Hello folks. And thanks for sticking with me as I continue my relentless assault on any remaining soul I have yet to suck out of content creation. I’ll try to finish it off today.
And there’s no better way to do that than to start talking about return on investment (ROI). Return on investment is amount that you wind up reaping (or losing) from a given investment of money or labor.
There are two main ways to think of ROI for SEO-minded content:
- Comparing the ROI (or cost) of SEO campaigns to that of other lead acquisition tactics, measuring relative ROI.
- Reasoning directly about the revenue (well, profit, really) generated by your SEO-minded content efforts.
I’m going to dive into both extensively. But first, let’s take a detour through some business terms and some extremely opinionated takes on digital marketing metrics.
How Should We Measure a Content Program? (Hint: There is a Right Answer)
For my money, one of the most surreal questions that I see when DevRels or content marketers get together and talk shop is a simple one.
What’s a good metric for the success of a content program?
This seems both innocuous and like a good question. But here’s what I hear when someone asks that:
What’s a good cardinal direction to drive in? I’m a south kind of guy, but I’ve been hearing a lot of good things lately about northeast.
Both questions are kind of absurd, because both beg the contextual question of “what are you trying to do / where are you going?” Metrics and tactics both are meaningless absent articulated goals.
If DevRels and content marketing managers are asking this question as a matter of shop, someone in the org chart above them has faceplanted in setting them up for success. Nobody should need to flail around aimlessly for a success metric or a driving direction.
Luckily, however, unlike “which direction should I drive,” there is a universally right answer about how to measure the success of a commercial content program. You measure that with the relationship between customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer profitability. This is your return on investment in the purest form: how much profit do you realize from spending money or time on content?