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4 easy steps to measure what your content is worth

How can you calculate the value of an article? Is it the amount of opens or clicks? Is it the click-through rate to a second page? Or do you need to track back actual sales to the content you put out there? Defining the ROI of a publication seems to be a tricky calculation, but with some basic steps you can get a fairly good idea of the value of your content.

Calculating the exact ROI of a piece of content is nearly impossible. You can easily test this by publishing content via email, on social media and on your website. You will get 3 different results, although the content remains the same. So we can already conclude that the channel you publish content on, is an important factor to consider. When evaluating content revenue, always make sure you track the results per channel.
Ready to start measuring? Follow these 4 easy steps:

1. Track production time
Marketers often forget that content represents a production cost. Articles have to be written and proofread, visuals need to be added. And let's not forget the time needed to publish, follow up and report on each piece of content. All of the above can easily be measured by integrating time trackers into your workflow.  Manual as well as automated trackers are available to record the total amount of time that was assigned to publishing a piece of content.

2. Track production cost
Once you have recorded the attributed time, you can calculate the cost per piece of content. If you don't have a clear view on the cost structure of your company, ask your finance department if they can help you calculate the cost per employee. The last step is easy, calculating the total cost for content production.

3. Choose a model to allocate cost and revenue
Depending on your needs and preferences, you can use 2 kinds of models to allocate cost and revenue to a piece of published content:

  • Direct attribution: the number of sales, leads, data sign-ups that are directly attributed to your content.
  • Indirect attribution: the number of opens, clicks, referrals,…  If you decide to use this model, you will have to calculate a value for each type of response.

4. Track ROI
You now have recorded the total cost and revenue of your post or article. That means you are ready to calculate the revenue generated per € invested. Why is this useful?

  • You can track the long-term value of your content. Most content isn't a one-off campaign post, but will stay available online as a blogpost or news archive. Chances are it will keep on generating value in the future.
  • You can evaluate which content scores best. This will not always be an in-depth research report or an expensive new corporate video. On the contrary, a brief but relevant insight will often prove to be a powerful lead-driver.
  • You can track the effectiveness of your channels. Which content works best on which channels?


Tracking content ROI starts with calculating the production cost and comparing it to revenue. When executed well, this method can provide you with a powerful metric that reveals how your content is performing on each channel.

Posted on
Dec 5, 2014