Measuring the ROI of content marketing is somewhat difficult.
In fact, 46% of marketers report measuring the ROI of content marketing as one of the top challenges they face.
While another 50% of marketers struggle with measuring content effectiveness.
58% of marketers made it a priority to better understand what content is effective and what isn't.
Measuring content marketing is sometimes so tough that 47% of B2B marketers simply don't do it.
That doesn't mean that you should do the same and just give up.
72% of successful companies do measure their content marketing ROI, as opposed to 22% of the least successful.
The closer you get to figuring out the ROI of your content marketing efforts, the better it is for your company.
Only 8% of marketers are confident in their ability to measure the ROI of their content marketing effects and grade themselves to be "successful" at it.
And only 2% consider themselves to be "extremely successful" at this task.
Around 39% of marketers grade themselves to be "somewhat successful."
So, if you're struggling to determine the ROI of your content marketing efforts, you're not alone.
Many marketers seem to be obsessed with monitoring the success of their content.
40% of marketers do it weekly, while 28% of them even do it daily.
This shows that even though it's difficult, many marketers do it.
And they should.
Because research has shown that inbound marketers who measure ROI are more than 12 times more likely to generate a greater year-over-year return.
Companies believe in content marketing
Even though it can be difficult to measure the ROI of content marketing, companies are confident that it works.
Tiger Fitness managed to increase their returning customer rate to 60% with video content marketing.
Coca Cola spends more money on content creation than television advertising.
Cisco decided to do a content marketing ROI case study using one of their new modem launches.
Their digital marketing campaign allowed them to reach their lead goals for $100,000 less than anticipated.
Marriott fully intends to become the number one travel content publisher in the world and they intend to leverage content marketing to accomplish their long-term goal.
Global brands don't blindly trust in content marketing, they know it works.
78% of consumers found a brand 'helpful' while 64% found it 'trustworthy' immediately after reading content from that brand.
These numbers even amplified by 8-9% after a week had gone by.
A survey has shown that consumers were more likely to buy from a brand immediately after reading content from that brand by staggering 131%.
Consumers like and recognize authenticity.
91% of them are happy to reward brands for their authenticity.
Consumers go as far as to seek out content around brands that interest them.
In fact, 68% of consumers spend time reading about brands that are interesting to them.
Going even further, 60% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands.
Decision-makers are even more likely to pay attention to brand-focused content.
65% of them will visit a marketer's website after viewing a brand-focused video.
Brand-focused videos do well with the regular viewers too.
64% of them are likely to buy a product online after watching one.
Content marketing lead generation statistics
Lead generation is very important for any business.
It's safe to say that content marketing is an excellent lead generator.
85% of them set lead generation as their top three priority.
78% of companies set lead nurturing as their top three priority.
84% of companies set sales as their top-three priority for their content marketing.
72% of marketers report that content marketing increased leads.
On average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3x as many leads.
Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than those who do not.
Furthermore, B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.
Not all content pieces are created equal.
Long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-form blog posts.
Content marketing lead generation case study
The average rate for converting traffic to leads across industries is considered to be at 16%.
Leads generated from SEO have an average close rate of 14%.
Having those two numbers in mind, you could calculate a ballpark figure of how many leads and sales you get per 1,000 visitors to your website.
The calculation goes something like:
1,000 visitors x 16% = 160 leads
160 leads x 14% = 22.4 sales
This is a general formula that Express Writers run against their real numbers.
You can check their entire case study here.
ROI of blogging for content marketers
61% of consumers made a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
The average conversion rate for a blog is 19%.
82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI from their inbound marketing.
The average company that blogs receive 55% more website visitors.
Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
Blogging is a long-term game, however.
Approximately, only 1 out of every 10 blog posts are what's considered "compounding" posts.
Compounding blog posts are posts that enjoy a steady increase in traffic over time.
51% of blog readers shop online.
14% of bloggers earn a salary through blogging.
Businesses publishing 16-plus posts a month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than businesses publishing zero to four articles.
HuffPost blog earns $14 million per month.
There's an interesting case study of ROI of blogging done by Groove HQ.
You can check it out here.
Still a disbeliever?
Check out another case study of how Canada's fastest-growing tech company achieved 4x ROI on content marketing in less than one year.
Marketers are expanding content marketing budgets
Another indication that content marketing yields positive ROI when done right is the fact that marketers are increasing their content marketing budgets.
Marketers allocate 26% of their total marketing budget to content marketing.
80% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months.
24% of organizations now devote 50% or more of their budget to content marketing.
72% of marketers said that having a good content strategy was a major key to their success.
Consumers enjoy content marketing
Consumer behaviors are shifting.
People more and more are demanding custom, relevant content that's educational rather than salesy.
This is a clear indication that content marketing is the right way to go.
60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading about it.
70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advert.
80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content.
82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
61% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy from a company that provides custom content.
78% of people perceive a relationship between themselves and a company using custom content.
90% of consumers find custom content useful.
70% of consumers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing.
79% of online shoppers spend 50% of their shopping time researching products online.
47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
95% of B2B consumers trust content and consider content as trustworthy when evaluating a company.
90% of B2B consumers say that content played a moderate or major part in their purchasing decision.
48% of marketers use dedicated content to support three to five buying stages.
Content marketing ROI and social media
Everyone's on one social media platform or another these days.
Clearly, marketers have to go where the consumers are.
Companies aren't just advertising on social media, they're investing parts of their content marketing budgets there too.
72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement.
30% of marketers think social media is the most effective way of driving traffic.
94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and say it’s the most effective social media platform.
91% of “content revolutionaries” use LinkedIn.
Twitter has done their own study and came to some interesting conclusions.
66% of people have found a new business on Twitter.
69% of people bought something because of a tweet.
94% plan to make a purchase from a business they follow.
ROI of podcasting as part of a content marketing strategy
Rise25 has published an excellent article on the ROI of podcasting.
I urge you to check it out here.
They asked successful podcasters what podcasting did for their professional careers.
Here are just a couple of the answers:
“I have gotten a tremendous amount of ROI from my podcast. As a result of my Franchise Euphoria podcast, I now get franchise calls and interest from all over the United States.” Attorney Josh Brown, host of the Franchise Euphoria podcast
“Over time, I came to see the podcast as a great way to build a brand and connect with amazing people. It’s done so much for relationship and network building which makes the “intangible” ROI extremely high and worth the time and effort.” – John Lim of the Moving Forward Show
Sure, these are anecdotal evidence, but here are some hard facts.
80% of listeners can recall a brand advertised in a podcast.
67% of listeners can recall specific product features or promotions.
Comparatively, podcasts generate around four times better brand recall than scroll, pop-up and static ads.
51% of listeners are somewhat or much more likely to buy from brands that advertise via podcasts.
Other interesting content marketing statistics going in favor of content marketing
You are more likely to complete Navy SEAL training than click on a banner ad.
Interactive content like apps, calculators, quizzes, and assessments generate conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time, as opposed to just 36% of the time to those of passive content.
By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with businesses without talking to a human.
75% of content marketers report better overall ROI when they use visuals in their content.
47% of millennials indicated they’d be more likely to trust a ﬁnancial services company if it created useful content.
Content marketing has everything going for it.
It drives more leads and sales and costs less than traditional marketing efforts like advertising.
And it does all that while being preferred and enjoyed by consumers.
The only downside is that it's somewhat difficult to measure and it requires quite a bit of time and effort to do right.
Everything worth doing takes time and effort, though, right?