I’m not sure the debate about measuring content marketing ROI will ever end.

But, you gotta do it somehow.

Because, if you just push out as much content as possible without knowing what it does for you, what’s the sense in that?

How do you know how much to spend on content marketing?

Do you need to add more people to your team?

What should their responsibilities be?

I don’t understand how you can make business decisions on content marketing if you don’t have a way to measure what’s happening.

You may not have a perfect system.

But, you should try to get as close as possible.

Try this method out:

1. How to Attribute How Much Content Does for Your Sales

Somebody calls your sales team. They close the sale with ease. That prospect follows a specific path, interacting with social media posts, blog posts, case studies, and white papers.

Which piece of content deserves what percentage of the credit for the sale?

Analytics expert Avinash Kaushik believes in 2 different models:

  1. Position-based, where you assign 40% of the weight to the first and last piece of content interacted with, and distribute the remaining 20% evenly among all other interactions
  2. Time-decay, which assigns the least weight to the first interaction, and increasing weight to subsequent interactions based on your feelings/judgment

You have a lot of room for interpretation with these. So, make sure you read Avinash’s Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling: The Good, Bad and Ugly Models

2. With That Understanding, You Can Now Accurately Calculate ROI

Now, it’s just a matter of creating measurable funnels and goals on your website. You can use Google Analytics. Or, you can use more sophisticated analytics software like Kissmetrics.

All you need is a typical customer LTV, and then you multiply that by your number of converted prospects. One decision you’ll have to make during the process involves what qualifies as a lead.

Then, hold both marketing and sales accountable for the same metric. And of course, once sales talks to the lead, they need to ask how the prospect found out about your company.

In addition to being useful  for measuring ROI, that also helps your sales team learn which lead sources convert the best and result in the most revenue.

Your Measurement System Probably Won’t be Perfect

Remember, make marketing and sales responsible for the same metrics – leads and sales. When you make marketing responsible for vanity metrics like followers, likes, shares, and subscribers, it doesn’t focus on driving sales and revenue.

Perfectly measuring your content’s ROI isn’t possible. But you can get close. And, at the very least you’ll have a ballpark understanding of how much ROI your content drives.