Social Media Marketing · Content marketing

Measuring content marketing performance without twitter share?

Sadie Gilmore Senior Software Engineer at Torque

February 21st, 2016

Curious to hear how people are replacing twitter share information to measure content marketing ROI and/or how you're measuring content marketing ROI in general. Signups to the site seem a farther off metrics - in other words someone will probably need to read your blog a few times before they sign up. Shares and reach used to at least be a proxy, but now that twitter has removed share data that's not really possible.

Peter Bray CEO at Bray & Co

February 21st, 2016

Twitter share is a largely irrelevant metric given Twitters share of overall eyeball ( I have believed for years that Twitter is not a good marketing option for most brands). If you want to avoid conversion metrics, and want brand metrics, the only 2 that matter are brand awareness and purchase intent. It amazes me continually how little startups understand why brand metrics matter - startups focus far too much of their Series A life on cash generation without realizing that cash clouds underlying brand problems (i.e. they will be paying far too much in 12-24 months than they should because they didn't understand what it means to grow a brand). 99% of startups think that because they can physically create assets, and place media, that they understand advertising. This is NOT advertising. Professional ad fold understand human behavioral patterns, and know what will make people buy. Just because you can place Adwords, or make ads, doesn't mean you understand advertising. Which is a large problem as product doesn't kill startups, average advertising does, yet so few startups have a marketing person on their advisory board.

Rebecca Lieb Analyst, Advisor, Author | Board Member

February 21st, 2016

Hi Sadie,

I've published extensive research on content marketing ROI, which you can access here. As for Twitter share info, consider it not as a pure volume metric, which is relatively meaningless, but assess its value in terms of your distribution strategy. In other words, how much are you saving in paid promotion? How much traffic is referred to your site via Twitter, and what actions do those users take? I've worked with properties that were getting 10% of traffic from Twitter, but those were the lowest-value visitors. Hope this is somewhat helpful, glad to help with more specific questions. 


Roger Wu co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform

February 22nd, 2016

We measure our ROI on content by how many people actually come to read and digest your story as opposed to social media shares.  If a share occurs that's great, but if no one comes to your content because of it, what's the point?  

And believe it or not, we still have people that measure ROI based on number of Twitter followers, monthly uniques, and Facebook Likes....

Harry Hawk Marketing Consultant & Adj. Instructor at City University of NY

February 24th, 2016

You should be tracking your content, typically in a marketing automation tool like HubSpot or Marketo... The ROI on your content includes a number of mid-point metrics like visits, or contacts (folks giving their email address); but the best possible metric is sales (e.g.,  gaining high quality customers).

If you have product market fit, and focus, and you have defined your segments and personas and your content is aligned with all of that, your content will lead to sales. That's your ROI and that's coming from organic traffic; add some PPC/Paid Social if/when that's working to gain more.

Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

February 25th, 2016

I agree with Harry, just not the Tool MA suggestions :-). 

Most people are far underutilizing
 their content assets. Content is used Top, Mid, and Bottom of funnel, and can be measured for effectiveness in each role. 

Top of Funnel is lead generation. That is blog posts and specific calls to action such as webinars, downloads, free training, etc. 

We've run tests and have proven that content-specific calls to action produce up to 1200% more leads than generic 'subscribe to our blog' CTAs.  

It's stunning that most websites only have the lackluster subscribe to blog or the Bottom of the funnel 'contact us' or 'request a quote' calls to action. 

The problem is, you are missing 94-96% of your potential leads - who are Top of Funnel, but aren't likely to subscribe to your newsletter or blog -- too generic (which is why it takes multiple visits to get any action there).

Having strong Top of Funnel lead gen allows you best advantage to influence (nurture) the lead through Mid and Bottom of the funnel, gaining relationship and influence all the way. It's your best chance for a value sale and safest guard against the price battle that erodes your margin and ROI. 

Reducing content ROI to social media is shortsighted. Social has a role, and likely a Top of Funnel one, but pushing/promoting a blog post for example, that doesn't have a strong lead gen call to action that is a match/ tempting extension to the content in the post, is an underperforming content strategy that doesn't build your own leadership among your target audience.  It's not just eyeballs on content, it's engagement that delivers results and value. To your visitors who become leads AND your organization. 

But first you have to give up the view that it's all about YOU.