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How to Measure Your Content Marketing ROI

If you’re an online business or you run a business website, you’re probably familiar with content marketing. It’s a tried and tested method to boost website traffic and improve sales and conversions. So much so that 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Calculating your return on investment (ROI) is essential to accurately analyse where you’re going right or wrong with your content strategy.

Want to check your business marketing is on the right track?

Here’s everything you need to know about measuring your content marketing ROI, including:

  • What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
  • What Is Content Marketing ROI?
  • Why Should Marketers Calculate Content Marketing ROI?
  • Which Content Marketing Metrics Should You Track?
  • How to Measure Content Marketing ROI
  • Tools for Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing
  • Challenges When Measuring Content Marketing ROI

Key Takeaways

  • A content marketing strategy is designed to attract, engage, and convert casual site browsers into customers.
  • When measuring your content marketing ROI, you’re analysing your return on investment.
  • A content marketing ROI is a way for marketers to measure their content success by analysing generated revenue.
  • A positive marketing ROI shows businesses that their content marketing efforts generate revenue.
  • A negative ROI indicates that the investment is not producing the desired result.
  • To measure content marketing success, you must identify and track key performance indicators depending on your individual content marketing goals.

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy attracts, engages, and converts an audience from casual browsers to customers.

By sharing valuable content such as articles, videos, and podcasts, businesses can establish themselves as experts in their chosen field

When creating a content marketing strategy, marketers will work hard to identify the target audience, know their needs and interests, and publish content that will attract them to the product or service.

Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing designed to build customer loyalty and help with customer retention, effectively boosting leads and conversions.

What Is Content Marketing ROI?

Now you know what content marketing is, what is a content marketing ROI?

ROI stands for return on investment and is used in business to measure the profitability of a particular strategy or action by measuring the ratio between net income and investment.

So, a content marketing ROI is a way for marketers to measure their content marketing success by analysing the revenue generated from inbound leads produced by their content marketing efforts.

A positive marketing ROI shows businesses that their content marketing efforts are generating revenue or other outcomes that exceed the costs, while a negative ROI indicates that the investment is not producing the desired results, and they may need to make adjustments to their marketing strategy.

Why Should Marketers Calculate Content Marketing ROI?

Measuring content marketing ROI is the best way to analyse your content marketing success.

Clever marketers will set clear goals for their content marketing, whether boosting organic traffic or increasing sales and conversions. The content marketing ROI helps them to adjust their strategy based on the raw data.

Here are the main reasons marketers should pay attention to their content marketing ROI.

  • Measuring revenue and key business outcomes helps marketers measure content marketing success and make data-driven decisions about future content marketing initiatives.
  • Measuring content marketing ROI helps marketers understand which content marketing initiatives generate the most revenue or positive business outcomes. This allows them to allocate marketing spending more efficiently and improve their content marketing initiatives.
  • Marketing ROI analysis allows marketers to identify the specific content types and topics that drive business goals. Using this information, they can create high-performing content and engage their target audience better.

Measuring content marketing success by calculating ROI is essential for marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy, streamline their marketing spend, and identify high-performing content.


Which Content Marketing Metrics Should You Track?

Measuring content marketing success isn’t possible without identifying and tracking key performance indicators depending on your individual content marketing goals. Understanding your metrics will help you to understand how close you are to reaching your key performance indicators (KPIs) and whether your content marketing ROI is high or low.

Here are the most common metrics you should track when measuring content marketing success:

1. Website Traffic

Website traffic measures the number of people visiting your business website. When analysing the success of your content marketing campaign, traffic is an excellent indicator that your content is showing up in organic search results.

Break down your website traffic by individual page visits to see which pages need work and which are fully optimised. You can also use free tools such as Google Analytics to analyse detailed reports on your site visitors, including their demographics (age, sex, behaviour) and traffic sources.

2. Engagement

Engagement shows user behaviour and how they interact with your content, such as time on the page, bounce rate, shares, comments, and likes.

By analysing your engagement, you’ll better understand how your content influences your target audience and whether you need to optimise your website pages further.

You can measure your engagement stats using Google Analytics, which will provide reports on your website bounce rate and the time spent on your pages.

3. Lead Generation

By tracking the number of sales your content marketing generates, lead generation allows you to understand how well your current content marketing campaign is performing.

Track the number of leads your content marketing generates by measuring form submissions, email sign-ups and content downloads.

4. Sales and conversions

One of the most effective content marketing metrics to measure is how much revenue your content generates, including the number of sales, revenue per customer, and customer lifetime value.

Measuring your sales allows you to understand how your content contributes to your bottom line, helping you to analyse your content marketing ROI better.

