Content Marketing ROI Caluclator

Content Marketing ROI Calculator: How to Measure Your Campaign Success

Creating and distributing more content isn’t always the solution to meet your business end goals.

You also need to track the effectiveness of your content efforts by calculating the ROI.

But calculating the ROI of your SEO and content marketing efforts is difficult to prove.

This is why we’ve created this guide where you’ll learn:

  • What actually content marketing ROI is
  • How to measure it (step-by-step)
  • ROI calculators
  • Key metrics for every stage of content marketing

Let’s get started.

What Is Content Marketing ROI?

Content marketing ROI refers to the ratio of revenue generated from your content marketing efforts to the total investment (creating content, distribution cost, etc.). Investment in content marketing includes the cost of creating content, SEO Audit, making custom images, cost of hiring an SEO specialist or social media manager, etc.

Likewise, the return in content marketing includes site traffic, revenue generated by sales, number of leads, backlinks, and others.

That means measuring ROI is not a one-size-fits-all formula for all businesses. You need to align the business goals and KPIs with the end goals.

The Content Marketing ROI Formula

Here’s the formula to measure your content ROI:

content marketing roi formula

Content marketing ROI (%) = [{(Profit) / (Investment)} = {(return – investment) / (investment)} * 100]

And, here is a content marketing ROI calculator for you to use:

Content Marketing ROI Calculator

Content Marketing ROI Calculator

Put simply, if you’re getting a return more than your invested amount, your content marketing ROI is positive and vice versa.

Content Marketing ROI Example

Calculating the ROI gets complicated because, in content marketing, the return doesn’t always refer to the amount of revenue directly.

For example, if your website drives 10,000 organic visits/month and spends $500 per month, then the formula mentioned above will not work.

To make this work, you may first calculate the ‘traffic value’ using tools like Google Adwords, Semrush, or Ahrefs.

Here’s an example:

ahrefs overview

As per Ahrefs, traffic value is “the equivalent monthly cost of traffic from all keywords that the target website/URL ranks for if paid via PPC instead of ranking organically.”

Traffic value alone is not a reliable metric to understand the progress of your content marketing efforts. However, it can give you hints whether your website is driving qualified traffic or not.

Now, putting the same formula will show you ROI like this:

Content marketing ROI (%) = {($887 – $500) / ($500)} * 100] = 77.4% (+)

This might not be the perfect way of measuring the actual ROI, but you’ll get an overview of how much you’re spending and the return value corresponding to it.

Measure Content Marketing ROI In 6 Steps

Let’s now dive into the steps required to measure the actual content marketing ROI step-by-step.

Step 1. Calculate Your Content Investment

It is easy to get overwhelmed by dozens of metrics to prove content ROI. But the first step in measuring ROI should be calculating the monthly content investment.

In general, the content investment includes the following:

  • Cost of content creation
  • Content distribution
  • Content management and tools

Let’s dive into each of them.

1/ Content Creation

This includes the cost of hiring freelance writers, designers, social media content creators, editing, etc.

For example, if you’re running a blog where 6 blog posts are published monthly, then your blog content creation cost is $600 per month (assuming $100 per article).

Likewise, you also need to include the cost of hiring content editors or custom image designers.

2/ Content Distribution

Content distribution typically includes the cost of promoting your content through different marketing channels such as social media platforms, third-party sites, email outreach, etc.

For example, tasks like link-building outreach, repurposing content via social media, creating slide decks, and others are included in this process.

To understand, let’s take $200 per month as a content distribution cost.

Note: if you’re running paid advertisements to promote content, include them under a paid advertising bucket.

3/ Content Management And Tools

The content management system (CMS) is one of the most common tools for managing website content. Consider including the costs of any tools used for content marketing purposes (from creation to distribution).

Let’s assume the monthly cost of software and other tools (such as SEO tools, content scheduling platforms, cold emailing software, etc.) is $300.

Based on the previous assumptions, the total content investment is $1,100 (=$600 + $200 + $300) per month.

Once you’re done calculating the content investment, move forward to the next step, assigning the value of conversion types.

Step 2. Assign Conversion Values

One of the reasons why proving content marketing ROI is difficult is that not every conversion type is related to sales.

For example, a lead generated through content may not generate revenue currently. But driving qualified leads is also a sign that the content marketing effort is paying off.

This is why you should assign a monetary value to different conversion types. Some common types are:

  • Free product demo signup
  • Lead generation (via downloads, content access)
  • Calculate customer LTV for eCommerce sites

A hypothetical example:

Assume that you’re running a SaaS business and 5% of the leads become customers in the next 30 days.

After estimating, you found that the lifetime value of a customer is $500. Now, the value of a lead is $25 (= $500 *0.05).

Formula to calculate the value of a lead:

The monetary value per lead = Lifetime value (LTV) of a customer x Conversion rate

Likewise, calculate the value of each conversion type so you can get a rough estimate of your content marketing return.

Step 3. Align Your Business Goals

Measuring content ROI depends on the business goals and key KPIs. The process for a business that wants to drive 2000 product signups will be different than a business that wants to increase its site traffic by 30%.

