Content marketing is one of the most valuable marketing strategies you can use for your brand. It doesn’t cost much time or money in the startup phase, and it has the potential to bring an enormous return.First, understand the “investment” side of the “return on investment” equation. Take a look at what you’re spending on your content marketing strategy, and try not to leave any stone unturned. If you’re merely enlisting the help of a content marketing agency, you'll find this to be a straightforward cost.However, if you’re using multiple contractors, or your full-time employees are engaging in work relating to your content campaign, you’ll have to calculate their costs, too, in terms of time and salary. Ultimately, you’ll want to come up with a regular estimate: for example, how much you pay for content marketing in a given month.Source
The biggest piece of the ROI puzzle is the amount of money your content is bringing in. The best way to calculate this is through your on-site conversions. First, you’ll need to establish the value of a conversion, which can be very simple or very complicated based on how your business presents conversions.For example, if you offer products for purchase, all you’ll have to do is calculate the average purchase price, but for more complex sales cycles, no direct calculation is possible. So, figure out how many conversions you’re getting in a given month. The next step will help you adjust this figure.
Now, you’ll need to take these conversions and narrow them down to those completed by people affected by your content marketing strategy. For starters, almost all your organic traffic will be at least indirectly related to your content marketing strategy; your content attracts inbound links, which increase your domain authority, along with search engine visibility.By the end of this step, you should have a figure for total monthly conversions attributable to your content campaign. Multiply this by your average conversion value, and you’ll get a total for your direct monthly content marketing benefits.
You’ll also need to account for peripheral and incalculable benefits that your content campaign offers, such as:
Brand visibility. Having your content featured in an external publication can mean that more people will become aware of your brand. They may visit your site in the future, or be more likely to click through when they see your brand again.
Brand reputation. As you gain more readers, followers, and relationships with bigger publishers, your reputation as a brand will grow. This will make it more likely for visitors to trust your brand (and convert) in the future.
Customer retention. Your content is also responsible for keeping your current customer base loyal and satisfied, especially if a wing of your content strategy is dedicated to customer service. The degree of this influence is hard to measure.
Future value. Finally, don’t forget that what you’ve measured so far is only a snapshot in a long campaign.