5. Brand Awareness

Your brand awareness measures how many people within your target audience recognise your brand. This helps you understand the impact of your content marketing campaign on your branding by analysing metrics such as your social media engagement and followers, website mentions, and press releases.

6. SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a fundamental component of content marketing, allowing you to rank in search engines and become more visible to your target audience.

By measuring the impact of your content on your website ranking, including organic search traffic, keywords, and backlinks, you can better understand how your content marketing strategy is boosting your online presence.

By tracking these six metrics, you can better understand the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions to improve and optimise your current strategy.

How to Measure Content Marketing ROI

To calculate the ROI of content marketing, you need to track the costs of producing your content and the returns it generates.

Doing this will allow you to see what’s working and where you’re going wrong so you can streamline your marketing budget.

For instance, if you’re producing video marketing content costing you $500 per month but receiving minimal engagement and shares, it might be time to stop your video marketing efforts and publish high-value blog posts instead.

Ready to measure your current ROI of content marketing?

Here are the main steps you should follow to measure content marketing ROI and optimise your current campaigns.

1. Define your goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts and write a list of both your short-term and long-term goals.

This will help you adapt your strategy to suit your needs and better analyse your ROI later down the line.

Your content marketing goals could include the following:

  • Boost web traffic
  • Increase lead generation and sales
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Gain social media engagement and followers

2. Calculate your costs

Whether you’re a small business running its own marketing campaigns, or a larger company with an established sales team hiring an agency or freelance writer, it’s essential to calculate the costs of your current content marketing output. This will help you to work out your content marketing ROI calculation accurately.

Figure out the costs of your content marketing campaigns and measure ROI by analysing:

  • The cost of your content creation, including blog posts, video content, and social media campaigns.
  • Advertising costs, including Google Ads and paid guest posts. You can measure your Google Ad spend by using Google Analytics.
  • The time costs of posting and distributing your content on all your business channels.

3. Track your returns

Once you’ve calculated your costs, it’s time to track the return from your content marketing campaign. Your return depends on the initial goals you set, which could include:

  • Web traffic increases
  • More leads and sales
  • Better brand awareness reflected through more engagement

These stats will help you to measure ROI better. Ensure your marketing returns are current and accurate before moving on to the calculation step. If you’re unsure whether your return metrics are accurate, use Google Analytics to measure your real-time engagement.

4. Calculate ROI

Calculating marketing ROI can feel complicated, especially when dealing with multiple metrics. However, the formula itself is pretty simple. You must divide the marketing returns by the costs and multiply by 100.

The marketing ROI formula is as follows:

ROI = (Returns – Costs) / Costs x 100

A positive ROI indicates that your content marketing generates more returns than the costs incurred. However, if you see a negative number, it might be time to adapt your content marketing initiative and reduce expenses.

5. Adjust your strategy

Use the insights gained from measuring ROI to adjust your content marketing strategy. Identify what’s working and not, and make changes to improve your results.

Calculating your content marketing ROI can be challenging, especially if the returns are not immediately apparent. The efforts of content campaigns do take time to materialise if you’re starting from scratch, so bare this in mind when you gauge content marketing success.

By regularly tracking content marketing metrics and evaluating the effectiveness of your campaigns, you can make data-driven decisions and improve your ROI over time.

Tools for Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing

Professional content marketers understand the importance of using online tools to measure key metrics effectively. Without using tools, measuring content ROI will be almost impossible – you’ll be left in the dark with little idea of what methods work for your business and how you need to improve.

Here are the main tools that you should adopt as part of your content marketing investment:

  1. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool designed to track and measure website traffic, engagement, and conversions. By providing detailed reports on website visitors, including their behavior, demographics, and traffic sources, Google Analytics allows you to track the performance of your content marketing efforts and make effective data-driven decisions.
  2. HubSpot is a marketing platform incorporating content creation, distribution, and measurement tools. Offering a range of features for tracking and measuring the ROI of your content marketing campaigns, HubSpot provides lead tracking, customer acquisition cost (CAC) analysis, and revenue attribution.
  3. SEMrush is a popular SEO marketing tool offering features for tracking website traffic, keyword rankings, and backlinks. It also incorporates a content marketing platform with content creation, distribution, and measurement tools. SEMrush works by identifying the most effective content marketing channels and tracking the ROI of your content marketing campaigns.
  4. Ahrefs is a content marketing tool that offers website traffic, backlinks, and keyword ranking tracking features. Ahrefs also provides a content explorer tool to help you identify popular content in your industry and track the performance of your own content marketing campaigns.
  5. CoSchedule is a content marketing program offering content creation, distribution, and measurement tools. It includes a marketing calendar for scheduling and planning content and analytics features for measuring marketing ROI.

