect if is having on them.


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