It’s one of the most appealing draws of digital marketing: troves of data at your fingertips. You can track just about anything to do with how people interact with your content.
But all that data is going to leave you feeling confused (and probably with a big headache) if you don’t have a plan to measure your content marketing ROI.
The whole point behind creating awesome content is to help you reach your brand or business goals. So how can you measure your content marketing ROI?
How to measure content marketing ROI
From platforms to designs and KPIs, here are a few ways the pros measure their content marketing ROI:
Tap into Google Analytics
If you don’t have an analytics tool installed on your website, then that’s step number one for you.
You have to start by tracking how people get to your website, what they click on, what they share, and how they interact with your content in general before you can do anything else. Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool that allows you to see things like:
- How long visitors are spending on each page of your website
- Which of your web pages contribute the most to your bottom line
- How prospects are engaging with the content on your web pages
As that data comes in, you’ll get a better idea of the content that your customer finds valuable. You’ll be able to see if a particular blog post has more shares than others, or if prospective customers spend a lot of time on a particular page of your website.
That will give you clues as to the type of content that your prospects find valuable, and then you can brainstorm new ways to use that content to reach your business goals.
Identify and track key performance indicators
The amount of data that you’re going to get from a tool like Google Analytics can be daunting, which is why it’s crucial to pick a few KPIs that you consistently track as success indicators.
What KPIs should you use? That depends on your business goals.
If you’re focusing on growing your email list, then you obviously want to track how many people are joining your email list every week or month.
If you want to get more people to your website, you might track cost-per-click on digital ads that you’re running and watch your daily website traffic numbers.
If you want to sell more products, use bounce rate on your sales pages and actual sales as performance indicators.
Use Content-Scheduling Tools and the Analytics They Provide
Content or social media scheduling tools are essential for every content marketer. Some tools, like Blabberjax, are a one-stop-shop for all of your content scheduling needs.
Other tools focus exclusively on blog post or social media scheduling. These types of tools are most useful if you use at least two or more different social media platforms.
Regardless of the scheduling tool that you use, take advantage of its built-in analytics to track how people are interacting with your content.
Go back to your KPIs and consistently track clicks, shares, likes, referrals, or whatever it is that is driving your business goals.
That way, as you create new content or tweak existing content, you can go back to those KPIs and see how they change. Did you get more shares when you added a few extra images to your latest blog post? Great! Now you know that was an effective tactic.
Use Experimental Design
David Still, head of brand strategy at the UK mobile phone carrier Vodafone, reported a 10% boost in efficiency of the company’s marketing efforts through a strategy called experimental design.
The concept is simple: If you want to prove that a strategy works, take it away and look for a drop in results. Vodafone used experimental design by varying the amount of money it spent on ads in different parts of the country; sales dropped when an effective marketing strategy was cut off.
Experiment with your content marketing strategies. If you think your Facebook ads or YouTube videos or blog posts are driving your business goals, remove them for a little while and see what the results are.
How do you measure content marketing ROI?
Tracking the numbers isn’t the most exciting part of content marketing, but knowing how to measure your content marketing ROI is an essential skill if you want to succeed.
By picking key performance indicators and paying attention to your analytics data, you’ll be able to instantly see which tactics work and which ones don’t, leading to a better bottom line.
Which strategies and tools do you use to track your ROI? Did I miss any on this list? Let me know in the comments. I read every one.
Then, learn how to excel at content marketing by downloading our definitive guide below!