Which Direction Should You Go? An ROI Compass for Content Marketing

June 29, 2015 by Lisa Chung


When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of content marketing, many businesses and content marketers fall in the same camp. In a study by Altimeter Group, a research and advisory group, titled “Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact” a survey found that 67% of marketers named measurement as the top area in which they needed to invest this year.

What is the bigger picture when it comes to deciding which metrics to measure? On top of determining which metrics to track and setting up the correct tools to measure accurately, you’ll have to also determine what to do with the collected data. How can you use this to your advantage?

What makes it challenging for businesses is that the majority of them do not have a documented content strategy to alter once these metrics are collected. This makes it difficult to measure achievements and also makes it a challenge when trying to make better decisions for the future.

Altimeter aims to assist businesses with what’s called the business value of content strategy compass that breaks what needs to be measured into six categories. We thought these categories were useful to expand our vision of what kind of guideposts we should consider when measuring a content campaign.

  • Brand Health: What is the attitude, conversion and behavior toward your brand? Beyond engagement and audience growth, make note of sentiment, content performance and share of voice. This should be an on-going measurement to ensure you are tapped into consumer sentiment for your brand.
  • Marketing Optimization: How can you improve the effectiveness of your campaigns? This is really about looking at the data, CTR and other critical data points — and applying critical thinking to the data to improve your outcomes.
  • Revenue Generation: Track traffic sources, social media activity along with shares and likes and conversion. What is the bottom line in terms of content marketing results?
  • Operational Efficiency: How can your business cut costs? “Call deflection” shows how well a certain piece of content is doing in terms of productivity and how helpful the information is to a user.
  • Customer Experience: Improve your customer’s experience with your company and brand. Think about how Frequently Asked Questions that can guide a user through your company (this can help ultimately cut costs of fielding customer calls); also consider offering customer service on social media pages.
  • Innovation: Use content results to help brainstorm new ideas and use content to deliver. Collaborate with customers and implement user-generated content for SEO benefits and to build excitement among existing users.

Seeing beyond sales and leads will allow your business to capture a larger snapshot that will help you improve overall content marketing efficiency and productivity.

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