5 Fabulous Insights on Measuring the ROI of Content

The rapid rise of Content Marketing has marketers everywhere (and those they’re reporting to) saying, Show me the ROI!!! It’s like the modern day version of Cuba Gooding Jr’s famous scene from Jerry Maguire.


But the question of how to measure it can have a different answer depending on whom you ask! Everyone has an opinion, a set of best practices, a list of desirable metrics. And it got us thinking… is that a BAD thing? I mean, content marketing itself is meant to be intrinsically unique and specific to the organization creating it, isn’t it? 

However, with the content marketing superstars out there today, we are fortunate to at lease have a wealth of information when trying to answer the million dollar question – How do you measure content marketing ROI. 

We’ve compiled a killer list of what some of the best in the biz say about it and encourage you to read it, ponder it, pick parts or all of it to put into practice. Make it your OWN… just like the awesome content marketing you create. 

Don’t fret over what to measure and how to calculate content marketing ROI! Sit back and soak in the wisdom and perspective from those in the trenches. 

1. There Really IS ROI in Content Marketing! 

In an article from The Guardian, Jonny Rose from Idio, says, “Encouragingly, as content marketing becomes more personalised, the ability to calculate the improvement of lifetime customer value, reducing customer acquisition costs and – perhaps more importantly – the monetary value of each customer engaging with each item of content, will become much more realisable. This will ultimately lead to more accurate calculations of revenues increased by content marketing."

2. It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint. 

Content Marketing Institute article by Scott Severson from Brandpoint,  serves up a great analogy that puts content marketing ROI in perspective. “Content marketing is a lot like working out. You’re not going to see a payoff in a week, but if you commit to doing it regularly over time, you’ll see amazing results. Bottom line: There is tremendous ROI in consistently developing great content for your audience. And, unlike other forms of marketing, content marketing pays dividends far into the future.” 

3. ROI Should be Scalable, Just Like the Content You're Measuring. 

Contently provided a great story around their efforts to perfect their own ROI recipe.  And they touted the importance of all of the moving parts that play a role in measuring content effectiveness. “For a formula to scale it needs to take into account dozens of inputs—from how content affects outbound sales efforts, to what stories are most effective at pushing prospects into contract, to how share of voice affects a brand’s bottom line."

4. The Story You’re Telling Matters 

In Skyword’s Content Standard, Andrew Wheeler reminds us that our brand story is impactful and should not be left out of the equation! “Of course, as marketers, we know ROI gets us our next promotion, endcaps a successful year with a bonus, and helps us grow our businesses. So while reach and engagement are important, your ultimate goal is to convert readers into customers. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can and should focus solely on content for conversion. Without the lead up, you don’t have a sustainable story to tell, and you won’t hold your target audience’s interest.” 

5. All Quality Content Has Value 

Cormac Reynolds authored a Relevance blog post about measuring content and tied everything together perfectly when he said, “At the end of the day, content marketing is a beast of evolution. Fresh digital tactics are cropping up every single day, and it’s difficult to keep pace – let alone justify the time and money you’ve got to spend to not fall behind. Yet, by deploying various metrics tools, you should be able to quantify exactly how and where your content is earning its keep. Demonstrating ROI can be a fickle endeavor; however, so long as you’re producing quality content as part of a developed strategy, chances are you’ll be able to prove that every content piece is worth its weight in gold.” 

The bottom line is this – there is no ONE way to capture content ROI. And it’s going to continue to evolve as the industry does. But all of the advice above provides some great insight on what to consider when developing the strategy to determine your own content ROI metrics. 

How do you measure content ROI?