Everybody wants to get the best return on their investment possible. After all, if you’re spending just as much money on your marketing as you’re receiving in sales, then your business is still only breaking even. Of course, if your marketing spend is low but the time you invest in it is so enormous that you don’t have time to get your other jobs done then this is no good either.

The optimum is to dedicate a sensible amount of time and money to your marketing and to see it generate some good business for you, that’s the perfect return on investment. We’re going to take a look at some tips on how to ensure all of the time that you and your team spend on content marketing is worthwhile.

How to Calculate ROI

Before we begin, it’s impossible to understand what your return on investment is, if you aren’t sure how to calculate it. Whether you’re commissioning one of the top Superbowl commercials, or working with a team of just yourself and a budget of fifty dollars, it’s equally important. As with many things in marketing, calculating ROI isn’t an exact science, but there are plenty of tools that you can use to gauge how successful your marketing is. Working out your ‘cost per lead’ is a great place to start. To do this, you need to look at how many leads you achieved before releasing your new content, versus the number of leads you achieve after. You take the difference in the two numbers and divide the cost of creating your latest content by that number. This gives you a rough figure for how much each of your leads is costing you.

Of course, there are other ways to calculate ROI too, with the most comprehensive being to quantify each of the goals for your content marketing, these goals are known as KPI key performance indicators. For example, one of your KPIs might be to increase traffic to your website, you could quantify this by looking at how much money 100 unique visitors earn you on your site and that can be your value.

You can repeat this for all of the different KPIs that you have for your content marketing and then work out what your ROI percentage is. This is surprisingly simple, you take the value that your marketing is adding, subtract from it the cost of your content marketing and then divide that figure by your expenses and multiply by 100. So, if you’re making an extra $3000 from content marketing and it’s costing you $600, the calculation would be 3000 – 600 = 2400, then 2400 divided by 600 to equal 4, multiplied by 100 to equal 400. These numbers give you a 400% ROI, not bad!

Set Your Goals

We’ve already briefly talked about KPIs, and these are often the same as your goals. Setting clear goals that you can quantify is essential for achieving great returns on investment. Without quantifiable goals, you can’t accurately calculate the difference that your marketing is making, so this stage is essential. Some people do find this a little tricky, but breaking things down to the very basics is the best way to achieve it.

Once you’ve got your goals, you can develop a strategy to hit those goals and keep continually analyzing to find out if you’re meeting the targets or not. If you are then you’re doing brilliantly and if you’re not then it’s time to tweak the way you’re marketing, or question whether the goals you’ve set are actually achievable.

Prioritize Outstanding Content

One of the mistakes that many people make when creating marketing content is to churn out absolute loads of it, without really considering quality. Whilst it’s important to have an online presence and one or two articles and an infographic probably won’t cut it, it’s far worse to have lots of poor-quality content online than just a few pieces that are really great.

Make sure that quality is paramount in your marketing plan, so that each piece of work that you create has intrinsic value. Your content should be full of facts, be engaging to your customers, instruct people something, and place you as an industry leader. If you’re ticking off these checkboxes, then you’ll start to see big improvements.

Mix Up Your Formats

Within your top-quality work, it’s also super important to use different formats. You can write a thousand blog posts, but you might get as much traction from just a handful of those combined with a video, an infographic, or even a podcast. Think outside the box when it comes to content formats and remember to keep track of those KPIs to see which is performing well.

Don’t forget that within each and every piece of your content, you should be guiding readers towards the KPI that you want to achieve. You can use a very obvious call to action to show people where they can find your products, or you can use a more subtle call to action to encourage them to sign up to your newsletter. These instructions make it much easier to quantify how well your marketing is working, as you’ll be able to see on your click-throughs whether potential customers are following the instructions that you’ve laid out.

Alex is a pet freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. He attended Colorado State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was where he first got some experience in animal nutrition. After graduating from University, Alex began sharing his knowledge as a freelance writer specializing in pets.

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