A Zen Approach To Measuring Content Marketing Roi

If you’re doing content marketing, you’ve got your hands in all kinds of projects - from eBooks and whitepapers, to blog posts, to infographics, to contributed articles and influencer engagement. And you need to measure all these activities on a regular basis to:

Unfortunately for us content marketers, we can’t just log into one tool like Salesforce and get all the data we need - there are all kinds of metrics that are typically scattered across a half-dozen tools or platforms. Some software aims to bring content metrics together in a more cohesive way, but I haven’t found anything yet that covers all the bases.

Given the amount of data and tools at hand for content marketers, the whole measurement process can leave you feeling frazzled. But it doesn’t have to - there is a way to get zen about it, which basically comes down to organizing metrics into the following buckets: Reach, Engage, Convert, Retain.

These four categories broadly align with most business goals (at a very high level), so organizing your metrics this way will make sense to your boss, your boss’ boss and so on. It also ensures you don’t lose sight of how your day-to-day is making a real impact.

Also, I should note that I’m focusing on metrics for owned content. Social media, PR, and influencer relations are closely related, but I tend to view those as distribution channels for content (plus, if we include those here, we might lose our zen).

Before going further, I want to give credit to Michael Brenner for inspiring some of these ideas, check out this presentation for more on his approach to measuring content marketing ROI.

1. Reach

Without an audience, your content can only go so far. If the same 50 people religiously read and share your content, that’s great, but your efforts will plateau quickly. It’s critical to find ways to expose new people to your content. If your “reach” metrics are growing, you can feel confident that your audience is too.

Here's what to measure:

2. Engage

This is where you find out whether the content you’re producing is actually resonating. Once people find your content, are they reading and/or doing something with it? We all know that social sharing can have a compounding effect on content distribution, making it important to keep tabs on, among other things.

Here's what to measure:

3. Convert

In B2B, a conversion happens when you capture someone’s name and email address (and other info, depending on your lead form). Ultimately, your top-of-the-funnel activities should be driving people to a conversion, so this metric can also be a strong indicator of how well you’re tying together your content and moving prospects from one stage to the next.

Here's what to measure:

4. Retain

So many marketers are focused on filling the funnel and creating new opportunities to pass onto sales that retention gets overlooked. But, did you know that 80% of future company profits come from just 20% of existing customers?

Make sure you’re developing content that helps existing customers and supports upselling efforts. For top-of-the-funnel efforts, the measurement process is more manual, like looking at how many new blog subscribers are customers. When it comes to which customers are downloading gated content and how it's influencing upsells, that's when you'd want to use a tool like BrightFunnel.

Hopefully this gives you a good framework for making sense of your content marketing metrics, and brings a little zen back into your work life.

Source: Social Media Today