Therefore, you need to set your business goals and KPIs directly related to your business goals.

Generally, your business goals will fall under the following categories:

  • Lead generation
  • Sales/ revenue
  • Increase website traffic/brand awareness

So, pick the end business goals important to your business and then align all your metrics with the end goal.

Avoid tracking vanity metrics to measure ROI. Examples of vanity metrics:

  • Social shares
  • Traffic
  • Page views (except news sites)
  • Bounce rate
  • Dwell time, etc

Step 4. Conversion Goal Tracking

One easy yet effective step to track conversion values is by setting up goal conversion in Google Analytics (GA). In GA 4, you can track an unlimited number of goal conversions categorized by:

  • Demographics
  • Geography
  • Page/screen
  • Platform/device
  • Time
  • Traffic source
  • User

That means you’ll get a clear idea of which pages are driving the most and least revenue for your business. Also, you can add monetary value for each conversion type

Follow the below path to set up your GA conversions:

GA dashboard > Admin > Property view > Events > Mark as conversion


Google Analytics Events

Based on this data (number of leads, downloads, purchases), you can calculate the value of your return from content.

Step 5. Use GA Attribution Models

Another method for proving your content ROI is using the attribution model in GA, which helps you identify which marketing channels help you drive conversion and purchases.

Attribution models are a method to determine the conversion credit of each marketing channel by source, medium, and touchpoints.

So, if a visitor comes to your blog section through search engines and becomes a lead, the attribution model will credit the organic traffic.

This way, you can tell your clients or understand how effective your content marketing channels are as compared to other channels.

Here’s a real example where organic traffic is driving a major portion of conversions:

Google Analytics Conversion Path

Attribution model types in GA are:

  • Last click (gives all the credit to the last user touchpoint)
  • First click (gives all the credit to the first interaction of the user with your site)
  • Linear (gives equal credit to every touchpoint)
  • Position-based (gives more credit to first and last touchpoints)
  • Time decay (gives more weightage to the touchpoints occurring closer to the time of the conversion event).

Check out this guide to learn more about attribution models in GA 4.

Step 6. Indirect Content Marketing Benefits

Content marketing is not all about driving conversions. It is also about brand awareness and improving your website’s credibility and authority in the industry.

Therefore, you should also check metrics that are indirectly helping your business to meet end goals.

Here are some indirect metrics to track:

  • Backlinks: Monthly growth of the number of quality backlinks can help you measure the quality of content and the performance of the link-building team.
  • Keyword rankings growth: The more relevant keywords you rank (in the top 10 positions) in the SERP, the better your overall site performance is.
  • Brand mentions: Track the brand name mentions across third-party sites, videos, podcasts, etc.

Content Marketing ROI Calculators

Looking for a content marketing ROI calculator? Then simply start using the formula shared previously:

Content marketing ROI (%) = [{(Profit) / (Investment)} = {(return – investment) / (investment)} * 100]

To help you in this process, we have created an easy-to-use content marketing ROI calculator in Google sheets (downloadable).

Here’s a sneak peek:

Content Marketing ROI Sheet

Download the ROI calculator here for free.

Content Marketing ROI Metrics And KPIs

Knowing which metrics to measure can be tricky, as each business’s goals and requirements differ. However, we can categorize the key content marketing metrics and KPIs by marketing stages, such as:

  1. Traffic (Top funnel)
  2. Engagement (Middle funnel)
  3. Conversions (Bottom funnel)

Let’s understand each one with examples:

1/ Traffic Metrics And KPIs

Traffic is the first thing that every site needs to drive engagement and convert users to paying customers. If you’re writing blog or publishing pages regularly on your website, consider tracking the following KPIs:

  • Site traffic/month
  • Domain authority
  • Backlinks growth
  • Keyword positions (Top 3, Top 10, etc.)
  • Unique visitors
  • Traffic by country

2/ Engagement Metrics And KPIs

The engagement reports tell you how users interact with your content. It also indicates how well your content is satisfying user intent.

Track the following metrics and track the performance on a month-over-month period:

  • Page views
  • Bounce rate
  • Exit rate
  • Scroll depth
  • Sessions
  • Time spent on pages
  • Repeat visitors %

3/ Conversion Metrics And KPIs

If your business end goal is driving sales and revenue through content, then you need to focus on metrics that are directly affecting your monthly revenue.

Some examples are:

  • Number of product sign ups
  • Downloads/leads
  • Average transaction value
  • Revenue
  • Goal completion

Improve Your Content Marketing ROI With Pazeviews

Optimizing your content strategy to improve ROI becomes difficult if you’re not measuring the return and value you’re getting from the content. We hope this guide helped you understand how to measure content ROI and what metrics to consider to track content marketing progress.

However, if you’re unsure where to start or need help optimizing your content marketing strategy to increase ROI, check out our content audit services.

At Pazeviews, we have a team of SEO and content marketing experts with years of experience that will help you improve revenue through content.

Contact our experts and book a free consultation call now.

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