content roi

As a content creator, it’s one of the most asked, and often hardest, questions to answer – How do you measure your content’s return on investment (ROI)?

There are many ways ROI can be measured, although content marketing is often a tough sell. While it does require time, resource, budget, and a buy-in from the C-Suite, there are ways in which to convince your boss that content really does matter.

Content success measures will vary from business to business, but, by understanding what your audience is responding to and assigning a dollar value against it, it will help you refine your content further to drive success.

Three metrics the boss wants

Let’s start with the expectations of different levels of management. The business will generally only care about the following three things:

  1. Is the content driving sales?
  2. Is the content saving on costs?
  3. Is content retaining or expanding the customer base?

3 metrics the boss wants to see from #ContentMarketing

When it comes to content, the various management layers may have different ROI measurements for consideration. For example:

The Big Boss – will likely only care about sales, costs and retention.

Line Managers – will only care about the quality of the lead, quantity, and how to shorten the work cycle.

Team Members – care about site traffic, engagement, page views and search engine rankings.

With so many departments and levels of management to satisfy, try these four proven types of measurement.

RELATED CONTENT: 9 reasons you need content today

4 types of content ROI measurement

When creating content, consider how it can be measured against one of these four metrics:

  1. Consumption
  2. Sharing
  3. Leads
  4. Sales.

Let’s take a closer look at these four metrics individually.

4 types of #content ROI to convince the boss #ContentMarketing works! Check them out here.

1. Consumption

This metric comes in various forms and the trick is to find and promote the one that is right for your business. It may be unique and/or total number of page views on your site, or perhaps the number of video views and average watch time? Perhaps it’s the number of downloads or document views from a white paper, e-book or podcast? Or even the social conversations and engagement of your content.

These are all ways your content can be consumed by your audience and are popular performance measures to show a tangible result

But, don’t forget consumption is only part of the overall story as the end goal is committing them to action.

2. Sharing

Another standard measurement is the sharing of your content across multiple platforms and channels. Likes, shares, tweets, comments, pins and syndication are all common social sharing metrics.

Other metrics to consider could be the number of email newsletter forwards, or email open rates and inbound links to your websites content. Don’t fall into the popular social media ego trap though that produces no action, instead, ensure clarity with an attached business goal.

Sharing metrics are more than likes, shares and comments. See more here…

3. Lead generation

Lead generation can come in many forms. It may be how many people completed and submitted a website enquiry form, or requested a download of a white paper or e-book, or called your sales phone number or accessed gated content (access to content in exchange for an email address). Even email subscribers could count. All of these metrics put you closer to your ultimate end goal of conversion.

This is where you can also begin to assign a dollar value against your content.

Divide the cost of a piece of content, by the number of leads it generates, to give a dollar value.

Use this dollar value to rate your content and to find the best performing content to adjust your content strategy moving forward.

How to assign a dollar value to your #content

Keep in mind that content marketing is a slower burn than traditional marketing, but it will deliver return over many more years.

4. Sales metrics

Online sales for an e-commerce business can be easily measured. But what about your offline sales? Follow the traffic to your website and record the consumed pieces of content that can be attributed to a sale.

An example may be a consumer finding your website organically in a search engine and landing on a particular page, which then compels them to purchase from your business.

The lead’s origin can also be important. Record that handshake deal and track where leads originated from to indicate where the marketing budget could be allocated, or moved over to.

RELATED CONTENT: 4 content pillars to position your brand


When building your business case for content, demonstrate its effectiveness with the above performance metrics. ROI is always a heavy consideration for the C-Suite, so clearly lay out your metrics of success and the pathway and strategy to achieving the goals.

And if something didn’t work, just remember you didn’t fail, you tested.

Key Takeaways

  • Find your internal success point and constantly measure against it
  • Define content goals to satisfy each level of management for their buy in
  • Define and separate your measurement goals for great, excellent and bad content and continue to refine
  • New sales are great, but don’t forget about retaining existing customers
  • Remember – You didn’t fail, you tested.

Published by Jason Dutton-Smith

An award-winning publisher, content marketer, strategist, writer and public speaker. Founder of and when at home, chief tea maker.


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