Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent hours laboring on the best researched and written blog post only to feel like you didn’t know how to measure your content ROI.

*Raises hand*

Been there; done that. Repeatedly.

It’s okay. No judgement here.

Most small businesses have small marketing teams – many, including startups and entrepreneurs, are teams of one. Blog posts alone can take a minimum of three hours before you even write the copy to share them across all your channels. A 30-minute podcast can mean a six-hour time investment once you edit sound files, post on your syndicator, write show notes, and post on your site with show art. It’s a huge task to manage keeping up with regularly producing and promoting quality content in addition to, you know, running a business.

In fact, 45% of respondents to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute cited the reason for not measuring content ROI is simply “we need an easier way to do this.”


There does need to be easier ways to do this. Luckily, there are a couple simple steps you can take to begin understanding the content ROI from all the hours you invested while ideally minimizing additional hours in the future. Start with these and you’ll find your content continues to work for you.  

  1.     Plan Your Work

What was the biggest factor reported to contribute to an improvement in content marketing success last year? The development or adjustment of a strategy.

It’s true. Having a strategy for your content marketing makes analyzing content ROI much easier, along with a host of other benefits like helping keep your brand messaging consistent and never missing an opportunity to engage with your audience.

Start by laying out all your communications channels and your projects on an editorial calendar. From there, evaluate projects against their launch deadlines to what projects need new content and what is benefitting from recycled content.

  1.     Think Evergreen

After you’ve developed a strategy for how you want to manage your content marketing, you’ll want to understand what content you already have ready to use. You can do this by quickly reviewing all of your evergreen content. 

Evergreen content remains relevant to your audience even after the post has been live for months. These pieces can be pulled from your archives again and again and continue to perform, driving new traffic to your website. These are often informational posts that can be reiterated or easily updated with new information.

Having a steady selection of evergreen content saves you from having to continually produce new content and can, instead, complement ongoing efforts. Tracking the analytics on evergreen content via Google Analytics page views or  clicks to custom URLs will help you to determine what posts receive the most engagement and, therefore, are worth repeating.

  1.     Measure Traffic

If there is only one key performance indicator you decide to track, traffic should be it. Traffic is critical to the success of your website and knowing where a majority of your traffic is coming from will help you determine content ROI and, therefore, where to invest the most of your time. Is your audience coming through social media or directly? Was it your compelling email newsletter that brought visitors to the site?

By tracking traffic, you can quickly answer these questions and evaluate where your audience is and what they want to engage with most. An easy way to track traffic is with Google Analytics pageviews, which allows you to track visitors on any of the pages on the domain you manage and offers analytics in real time.

There is a multitude of technology tools available and additional steps you can take but remaining focused on what your end goal is helps maintain a clear vision for your content production and posting. Building an editorial calendar will help you visualize the strategy laid out over the course of months or the full year. You can easily see where new content is needed, and where you can add evergreen content. Finally, tracking at least the traffic to your website will dictate the channels most likely to bring the fastest content ROI.

Post by Monique LeFebvre, Content & Digital Marketing Strategist, Harris Marketing Services

For an editorial calendar where you can collaborate with team members and receive content analytics in real-time, sign up for a beta account on PlanItPDQ and make your marketing easier today.