content marketing, global marketing, marketing metrics, business, strategy


“Design” and “experience” are hard to translate into sales figures, even though we all know that it’s incredibility important. Content is the same. Without content, there is no way to guide our audience to and around our websites. Without content, we have nothing to engage our audience. Content plays a critical role and it’s an integral part of marketing communications. Yet, it’s so hard to quantify the return on investment of content. If content needs to be at the forefront of management’s minds, somehow, content’s value needs to be quantified. 

I often feel content is like a piece of furniture. A sofa is a sofa. The quality and  style of a sofa is important. The quality and beauty of the sofa can only be highlighted prominently, when it’s placed properly in a nicely designed living room and is matched with the right décor and colors. A piece of content is a piece of content. The usefulness of content can only be quantified when someone sees it, takes action based on it or other departments use it.  Therefore, the value of content can be measured as:

Value of Content = F (Content Usage for Business Results or Organizational Impact)

Measurement CategoryMeasured As Function of (  )
Growth: Drive Business Results F (Demand Generation programs)
F (Sales Enablement and Training)
F (Content Syndication as Lead  Generation)
Services: Aid Other Internal Departments F (Content Usage for internal  communications)
F (Content Usage for Customer  Services)
Consultancy: Share Content Best Practices within the company F (projects taken to support other  divisions)

Content needs to be measured as a function of something. It makes sense that the basic measurement of content is numbers of views, clicks, downloads, shares and the like. Content downloads don’t mean much, unless it’s quantified in the form of lead conversions that contribute to business results. To track this, the back-end infrastructure needs to be integrated with various awareness-driven channels, marketing automation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Without that ability to tie various data together, you won’t be able to determine the value of the content.

I believe it’s also proper and fitting to measure content usage for internal communications and by other departments outside of sales and marketing.

Some customer testimonial videos and inforgraphics can easily be used on employees’ forums to share customer feedback and fun facts about our products, technologies, history and trends.

Select content can also be used for senior management external keynotes and presentations.

Value can also be assigned based on the adoption within the company of internal marketing processes and tools for generating and obtaining useful content. By sharing best practices with other functional areas you leverage the value of content management and establish good will.  Essentially, a rising tide lifts all boats and the company will benefit. Measuring content as a form of sales is a hard metric that management should pay attention to.

It’s also important to call out some soft benefits of content and present it to management so they are aware of content’s influence above and beyond sales and leads.


Enter your email, get the latest marketing updates & tips and the first chapter of my Global Content Marketing book for free.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Pam Didner Headshot

Pam Didner

Posted on

March 3, 2014

Sales Enablement
  • Michael Gerard

    Nice post Pam. No doubt, this is a mountain of a topic with many challenges, yet many opportunities. You provide a good model for marketers to begin thinking about how they determine the value of their content. Although more difficult to measure, I’d also include that content value = f(awareness building). Measurement of this area is probably more feasible in a larger organization that takes the time and money to determine the value of its brand. An alternative may be to determine the equivalent digital marketing value of your earned media gained through use of content marketing.

    Regardless, as marketers we’ll need to better measure the impact of our content marketing investment in the coming months/years to: 1) better manage this investment; and 2) justify the increased resources that we’re allocating to this strategy.

    • Thank you, Michael! Measurement is so hard. It’s also different from company to company as well. I actually thought about adding content value = f(awareness building). At the end, I took it out, because I was thinking it’s hard to quantify “awareness” as part of business results. However, I do agree with you: if the objective is brand building, then, measuring awareness becomes very critical. The point I should have made it clear in my blog: Measurement follows objectives. It all comes back to clearly understand what we want to accomplish. Thanks for your friendly reminder.