Why Is Measuring Content Marketing Success So Hard?

Demonstrating content marketing ROI may not be as difficult as you think!

Content marketing may be all the rage, but getting a real handle on the value of these efforts continues to dog consumer marketers. The lack of demonstrable return on investment (ROI) is almost certainly one of the key barriers preventing further investment in content. Why is measurement and evaluation such a problem? And what can consumer marketers practically do to improve things?

Only 23 percent of B2C marketers believe they are successfully tracking content ROI, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2C Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report. In addition, measuring content effectiveness, one of the challenges that survey respondents rated the highest, rose from 36 percent to 51 percent year on year.

The Challenge Of Measuring Content Marketing ROI

There’s no disputing that measuring the ROI and value of content marketing is a real and present concern. Why is that the case? There are clearly a number of factors at play.

One common problem is a failure to properly define what success looks like.

There is general agreement that campaign goals should be couched in terms of concrete outcomes such as sales, leads, and profitability. Consumer marketers, however, are often lured into measuring what’s easy to count, relying on output metrics such as potential reach or shares, retweets, and likes. ROI is a financial metric and will never be measured using non-financial output metrics alone.

Even when proper outcomes are used as the criteria for success, the challenge of working out the causal impact of content marketing rears its ugly head. The so-called “last click attribution” problem has been well documented.

Why Is Measuring Content Marketing Success So Hard?


Rick Duris is CopyRanger.

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