Return on Content

Measurement and Analytics

Content helps achieve business objectives, not content objectives. Creating valuable content is the means, not the end. However too often, content marketers tell themselves that they can’t accurately measure their results, or a tactic isn’t measurable, or that they don’t feel comfortable measuring content.

According to the content marketing institute, we use a series of metrics to help you measure the impact of your content and social marketing investment including: consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead-gen metrics, and sales metrics.

How many people viewed, downloaded or listened to this piece of content? Consumption metrics help you measure brand awareness and website traffic. Some of the more prominent consumption metrics include:

  • Page views: These are easy to measure using Google Analytics or a similar web analytics program.
  • Video views: YouTube Insights and similar data work best here.
    Document views: SlideShare simplifies your access to this data.
  • Downloads: When un-gated, measure downloads through your CRM platform or Google Analytics and other web analytics software.
  • Social chatter: Services like, Radian6, Sysomos, and Viralheat are all viable options for measuring chatter.

This is the phase of measurement where some content marketers quit and let nature settle the rest but this is just the start!

Measuring how your content is shared impacts two significant content goals: brand awareness and engagement. Your sharing metrics may include:

  • Likes, shares, tweets, +1s, and pins: Sharing tools typically keep track of these, with Google Analytics (and similar web analytics programs) offering additional insights.
  • Forwards: Your email provider and Google Analytics can help you track email forwards.
  • Inbound links: Tools like your blogging software OpenSiteExplorer, RavenTools, and MajesticSEO simplify how you measure these.

Sharing metrics have to be put into perspective. Is your content resulting on a more favorable behavior? are they looking foor more content?

Remember your are competing with everything everywhere for capturing elusive moments of attention.

Most B2B marketeers want to produce and share content that generate leads for their sales teams.

  • Form completions and downloads: Through your CRM and URL tracking, how often visitors access gated content is simple to measure.
  • Email subscriptions: Your email provider or CRM tracks how many visitors sign up to receive your emails.
  • Blog subscriptions: You can measure blog subscriptions through services like Feedblitz or your CRM system.
  • Blog comments: A strong comment platform (like Disqus, Livefyre or one built into to your blogging software) helps here.
  • Conversion rate: How often do visitors who consume content become leads?

This is the shortest way to calculate your return on content but there is not always an easy and direct relationship between content and sales.

  • Online sales: Typically, you measure these through your ecommerce system.
  • Offline sales: You track these through your CRM and unique URLs measured by your analytics or marketing automation program.
  • References and referrals from content users
  • Customer retention