Does Content Marketing ROI matter in 2021? YES, and so do the 7 metrics!

Setting up content marketing metrics is the first step to evaluating content marketing ROI. As a content marketer, you should first know your goals and set metrics accordingly. Content ROI allows you to keep track of your content performance and improve your content pieces.

Calculating content marketing ROI

How to Define and Measure the ROI of Content Marketing?

Content marketing ROI is the percentage that reflects how much revenue you have gained compared to what you invested in content marketing. Investment is often thought of as capital, but to measure the various metrics, you need first to realize that time, money, and effort are all part of an investment. A strong ROI means that your content marketing strategy delivers results and that you can capitalize on CM. Before you go ahead and learn how to document content marketing ROI, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how to measure and calculate the content marketing ROI. ROI directly reflects the success of your content marketing since it is linked to revenue. 

According to¬†Web Strategies, a good ratio is 5:1, whereas a 10:1 is WOW! But for now, let’s keep things accurate and aim for satisfaction. Firstly, you should understand that $ $$$ cannot be your only metric; page views, shares, visitors, and referrals are the other metrics you need to consider.¬†

We will take a look at 7 metrics that matter in this article.¬† Content marketing is about curating great content, but it also has a purpose to generate leads, sales, and ROI. If you don’t know how much you invest in content creation and marketing, you’re missing the whole point. Developing your metrics and measuring ROI is critical to your content marketing strategy. Bear in mind that there are several intangible benefits attached to content production

How to Measure Content Marketing ROI

We’ll take a quick look at the 4-step content marketing formula to calculate the revenue earned from your content efforts.

  • Calculate¬†how much you invested in content production. Whether internal or external costs are involved, do not forget to include all elements and engaged in the process. ( Outsourced work, in-house costs, salary and so on.)
  • Evaluate¬†your content distribution costs. Promotions and any other forms of advertising. Also, take into account¬†PPC¬†advertising. Once you tot these up, you can find out your content production costs,
  • Compute¬†your sales and your CTAs. Analyze all the relationships, direct and indirect, between your content and sales.¬†
  • Now calculate your content marketing ROI.

The most common formula for calculating ROI is the following:

roi formula

More on this here.

7 Crucial Metrics in Content Marketing ROI 

As we earlier mentioned, there are several metrics that you need to consider. These will allow you to understand your goals when creating content. 

  • Traffic¬†
  • SEO
  • Sales Volume
  • Leads
  • Click-Through Rates
  • Social Media Leads
  • Onsite Management¬†

1.Web traffic

Web traffic is probably one of the easiest ways to measure ROI. It requires you to keep track of all the traffic of your website. By keeping an eye on web traffic, you get an insight into your audience interests and concerns. And, of course,¬†Google Analytics¬†remains one of our favourites when it comes to analytics software. If it’s not your thing, we’d suggest looking at this list of¬†Best Analytics Software in 2021¬†for alternatives. These enable you to get a grasp of your overall web traffic and your communication outlets, and the following.¬†

Referral rate 

Referrals are like recommendations from another website. Analytics software enables you to understand how users discover your website.

Views per page

The number of users that viewed your page and even average time spent on every page and on your website. 

Successful landing pages 

This allows you to know how many users turned into converts through the CTAs or marketing post clicks on your landing pages. 

Unique sessions

Unique sessions are what differentiate your users. Amazing page views reveal the number of times a page was viewed once or more by visitors.

The above are critical in content promotion. If your traffic is low, consider ads to promote your content. Identify which communication outlets drive traffic to your site and utilize these in your campaigns. Keep in mind that traffic is subject to various elements such as holidays, promotions, marketing, etc. 

2.Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO again! SE0, i.e. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving the traffic to your website through organic search. It is about the quality of the traffic driven to your website; it determines whether or not your audience is genuinely interested in what you have to offer. In comparison, quantity refers to the right people (with intent) clicking on your page. Organic traffic is critical when it comes to SEO since you don’t pay for it. More on it¬†here.

Unfortunately, SEO is not that simple. Conducting a technical audit is the first step to measure ROI. Audits allow you to identify content creation techniques which work for your page.¬†SEOptimer¬†enables you to conduct a website analysis within minutes. Pay special attention to site authority as this determines your website’s perceived value.¬†

3.Sales Volume

No surprises, sales matter, as the main aim of content marketing is to turn your audience into customers. Expect sales once you have fed the right content to your leads. It is the best way to keep them engaged and convinced that they require your service or product. To increase conversions, implement a sales optimization strategy. The teachable: blog provides in-depth knowledge on¬†how to optimize your sales conversions.¬†If you’re considering sales as a metric, then several elements require your attention.¬†¬†

  • Conversion rate

This determines the rate of visitors that conduct purchases.

