Top 5 Content Marketing Measurement Metrics and ROI calculation
Author: Gayatri Srinivasan
Content Marketing is the new buzz word across all types of businesses. In all digital marketing training programs today, most importance is being given to content marketing only. A content marketer, who is responsible for the production of good content,should also be knowledgeable about the Top 5 Content Marketing Metrics and ROI.
No matter how much money you spend on Content Marketing for your company and how much effort you put into the content generation, unless you do a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis for the content marketing efforts, you will not get a quantifiable accounting of whether the content marketing is profitable or not.
And before we get into the metrics, the very first step is to set goals for your content marketing exercise. It could be to convert content consumption into leads, sales, and advocacy, or to be right on top in search engine results or to be a Thought leader in your business.
What are your goals for Content Marketing?
Discuss with your team and write down the actions that you desire from the content consumers.
a. Is it to convert more content consumers into paying customers for your service or products?
– If yes, once your consumers read the content
– Do they call you up? How long after they read the content do they call you up?
– Do they fill up the enquiry form (if you have a form)? How long after they read the content do they fill up the enquiry form?
b. Is it to boost your Thought Leadership position in your business amongst your competitors?
– If yes, once your consumers read the content
– Do they share your content through various social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.? How many shares does the content get?
– Do they like your content? How many likes does the content get?
– Do they write positive comments to your content, asking you more questions or appreciating the information provided?
– How many websites mention your article? How many external outbound links does your content get?
– What is your position in search results from leading search engines (Google, Bing etc.) when relevant keywords are searched?
– What is the improvement in search results ranking after your content was published? How long does it take to improve your ranking in search engine results?
One Important note: Measuring content should be done at touchpoints throughout the customer journey not just at the beginning when you are targeting consumers who are not yet paying customers.
Once you get a tangible number as answers to the above questions and your goals set, you will be ready to measure it with the right metrics.
Here are the Top 5 Content Marketing metrics:
1. Consumption Metrics
Consumption Metrics measures how many people are consuming the content. The way you measure it is through Page views, Comments, and Downloads. This is where you can analyze how many people read your article(s), how many people wrote comments and also how many downloaded your content.
There are many other pointers to your content being popular and useful to the consumers. Google Analytics can be used to track the following:
Bounce Rate is the number of people leaving your website after accessing a page. On its own, a high Bounce rate need not necessarily mean consumers do not like your content. Bounce rate tells you the percentage of viewers who read your webpage and left the site without browsing through other pages in your website. So it could very well be that the consumer liked the Blog or Article posted but did not feel the need to browse more pages in your website. If your goal was to ensure many people read your content, then a high bounce rate for that page need not be a sign of poor consumption.
Average Time on Page
Average Time on Page is the time a consumer spends on reading your content. The average time per page compared to the average of the website will give you a very good idea of the popularity of your content being consumed. Even if the website average is low after your content was published but many consumers have spent quite a bit of time reading one of your contents, it means your content piece is in line with the goal of increasing consumption.
Sharing Metrics gives you details on content pieces being shared.
It is important to know the details of sharing rather than just the number of shares for your content, if you want to get a clear picture of sharing and evaluate the content piece against your content marketing goals.
If you need details of who is sharing, how they are sharing, and the frequency of sharing, you can also use analyzing tools like BuzzSumo.
For instance, going into the details of sharing will tell you if your content is popular on Facebook or LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn has a much more professional customer base it will have higher weightage compared to Facebook.
Using Sharing Metrics you can compare and rank the content quality for all the content pieces generated. Suppose one of your content was shared 50 times on Facebook and 35 times on LinkedIn, compared to another content that was shared 80 times on Facebook and only 10 times on LinkedIn, the first content piece should be ranked higher in list of good content that achieved your content marketing goals.
Lead Metrics measures how many enquiries you get after consumers read the content posted. It tells you whether the content marketing effort is making financial sense.
There are three ways of enquiring that are common –
Online Lead form
Prospective customers, who have just read your content, use an online enquiry form or lead form to contact you asking for more details.
Content Consumers who make phone calls to know more details after reading your content.
You can also do a comparative analysis on how many content consumers turn into leads and the percentage of leads that originate from online lead form and the percentage of leads that originate from phone calls (in case you have a lead form).
Content Consumers who walk in to your office after viewing your content, to know more details.
Sales Metrics measures how the content drives revenue. It tells you how many of the content consumers became your customers.
This metric should be ideally measured along with your Lead Metrics so that you not only track and measure the number of consumers who become your customers after reading your content but also how many of these prospective consumers were part of the lead metrics.
While Content quality definitely impacts the number of consumers who turn into customers, as a manager you must also measure
- The time spent selling the product or service
- Lead response time – the time taken by sales team to convert after a prospective called up for more information.
5. Cost Metrics
Cost Metrics measures cost of Content marketing including cost per content created and cost per creative resource. This is the metric that helps you compare the cost of content marketing with the revenue generated or goals achieved to compute the ROI.
It helps you analyze how much money you had to spend for content marketing as a whole including:
- Monthly cost of the content marketing team (salary, cost of commuting if reimbursed, and cost per resource per content in terms of time taken to produce a content)
- Monthly cost of advertising the content in various social media like Facebook, LinkedIn
- Cost of advertising on Google and other search engines
- Time spent by content marketing manager to review content (in terms of hours per day which in turn means cost per hour)
- Time spent to publish the content by the marketing team including designing images for every content, posting a page (if a webpage) or posting a video online (in terms of hours per day which in turn means cost per hour)
- Time spent for Testing if the published content has any typos, errors in layout for a responsive design etc. before it is presented to prospective consumers.
Once you have a correct estimation of Cost, you can then analyze the return on your investment based on the goals you set for your content marketing team.
The above Top 5 metrics can answer many of your most pressing content marketing strategy questions.
All said and done it is not easy to apply the above metrics to measure the ROI and understand the value of content marketing exercise. But if you first set your goals and then use the metrics to compare with the actual results, measuring the benefits of content marketing will not be time consuming or give you skewed results.
Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.