Checklist: How to Measure Content Marketing ROI

Checklist: How to Measure Content Marketing ROI

In today’s multi-channel, digital marketing world, content marketing is both king and queen. While marketers know content marketing is important and are putting more budget behind creating quality content, it’s success has been increasingly hard to measure.

So where do you start? This checklist gives you some basic content metrics to start tracking right away. The measurements you use will be dependent on your unique business case, but for the sake of being thorough, we will give you a good baseline for the types of metrics you might want to track.

One thing to keep in mind here is that you most likely will have different metrics for different stages in your funnel. In other words, at the top-of-your funnel when you are looking to attract new leads you will mostly be looking at reach and brand awareness indicators. Your mid and bottom-funnel metrics will be more closely related to lead generation and pipeline numbers.

Let’s take a look at what you should consider measuring when it comes to content marketing:

  • Downloads: This is one of your most basic content metrics. By putting a form in front of your content that requires a lead to register, you can track conversions through your marketing automation tool. Note that even if you don’t put a form in front of your content your marketing automation tool will be able to track conversions in the form of clicks.
  • Known vs. New Leads: Understand which content assets are bringing in new leads and which content assets are being downloaded by leads you already have in your database. You might find a repeatable pattern. Generally, your early stage, thought leadership content will generate more new leads while your middle stage, more product focused content will move known leads through your sales funnel.
  • Content Score: If you have a top-of-funnel lead capturing tool like Captora, you can determine how your content scores in comparison to your competitors. In Captora, the content score is calculated based on Demand Families, key terms that buyers are searching for. Additionally, since Captora tracks your competitor content, you can create benchmarks so you know what performs well and where you have content gaps.
  • Content Reach and Engagement: What content is being engaged with across channels and is it reaching the correct leads? This is a hard metric to track, but if you are using a tool like Captora you can track which content assets are engaging and reaching your customers benchmarked against competitors.
  • Traffic: Page traffic is another basic metric you should be tracking. If your content is working to engage your leads you will see an increase in page traffic. In this same vein you can look at time on page, and what pages a lead visits after downloading your content asset. You can use Google Analytics for many of these traffic metrics, in addition to tools like Crazy Egg to determine where on your page leads are clicking and eye tracking metrics.
  • Social Sharing: Social sharing and engagement is a good indicator of reach and share of voice. How many people are talking about, sharing, and engaging with your content through social? Measure these indicators through your social management platform or a platform like TrackMaven that shows reach and engagement metrics. You should be tracking social sharing and engagement through both paid and organic channels.
  • Program Performance: Track how your content performs in all of the different programs you are running. Whether it is emails to your database, paid email programs, content syndication, paid search, or social programs, your content assets will perform differently depending on channel and audience. Keep track of what works best and constantly test. If you are using a vendor, make sure they are providing you with these crucial metrics.
  • First-Touch and Multi-Touch Attribution: These metrics are critical for tying content marketing to pipeline generation and customer acquisition. First-touch attribution tracks if a content asset is the first marketing activity that brought a new lead into your system. Multi-touch attribution shows how all of your content works together by tracking the different content that moves leads through your funnel to become customers. You can track both of these metrics through your marketing automation tool.
  • Lead Quality: You want to determine whether or not your different content assets are not only bringing in leads, but they are bringing in good quality leads. These can be determined based on your definition of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).
  • Sales Usage: Are your sales teams using the content you are creating? Ideally they will be bringing your content into sales meetings and sending your content to hot prospects. Besides sitting down and having a conversation with your sales teams, you can track this metric by adding your content into your CRM and tracking who is sending what.

What’s next?

Figuring out these metrics are great, but what do you do once you’ve crunched the numbers on a piece of content? After an initial burst of interest and lead gen flow, your content will go stale and the leads will slow to a trickle. To combat this, most content and demand gen marketers repurpose “big rock” content into blog posts, do blog swaps, content syndication, webinar, email blasts, etc. Which is all well and good, but how do you ensure MORE quality leads from the same content?

At Captora, we identify long tail keywords based on buyer intent and enable the marketer to take action and create a targeted 1-1 campaign to ensure quality leads. Now you are utilizing a “free” channel (organic search) to promote your new asset by delivering it at the right time to the right buyer.

content marketing example

So ask yourself: How are you increasing your content ROI?

Captora content checklist, marketing metrics, organic content