  • Buying time

The time taken to purchase shows the lapse of time between visiting the website and conducting a purchase.

  • Page Value

 Page value shows the average value for a page that users visited before taking any desired action e.g. conducting a purchase. It shows which pages are contributing to your ROI. 

  • Transactions

Simply put, a transaction is an e-business metric measuring the purchase rate on your website.

You can easily access all of the above information using any analytics software and estimate the sales revenue directly acquired from your site.

4.Qualified leads

The primary purpose of B2B companies to engage in content marketing is to generate leads. Leads are hence a great way to quantify your content marketing efforts and strategy. Leads are a way to test your performance. Qualified leads enable your team to take actions and create content that converts to sales. Qualified leads are identified as prospects who have engaged with your content and provided information that allows you to convert them into customers. If you want to understand the whole concept, Single Grain provides all the explanation you need about lead metrics that you need to track. Consider measuring qualified leads in terms of CTAs, content downloads and purchases.

5.Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The most accessible means to compare different campaigns is based on the number of clicks that your ad or link has acquired. The aim of driving traffic to content pages is to encourage users to take action. This metric shows the rate of users who performed an action among your website, email or ad visitors. 

For instance:

  • Advertisement X was seen 100 times and clicked on 40 times.
  • Advertisement Y was seen 1000 times and clicked on 90 times.

So we see that Ad Y had x10 opportunities to be clicked on than Ad X. A simple multiplication (100 X 10) shows that Ad X has more potential than Ad Y. Adverts cannot be calculated by clicks only; the CTR reflects the potential and opportunity of all your ads.

The Web Fx provides a free CTR Calculator (Click Through Rate)

ctr calculator

6.Social Media Shares 

As you already know, there are numerous benefits for businesses to go social. Social media actions are those that enable you to share content and thus, create value. A lot of time, money and other resources go into the process, and your performance is, therefore, key to your content ROI. Social shares enable you to check whether or not your audience thinks your content is worth sharing. Using social media shares as a metric gives you an idea of which content resonates with your target user. The Hootsuite Blog provides a simple formula to calculate ROI for social media.

Value / investment (people hours, ad budget, etc.) X 100 = social media ROI (as a percentage)

Tracking likes, comments, views for campaigns, increase in followers, content shares are some of the ways to measure your social media engagement, like revealing the popularity of your content. It is also one way to assess your content’s quality, whereas comments show your audience’s interaction with your content.¬†Kim Garst¬†provides insightful information on the topic.¬†

social media shares


Social media engagement is one of the easiest metrics to measure since platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have their Business analytic systems that generate analytics for users. But, you can always opt for one of these:

7. Onsite engagement

At last, we’re moving to onsite engagement. Onsite engagement is basically about your success in content marketing. To succeed in content marketing, you need to keep your audience engaged. Onsite engagement metric allows you to measure your audience engagement by looking at how your visitors interact with your content and whether they converted into customers. This metric is valuable as it cuts across web traffic. Bounce rate and the time spent on the page are two elements that require attention when tracking onsite engagement.¬†

  • A low bounce rate shows that visitors did not walk away and indulged in what you have to offer. If you have a low bounce rate, it means that your content strategy is working and that you will be able to generate more leads and sales through content.¬†
  • As for” Time on Page”, it is about the length of time spent on specific pages. It enables you to identify the poor performance of your content pieces and improve them. More on Audience Overview¬†here.

To Wrap-up

So now that you know how to measure ROI using the seven metrics, you can start quantifying your efforts. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, evaluating your content marketing’s ROI is crucial. It enables you to identify content gaps and manage your content process more effectively. It’s also an excellent means to establish your content strengths and weaknesses and improve your content marketing strategy.

As we noticed, campaigns that generate higher traffic do not reflect their contribution in generating revenue. Sales, leads, SEO are some metrics that enable you to evaluable your content strategy, adverts and campaigns. 

Of course, several metrics can be added to the list, but these are the most valuable ones when it comes to ROI. 

You can improve engagement with your audience after the ROI evaluation. 

Now that you have understood how to conduct a content ROI, it’s time for you to start assessing your content’s performance and revamp your strategy, if required!

What are some of the essential metrics according to you? We’d like to hear and learn from you.