Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.

– H. James Harrington

When it comes to content marketing – or any form of marketing – sticking your finger in the air to measure success is never good enough.

Too many businesses spend time and resource creating content without knowing whether it works or not. That’s a big risk, because it could mean time wasted.

So, before you write another word, do yourself a favour and set some metrics to start tracking ROI. We’ve done the thinking for you below.

You’re welcome 👍



Tracking Attribution




These metrics require a level of sophistication when it comes to your CRM. If you’re using a tool like Hubspot, you shouldn’t have too much trouble – but anything more basic will require some thought up-top.



1.  First touch attribution

Having landed a new client, you want to be able to track exactly where their lead came from.

This is where first touch attribution comes in handy – as it indicates which piece of content the client first engaged with on your website. By assigning a value against that lead based on the lifetime value (LTV) of the client, you’ll know which piece of content is most valuable to your business, and how much value has been created by your body of content, as a whole.



2.  Last touch attribution

Content isn’t just good for attracting new prospects; it’s also a great way to nurture and convert existing lead.

Last touch attribution will tell you which piece of content was the final touch point before a prospect made their purchase decision. Setting a figure against this again indicates the value of each piece of relevant content and the ROI of your broader content activity.



3.  Revenue influenced

Of course; content influences the buyer journey across the whole journey – not just at the start and end. That’s where revenue-influenced tracking is handy – a metric generated by attaching a value against each interaction new clients have with your content throughout the nurture process.



Tracking Goals

Another way to determine the ROI of your content marketing is to attach a value to each goal in your content strategy.

Google Goals makes it simple to set and track digital marketing goals. We’d recommend tracking the following in an easy-to-understand content dashboard:

  • Newsletter signups
  • Gated content downloads
  • Contact form submissions

These goals and their values should be set up in Google Analytics, allowing you to see the value of your content marketing over a set period at a glance, based on your wider content goals.



Alternative Approaches




If your digital tools aren’t sophisticated enough to track the numbers above, you’ll be looking for a simpler metric.

Here, we recommend two metrics suggested by The Marketing Centre for tracking marketing ROI beyond content, only.



1. Marketing as a percentage of sales

This is calculated as your sales revenue divided by your marketing spend. In his article, marketing director Robert Stead advises B2B businesses aim for a score of between 4% and 8%.



2. Cost per acquisition

Calculate this by dividing your number of new clients by your marketing spend on generating new business over the same period. This offers a broad indication of whether your wider marketing ROI. The amount you’re willing to invest to acquire a client should reflect the average amount of revenue you expect them to deliver in their time with you.


These are only a snapshot of the possible ways to measure content marketing effectiveness – and there are other considerations to take into account when building a truly effective dashboard. But the measures above are a start – and should save you considerable marketing resource.


Image via Unsplash,