How to measure the ROI of your content strategy
So you are blogging for your business.
Maybe you are ‘grammin’, podcasting, pinning and spinning all the socials.
But how do you know if your efforts are working?
After all, if you are in business, any output of resource needs to have an ROI or to be measurable in some way,
Content needs to be improving your bottom line, not depleting it.
And if you can’t be sure if that’s happening, it’s ok, we are going to dive into what to do right here.
First up, some truths:
Content has overheads (yip, it’s not all filters, unicorns, and rose gold prints).
Whether it’s your time spent creating videos, audio or writing, team overheads (if you have them), podcast hosting platform, social sharing app, hours on Instagram stories or Canva costs, it all adds up.
Without measuring success of your content, how can you know if it’s working?
And, without understanding success markers, how can you see or even guesstimate an ROI?
It sounds simple - and it is - but so many business owners just don’t pay attention to what is and isn’t working.
When content IS working for you, you see an uptick in leads, SEO ranking, site visits, re-pins, audience growth, re-tweets, likes, sign ups, brand awareness and sales.
If it’s not?
Well, you may see those things, you may not. You may have some traction, but it may not last.
In short, you have nothing to build on.
You need a benchmark to be able to review, refine, test, tweak and revise your efforts so you know what’s working, what’s not, and - most importantly - what to do about it.
I meet people every day for whom content creation remains a mystery.
Maybe it is for you, too?
If starting to figure out this stuff feels super overwhelming, I get it.
After all, we are BOMBARDED with all sorts of advice, from “Blog less, promote more!”, “it’s all about SEO!”, “Blog daily!”, “It’s all about podcasts!”, “No, it’s ALL about videos!” and it can all just feel too much.
Here is a simple fact.
Wherever you start, keep it simple, measure, and build from there.
The key here is to START.
If you are in the group of peeps I meet who have ALL THE PLANS but feel paralysed with starting, believe me, I totally understand and you are not alone. No judgement. But when you start the wheels turning you can begin to create momentum.
Also important is to learn to create content in a way that works for YOU (I like to unbox things, as you know).
But more on that later.
Let’s go back to that ROI.
There are many metrics that you might choose to focus on for your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
Maybe right now you are focussing on opt-ins, or maybe an increase in SEO ranking is your goal.
Perhaps you are all about traffic, or growing an audience on Instagram.
Whilst it’s certainly possible to have several KPI’s in the go at once, my advice is to keep it simple as you start.
Set a goal, measure it, and tweak and refine as necessary.
Let’s use a made-up scenario to paint the picture.
Lisa* has a business selling hand printed bespoke stationery.
She wants to increase her enquiries from clients, and see a 10% increase in sales over the next 3 months.
To do that, she wants to:
- Increase her Instagram reach and engagement (most of her audience use Instagram)
- Increase the number of subscribers on her email list
- Increase the organic searches on her site for the term “bespoke stationery London”
Of course, there are a number of other ways that Lisa can improve her audience and reach, but for 30 days she decides to create a plan and measure it on a weekly basis in order to refine and revise it where needed.
Lisa plans on posting new content on her Instagram page once a day, with behind the scenes and themed Insta stories posted throughout the day.
She adds a link to her email opt-in in page to her Instagram bio using LinkTree, and includes a call to action in every post to remind people where they can get more information and subscribers only discounts, freebies and videos.
She plans to post one new SEO optimised blog post per week, and to share it on her Instagram page as visual content that leads back to the post.
Lisa would need to take a snapshot of her engagement, email list size, web traffic and SEO ranking at the start of her plan.
Then, she can measure every week how those numbers are moving.
After all, we need data to inform success, and keeping track is important (and no, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming to run a report!).
After the first week, Lisa can get an idea of what’s working and what’s not.
Have her followers started to rise?
How is the engagement looking?
Which posts performed the best?
Has the traffic on her site changed at all?
How many more subscribers is Lisa welcoming onto her list?
Maybe Lisa sees that certain posts perform better than others, so she knows to do more of those.
Maybe she sees that most opt-ins come from her Instagram stories, so she can channel efforts into making them super valuable to her audience and to spend her time and creative energies there.
Lisa can track the hours spent on her content against the increase in sales, followers and brand equity.
She might discover that, actually, posting ONE post a month yields the same results are a weekly post.
She might find that posting on insta every other day has the same effect.
You get the idea.
When you have a plan, and some data, magical things can happen.
Data can help you measure the ROI of your content strategy, to work smarter (not harder), and to celebrate when those efforts pay off!
So, let’s recap:
- To start to measure the success, and therefore the ROI of your content strategy and content efforts, you need to know WHAT you are measuring.
- Setting KPI’s informs how you measure success.
- Measure regularly, and test, tweak, refine and revise.
- Start somewhere, and build on that. Just start.
I promise that a content strategy can be creative and unboxed; it can work to your brilliance, and it can really up-level your business and help you have the impact you deserve.
Do you currently have a sense of your content ROI?
If not, what has held you back so far from measuring your content success?
I would love to hear in the comments below.
P.S I am building my very own DIY Content Strat Pack. Be the first to hear more by putting your digital hand up right here.
* I know lots of lovely Lisa’s, but totally made this one up.