What’s the Real ROI of Content Marketing?

by Michelle McGinnis on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Content Marketing

Content marketing is all the rage lately. (Whether you call it content or inbound marketing.)

But few marketers know how to measure the actual ROI of their content.

Thankfully, a new e-book has stepped into the gap. “Content Marketing ROI”, which was published by our partner Kapost and us, actually pins some numbers to the return on content marketing investments.

We started out by looking at some of the upfront costs of putting in an ongoing content marketing process in place at mid- and large-sized businesses. These costs involve hiring talent, freelancers and related technology needs.

Assuming a healthy traffic growth rate and a conservative 2% conversion rate for visits becoming leads, we found the cost-per-lead was $75 for mid-sized businesses and $64 for larger ones.

We wanted to compare those costs to proven lead generation methods. Paid search is largely seen as one of the most effective marketing practices so we did a side-by-side comparison.

We suggested a 4% conversion rate for paid search – double that of content marketing – and looked at performance over the same period of time. We found that the cost-per-lead of content marketing was lower by 31% and 41%, respectively.

The reason for this comes down to rent versus ownership. While the upfront investment in content marketing is higher than a paid search campaign, those costs decline rapidly over time while paid search costs stay constant.

Granted, the costs assumed here are going to be different for any organization. But it shows that over time, content marketing proves be a valuable strategy, with a low cost-per-lead price tag.

The e-book covers much more territory and goes into even greater detail. You can access it by clicking the image below.

content-marketing-ROI


What kind of return have you seen on your content marketing efforts?

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