According to a study conducted as part of the State of Inbound 2016, marketing departments that measure their ROI (return on investment) are 1.6 times more likely to have higher budgets.
In order to get a higher marketing budget, showing an ROI is very vital and marketers who can show this are able to guide their budgets based on their actual needs and ideas for growth instead of getting stuck with whatever the finance department believes the marketing department needs.
Apart from the physical amount of money that is invested in each proposition, there are other factors that go into the calculation of ROI which includes the amount of time spent on the project multiplied by your hourly rate and any incidental costs that are a part of the project.
A quick look at ROI should show clearly whether a particular content marketing strategy will be worth your while or not which makes it easier to direct your marketing efforts for the next fiscal year with even more accuracy.
The above simple formula for ROI calculation of a marketing campaign isn’t always helpful when it comes to inbound marketing as it is a complicated process that can be difficult to place into numbers that a finance department can examine. Each sale has various factors that affect it which makes it hard to determine which interaction caused the customer to convert.
So how do you prove the benefits of a blog post, tweet or lead magnet and how much do they affect your bottom line? To understand this, content marketing ROI must be understood first.
The percentage that expresses the amount of revenue that has been gained from content marketing when in comparison with the amount that has been spent is called the content marketing ROI. But money isn’t the only indication of content marketing success. A well-strategized content strategy generates leads and has a high conversion rate.
The core metrics that can be used to measure conversions are:
1.Cost per lead: The amount your brand spends for lead acquisition
In order to benchmark your program’s effectiveness against other marketing departments, it is vital to calculate your content marketing’s cost per lead. To determine it, we would need to know the costs amassed in order to create and distribute said content.
2. Percentage of leads sourced: Compared to other marketing programs, the percentage of leads sourced by content
First, gather the total number of leads sourced from other marketing programs in order to determine the percentage of leads from content marketing. You can gauge how well your content is performing depending on the goals and expectations you have set in your marketing leadership.
3.Conversions: Percentage of people who take the desired action
Look at conversions when determining the actual revenue sourced by content marketing. If your content marketing has a 50% conversion rate and your average sale is $1000 then in order to find out total conversions, you would need to multiply the total qualified leads by 50%.
Content Marketing ROI Steps
Step 1: Figuring out the amount of money spent on producing the content
Even if created in-house, there is still a cost attached to it as the content creator gets paid a salary. The cost of external content assets like images, video, etc gets included in the cost of production as well.
Step 2: Figuring out the cost of content distribution
During this step, including the in-house costs, any paid promotions as well as any other promotion performed through other media channels. Also, include the cost of any special tools or software that was required for content creation and distribution.
Step 3: Analyzing the dollar amount for what has been gotten in return
If the content created is doing well, then it will generate leads that turn into sales. At times you can see a clear link between content and revenue but other times the process takes a bit longer as the relationship between content and sales isn’t always direct.
Step 4: Calculating your content marketing ROI
Return minus investment, divided by investment, expressed as a percentage. This is a simple content marketing ROI formula from Convince and Convert.
ROI Calculation for B2B companies
Calculating content marketing ROI is easy for B2B companies as the transaction level has a lot of transparency. B2B companies know when someone makes a purchase as there is a lot of paperwork involved.
It is only possible to think strategically about the details of your next content marketing expenditure once you are aware of the ROI for each major content marketing initiative you begin. The Content Marketing Institute’s digital content marketing statistics show that 72% of marketers believe that content marketing increases engagement and additionally 72% say it has even increased the number of leads.