This is a big subject… how to measure ROI with content marketing.
One story making the rounds comes from Hubspot and talks about how to measure ROI with content marketing is a complete myth:
As a profession, marketing has evolved a lot over the past 5 years. Previously, when asked to justify our marketing budgets, we used to squirm in our chairs and mutter something about brand awareness. Today, marketers want to measure the ROI on every tactic and channel they use. Figuring out the ROI of content, in particular, is hard and often misunderstood. Content ROI Is a Myth
I agree tracking content ROI is tough. Mainly because you never really know what triggered the reason for a purchase.
Recently we asked a customer who purchased our system what caused them to buy.
She said she had been following our blog at You Brand, Inc. for 6 years. Finally she decide after all the times we talked about our system she would check it out. How do we measure 6 years of content marketing?
Contrast that to someone who recently told us they came across us from a Tweet and 30 minutes later they purchased.
How do we measure that? Should we tweet more?
If you have a direct conversation with your customer you typically can ask but even that won’t tell you the full story. You won’t know how much time they spent with your content. You won’t know how many times they came across your site, etc. Sure there are analytic systems that help but I’ve yet to use one that really pinpoints the type of content that delivers sales.
A story from CMO.com does provide some of the answers (at least enough to get you started):
With 60 percent of B2C marketers planning to increase their content marketing spend over their previous years budget, now is the time to start thinking seriously about how data impacts your content marketing strategy. There’s been a lot of talk about the role data plays in content marketing; however, much of this has been relatively limited to disciplines like keyword research and influencer identification. Lets take a look at how to put data truly at the heart of your content marketing strategy, allowing you to implement real change this year. What data should we be studying? How to Use Data to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
Here’s What We’ve Learned
Tracking ROI with content marketing is tough.
The answer is you have to look inside. Inside you or your organization and really know your customer.
Sure you have to track what happens, the purchase cycle etc. but ultimately you either believe in content marketing or you don’t.
If you believe in it then you’re going to produce, create, or have created the best assets you possibly can. Your going to focus on assets that truly drive traffic and create value.
If you don’t believe in content marketing then it’s always going to be tough to justify. Mainly because you won’t be putting forth the proper effort that really makes it happen. It won’t be in your DNA either as a solo person or a company.