3 essential steps to sound content marketing ROI and measurement

Don't let the lack of metrics get you down--these three easy steps to measuring content marketing will have you on track in a snap!

by Lindsay Trinkle

Addressing the challenges of measuring content marketing ROI

2015 started off great for Tara, a marketing manager at a company in the music industry in Atlanta.

Her company was making content marketing a primary focus and she had tons of ideas for educational blog posts, interesting events, and cool infographics about how to get more gigs. Tara dove right in and began creating content that she knew the entertainment industry would love. Thirty days in, everyone agreed that they were publishing better content than ever before.

“Our marketing looks great lately,” Tara would hear from employees in other departments. She was elated – until she began prepping for her update with the executive team and realized she didn’t have much in the way of actual results from all of her great content.

Does Tara’s story sound familiar? Truth is, many content marketers struggle to accurately measure the effectiveness of their content marketing program. Tweet this! And while content may be king, business leaders want to see real results from their efforts and resources spent on content marketing.

3 steps to mixing the perfect content marketing ROI measurements

1) Sound goals

Plenty of marketers skip over this one, eager to dive right into creating content. The problem is, without good goals, there is no way to measure the success of your content marketing strategy.  Goals are your base line–a necessary factor in measuring content marketing ROI. Your goals must be specific, measurable, and attainable. Goals like “more awareness” or “more website traffic” are too vague. Tweet this! Try setting goals around specific events you want to see, like eBook downloads, blog post shares, or free trial signups. And make sure your goals are challenging, but attainable! Don’t set the bar unreasonably high for yourself or your team – that will only lead to discouragement and unmet expectations.

2) The right tools

Once you have your goals set, make sure you have the right tools in place to track the specific content marketing ROI metrics that you’re after. Looking for more trial signups from your website? Use Google Analytics event tracking to track that kind of engagement. Hoping to drive more whitepaper downloads? Marketing automation tools like Pardot or Hubspot are fantastic ways to create landing pages to promote and track content downloads like this. There are many amazing tools available – it just takes some research to figure out which one is the right fit for you and your goals. Tools are like your soloists–you have to make sure they’re playing the right part. Tweet this!

When you have figured out which tools you plan to use, make sure you have a central dashboard from which you can see your most important metrics. Otherwise, you’ll waste precious time visiting and logging into various websites to analyze your results. Dashboards are amazing tools for busy, metric-driven marketers.

3) A rhythm to adapt and improve

Every content marketer must find a rhythm that leads to better content. Tweet this! Your process should look something like this: create – publish – measure – report – adapt – improve. Adapting and improving are super important to the success of your content marketing program. After all, while you need to measure your effectiveness to report your results to your team, it’s even even more important that you put that information to work. Don’t let bad metrics get you down – look at them as feedback Tweet this! . You’ll make your next piece of content more successful.

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