Lead Generation Metrics
On the other hand, you can track key goals that create leads for your business. Common lead generation metrics include:
- Form/field sign ups
- Blog comments
Many businesses also like to track indirect lead sources from social or referral channels. This is quite difficult, but Hootsuite is one of many companies that offer social listening software to calculate the value of this metric toward your ROI. This can also calculate your brand/influencer value.
There are other metrics your business can track, such as the total number of sales attributable to your content.
If your business operates on a subscription model then it’s important to track the average customer lifetime value. Content marketing is primarily an inbound marketing tactic used to both nurture leads through the funnel, as well as to retain existing customers through brand value.
Leverage a CRM to see how content assists in retaining customers.
Campaign Attributable ROI
Your business may choose to simply analyze how content marketing has affected your bottom line altogether. I took an easy equation from Investopedia to help you calculate a campaign attributable ROI:
(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost – Average Organic Sales Growth = ROI
Simply calculate from the date you started your content marketing campaign.
In terms of applying this to content marketing you must calculate the monthly cost of operating a content marketing campaign:
Cost = (time x wages) x overhead costs.
You may attribute this cost to your overall content marketing campaign or choose to segment them based on their position in the funnel or keyword purpose.
Once you’ve calculated your average monthly content marketing investment, it’s time to factor in your traffic. Essentially, you’ll need to figure out how many conversions can be directly attributable to content sources. Multiply this number by your conversion value to create a figure for your content marketing conversion growth.
Simply plug your figures into this equation:
Of course, most of your organic traffic will be a result of your organic rank, which is affected by the number of links pointing back to content and your content’s quality. This is why it’s important to calculate the metrics from the previous section to account for different traffic sources and campaigns that contribute to your bottom line.
Be sure to actively track different revenue points from lead generation to order sizes, and churn.
We’ll briefly touch on the ROI calculator for an AdWords campaign. Simply put, this method measures the value of your organic traffic and compares it to the average CPC an AdWords keyword would have.
Look at the total traffic of a webpage and take the webpage’s targeted keyword and analyze its AdWords average CPC. The equation will look like this: content investment/ organic entrances. This will calculate the cost per visitor.
If the cost per visitor is lower than the AdWords CPC than your business has a positive ROI. You can place these figures in Microsoft Excel in an extrapolation curve to provide a visual context of your content marketing’s ROI. This will most likely follow a bell curve.
Content marketing provides numerous benefits and supplements numerous SEM campaigns. Unfortunately, calculating the ROI from content marketing becomes incredibly difficult when it’s impossible to explicitly state content’s role in each conversion. Even at that point, what value do we assign to content when we factor in the effect of referral sources and social channels.
It should be easy to tell if your content is effective or not based on its engagement and traffic. Much more than a simple investment, content adds value to your brand which results in future conversions, unable to be calculated now.