Showing ROI from Content Marketing can be difficult. Content Marketing is an area that’s seen a big investment from many companies over the past 5 years but attributing its impact on sales has always seemed tricky, sometimes it’s just been ignored. Here’s 4 ways of showing ROI from your content marketing that you may not have thought of yet
1. Assisted conversions
Assisted conversions are a much more realistic way of tracking the impact that your content has on your bottoms line. Think about it, rarely would a user land on a piece of content on your site for the first time and convert into a customer straight away. They are much more likely to consume the content, leave your site and come back at a later date to convert (After many more touch points with your brand).
There’s a way of measuring this in Google analytics (Up to a 90 day tracking period)
- Login to Google analytics, go to ‘Conversions’
- Click on Multi-channel funnels and then assisted conversions
- Select the secondary dimension dropdown
4. Acquisition – landing page url
5. Click on advanced and then insert the landing page where your content is currently
You should then be able to see the impact the content piece has had on assisted conversions by channel. So you can analyse further by what referral traffic or which social platform has performed best in terms of assisted conversions.
2. Links and the impact they have on rankings
OK bear with me, I know this one could be pretty difficult to directly attribute to your bottom line but there is a logical way of measuring ROI from inbound links. Yes, link building activity will need to work in conjunction with your technical SEO, it’s important to understand that from the off.
Let’s say all your technical SEO is spot on. Then it’s all about building quality inbound links to improve your sites authority vs the sites you are competing with for your key terms. The common mistake with using content for link building is trying to measure content on direct conversions. You will not achieve any links if you approach this activity from a direct sales point of view. You need to create something that publishers and their audiences will love, a story that’s rich in data and visuals. Think how a Digital PR person would when trying to achieve coverage. The inbound link will be as a byproduct of this coverage.
Let’s say you run 3 content campaigns and then achieve 7 links a piece (Find out how to do that here). All from high quality national press or industry specific sites. You should see your rankings rise for at least your long tail key terms and probably your core key terms.
In analytics you then measure this additional traffic and sales from organic that your site has achieved since the rise in rankings vs the period where rankings were lower. ROI is then measured on cost of content campaigns vs rise in revenue since organic traffic improved. Search is the channel that gets the sale and the credit, content was the key to the vital inbound links that bolstered your sites strength.
3. Sales from retargeting
As explained in point 1, a small % of visitors will engage with a content piece then come back at a later date and convert. The rest of them however may well just forget you exist, especially if that was their first visit to your site.
Retargeting is a really useful way of ensuring you are front of mind when these visitors do eventually come to a buying decision. It involves inserting tracking pixels from Google and Facebook onto your content pieces and then retargeting these users with an advert on those platforms.
Your ad doesn’t necessarily have to be product or service led, it could be the next logical piece of content in the users journey after the initial content piece.
This activity solves two problems
- It’s more effective than targeting people with an ad who have never heard of you or engaged with your brand before.
- It doesn’t spoil the awareness phase piece of content you have created to bring customers into your site. This means your content pieces can be plug free and just be there to entertain, educate or inspire your potential audiences. Basically whatever will bring in most relevant traffic to the piece, you can then start thinking of sales later down the line without souring the initial traffic driver.
The idea behind this is that someone is more likely to convert after already engaging with your brand via a content campaign. Therefore you’ll be getting more out of your media spend.
4. Influencers and UTM’s
Working with influencers can be a really effective way of getting your content to the right audiences, via social profiles and sites they follow and admire. This method of measuring ROI from your content promotion is simple. Give each influencer you work with a UTM for them to use when promoting your campaign. Then track the effectiveness of each influencer within Google analytics. Again, it’s best to wait a couple of months and start tracking assisted conversions too in order to give this more realistic user journey a chance to bear fruit.
You can track your campaigns under ‘Acquisition’ and ‘campaigns’ in Google analytics
If it’s a paid relationship you have with your influencers then it’s merely a case of measuring sales from that influencer vs the fee you paid them to get your ROI. It’s a really useful way of knowing what influencers to work with on an ongoing basis by tracking the quality of traffic and engagement they are driving to your site.