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How to Measure B2B Content ROI

Posted by John Hatton on 06-Jan-2015 16:42:00

Most of us are aware that content is great for business – it helps with SEO, generates engagement and can be used to nurture leads in a (relatively) cheap way. That’s why companies are creating more content than ever. The chances are you are one of them, or at least considering it. I know this because according to The Content Promotion Manifesto, over 2.73 million blog posts are published every day.

B2B Marketing ROI - need more budget?

While customers love the competition because it pushes standards higher, for us it makes getting our message heard a lot harder. It’s no secret that quality content is the key to your voice being heard. But what is quality and how do you measure it? Views? Likes? Shares? Click-throughs?

Nope, ROI. Content should be measured using exactly the same metric as the rest of your marketing activity.

Measure cost

From now on, record how long it takes to write each piece of content – include time taken for researching, planning, writing and designing (if necessary). There are numerous apps (or stopwatches of course) that help with precision timing.

Now you need to make that number monetary. Turn your – or if you’re lucky enough, your copywriter’s and design team’s - annual salary into an hourly rate. Multiply this by the time it’s taken you, your copywriter or design team, to produce that piece of content = your investment.

Given that images are, more often than not, integral to the success of content, it’s likely you’ve used them in some capacity. Add the fee for procuring them to the associated content’s overall cost.

Attribute success

Calculating the return sounds relatively simple but the reality is that most customers convert after ‘touching’ several different pieces of content. Therefore, you have to decide how you want to attribute the importance of each one to a prospect converting.

There are many attribution models but arguably the most reliable is multi-touch attribution – this divides the credit equally between content that was ‘touched’ during the conversion process. The idea being that all interactions during conversion are of equal importance - who knows, maybe the prospect wouldn’t have read that case study if it wasn’t for your superb infographic they saw last month.  

In time you’ll notice some content contributes to more appointments than others. But don’t stick with these – business trends change all the time and content that’s popular now won’t necessarily be so in the future.

Calculate ROI

Now subtract your investment from the attributed return for each piece of content. The result is the ROI figure.

You’ve spent the time gathering the information so make the most of it. You will be able to see and report on what’s working well for you and what isn’t. In time, you’ll notice that some pieces of content are often involved in the purchase journey, whereas others will only appear a couple of times a year. But always keep measuring – trends change, business needs change and new things come about. Keep your content ahead of the curve by always measuring and analysing its performance. To learn more about measuring marketing ROI...

Read our new ebook: B2B Marketing ROI - Measuring Success

Topics: B2B Content Marketing, B2B marketing, B2B Marketing ROI, Marketing ROI, B2B Content