Return on Investment for your content


Your ROI from your content can be both a financial and non-financial gain. e.g. a direct sale (financial) vs establishing a brand (non-financial); business leads vs website traffic; real-time dialogue with your audience/clients/customers.


“To occupy or attract someone’s interest or attention; to involve someone in a conversation or discussion.”

– Oxford English Dictionary

Creating content is a cost but there can be both a financial and non-financial gain or return from creating content. There can then be a further spend on marketing that content with even more possible returns.

Here’s an outline of the way to think about content and its objective:

Existing Audience / Existing Content / Market Penetration:
Reshare “evergreen” content with your existing audience/followers – some content doesn’t get old, but be wary of sharing the same old same old thing. Show you have more and new things to say.

Evergreen content is content that has a long shelf life and can be shared frequently or when its content is relevant to something happening today.

Existing Audience / New Content / Content Development:
Create new content (this needs to be content they haven’t seen before) – this keeps them interested and engaged and less likely to unfollow. Unfollowing takes a bit of effort, not a lot, but some effort.

New Audience / Existing Content / Market Development:
Use existing content to attract more followers – back to the “evergreens” – find ways of resharing this content (e.g. content marketing and paid boosting, influencers etc), different ways of presenting the content (make a video, a white paper, a graphic summary).

New Audience / New Content / Diversification:
Create new content – try new things, find new audiences, but also keep doing what works.

What is your ROI for creating content?
By identifying your objectives and goals, we develop the tactics necessary to create and distribute the content that fits these objectives – this makes your ROI clearer for everything you create and whether something has value in its creation or not. You will build an *ideal ROI for each piece of content until that content feeds back to you, and you begin to hone those tactics from real data. This means your content will become a measurable factor for your ROI. The results will tell you whether that content has future value or not.

*Ideal ROI? Getting started for the first time means experimenting with content and finding your voice. Everything you post will have thought behind it – from text and keywords, to graphic treatment or design – based on best practices and how each platforms treats and prioritizes content for their audience. If you’ve been posting content, no matter what it is or how frequently (or infrequently), that needs to be audited for tidbits of audience engagement patterns. Few businesses are starting from absolute scratch. Social media has a low cost to entry. It’s usually free to have a page. It’s free to post. But time is what counts, from a business perspective. How much time can you portion to it? And who is doing it?

Data doesn’t lie. Data tells you what is working and what isn’t working. If anything, regardless of your investment in creating your content, you have data to show for it. If a set of data gives you an idea of what to do next, then it has given value. Social media and website data analytics have many measurable – number of followers, number of posts, mentions, click-through rate to your website, how long they engaged on a web page etc. But having thousands of followers and thousands of likes don’t have value if one person clicked, or one person visited your website. It needs to be relevant to those thousands of followers right now. It’s not the size that matters, but rather the engagement and return.

And context is everything: taking into account the world arounds us, we also need to factor in the effects of current trends, political upheavals and social issues. Seasons, holidays and major events all play a role in where your audience is at any given day or week of the year, these have to be considered when reviewing results.

S-M-A-R-T Objectives:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time Related

S) Specific

What, why, who and where. What do you want to achieve? What's the purpose of doing so? Who is involved, and where can you make this happen?

M) Measurement

What are the numbers you want to move? Grow audience, create dialogue, sales leads, website visits, newsletter sign ups etc.?

A) Achievable

Realistic, based on the information at hand (and with the available resources.

R) Relevant

Relevant to your business and for your target audience. This creates engagement and ideally sharing it on.

T) Time

Timeframes are vital. In terms of online media, it can be measured down to the hour. Although you may run a piece of content for a week (paid boost), monitoring it on an hourly or daily basis is essential in tweaking that content. Think of each piece as a beta version, adjust for improved engagement. At the end of the run, how did it perform? Can you improve it for next time or must you cut your losses?

Once you’ve been SMART, we can then apply specific tactics to those objectives – types of content and the platforms best suited for them and the desired audience.

  • Does your content create an awareness of your business or its services/products (without trying to sell)?
  • Is there an interest in engaging with the content?
  • Does it encourage an action (other than liking or sharing)?
  • Only then, is it something that is worth sharing?

After all the steps are taken in the content strategy process, and the mechanisms identified for measuring the ROI, the ROI benefit will become clear to the business owner and decisions can be made on the content.

Invest in your content!

Chat with us and we can learn more about your expectations around your ROI for content.