Challenges When Measuring Content Marketing ROI

Often, measuring your digital marketing ROI isn’t smooth sailing. It can be challenging to get an accurate calculation, especially if you have limited data.

Here are the main challenges you need to know when measuring your content ROI.

  • Sometimes it’s unclear which piece of content led to customer conversion. A user may have interacted with multiple pieces of content before making a purchase, making it difficult to pinpoint the conversion to one piece of content.
  • Content attracts and engages potential customers at the start of the buying process, meaning the sales cycle can be extended. It may take months before a customer makes a purchase. Because of this, it can be challenging to measure the impact of content marketing on sales long-term.
  • Marketing metrics like page views and social shares may not directly align with business goals, especially if you want to boost revenue and profit. To counteract this, identify and measure metrics that are directly tied to business goals to measure ROI, such as sales and conversions accurately.
  • If a customer engages with content online but purchases in-store, it’s tricky to measure the impact of content marketing on specific purchases.
  • Without using professional tools and systems, gathering and analysing raw data to precisely measure ROI may be impossible. This can lead to incomplete or inaccurate measurements. Ensure you adopt tools as part of your content marketing strategy to measure ROI accurately.

Struggling to Drive Engagement? Consider Bough Digital

Implementing a successful content marketing strategy takes time, effort, and skill.

To get the best ROI possible, consulting with professional content marketers is a surefire way to see a return on your marketing investment.

Whether you want to boost your website visitors or improve your conversions and sales, Bough Digital will take your needs and goals on board and create content designed to attract, engage, and convert customers.

Ready to start publishing high-value content and realise your goals? Contact Bough Digital today.

Alternatively, check out the Bough Digital blog for more content marketing advice, where we regularly post tips and tricks for boosting your campaigns.


How Can I Measure the Impact of Content Marketing on Offline Sales?

To measure the impact of content marketing on offline sales, use coupon codes or track URLs that are specific to a particular piece of content. This method lets you track how many offline sales were driven by specific content.

How Can I Measure if My Content is Creating Brand Awareness?

To track whether your content improves brand awareness, measure key metrics such as your website traffic, social media engagement, and brand mentions by setting up a Google alert.

What are the Best Ways to Win Customers Using Website Content?

To win customers with your web content, focus on the customer above all else. Speak directly to your consumer base by addressing their pain points, needs, and wants. Ensure you use customer-centric language, clarifying that your products or services are beneficial.

How do I Measure My Social Media Traffic?

To analyse your social media analytics, including traffic, use free tools like Google Analytics to track your traffic sources from all your accounts. You can also look at your traffic data, including the number of sessions, bounce rate, and conversion rates, to understand who visits your social media pages.

How Can I Tell Whether My Social Media Ads Are Working?

To effectively measure your social media ad campaigns, it’s essential to both track engagement through likes, comments, and shares and measures conversions through analysing form submissions, downloads, and product purchases.

This will help you determine whether your social media ads drive sales and conversions from your target audience.

Do I Need to Hire a Marketing Team to Boost My Content ROI?

Whether hiring a marketing team is necessary depends on a number of factors, including your resources, expertise, and goals. If you have the funds to hire an in-house marketing team or a professional digital marketing agency, it will help boost your marketing ROI.

However, if you or your team have marketing expertise, you can create high-value content without the guidance of a professional marketer.

How Do I Identify Relevant Content for My Business?

Consider your business and target audience to identify the right content for your marketing needs. If you’re unsure about who to target, analyse your current audience to understand their pain points and needs as a consumer. This will help you determine what content will work best for your business.

How Do I Optimise Landing Pages to Improve my ROI?

Landing pages are a critical part of any content strategy. They are the first thing that potential customers see when visiting your site, so it’s vital that they cater to your target audience.

Optimise your landing pages by ensuring your copy is simple and straightforward, with punchy headings. Focus on the user experience by making your website easy to navigate and ensuring they can reach the desired pages quickly.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs). Measured on a scale of 1 to 100, higher scores indicate a greater likelihood of ranking well on SERPs.

Domain Authority isn’t part of Google’s search algorithm, but it is helpful in measuring how your website compares to your direct competitors and to help you make improvements.

What is Lifetime Value?

Lifetime Value (LTV) estimates the value a customer generates during the relationship between consumer and business.

LTV helps you understand the long-term profitability of a customer and is often used to inform decisions around customer acquisition and retention. Measuring LTV will help you boost your overall marketing strategy, allowing you to understand the behaviors of customers better.

Do I Need Inbound Links in My Marketing Strategy?

Inbound links are an essential component of any effective marketing strategy. They help to boost search engine optimization (SEO) as they signal to search engines that your website is a valuable and trusted source of information.

When search engines see that other authoritative websites link to your site, they are more likely to rank your site higher in search results, boosting your organic traffic. 

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