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Here’s the million-dollar question: Is your content marketing system really working? How’s your ROI? According to a report by The Content Marketing Institute, brand awareness is no longer enough for B2B companies. 85% of respondents say they’re now looking for leads from their content marketing systems. And they should be! Although brand awareness is a good ancillary goal, if your marketing isn’t delivering measurable results, you need to rethink your content marketing strategy.  

In order to know if your marketing system is working, you’ve got to determine your goals. Are you looking to:

  • bring more qualified traffic to your website?
  • convert more of your traffic to leads?
  • convert marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads?
  • get visitors to fill out campaign-associated forms on your site?
  • get website visitors to call to schedule a consultation?

After you know what measurable things you want to accomplish, it’s time to dig into the numbers. Here are 5 things you’ll need to measure in order to determine the ROI of what you’re currently doing—and to gain insight on what you need to change moving forward.

1. Determine your investment.

First, know how much you’re spending on the system you’re currently running. Be sure to factor in the cost of employee time, help from outside resources (such as agencies), the cost of tools, and promotional costs (such as content distribution platforms, sponsored posts, AdWords, display ads, etc.)

2. Measure your success.

Success can be measured primarily by three things: website traffic (is anyone seeing your content?), number of marketing-qualified leads (those who fit your demographic criteria and have shown an interest in your offers), and number of sales-qualified leads (those who have moved further down the funnel by looking at services pages or pricing pages, or by downloading case studies and other bottom-of-the-funnel content).

3. Decide the value.

You need to know more than the numbers. You need to know the value of those numbers. What is the value of your average sale? What’s your Customer Lifetime Value? What’s your average cost-per-lead?

4. Track the specific details.

Averages are great for giving you a big-picture view of how you’re doing. But in order to make informed, intelligent decisions about where to put your marketing investment, you need to know the details. You’ll want to measure your cost-per-lead and average sale for each campaign you run, on each platform. Then, you can determine what types of campaigns deliver the best leads on each different platform, or if some platforms work better than others.

5. Measure month-to-month progress.

Once you’ve got the details taken care of, you can start measuring month-to-month progress, guided by your goals. How’s your monthly website traffic? How many visitors are converting to leads each month? How many of your marketing-qualified leads are moving to become sales-qualified leads? How many prospects are contacting you for a conversation?

As you continue to test and ramp up what’s working, you should see an upward trend in your monthly numbers. If you’re not seeing improvements, you need to change your strategy.

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