Marketing efforts, especially content marketing, can be hard to quantify because you don’t really know how much the social media posts, articles, or blog posts are really doing to motivate people to purchase. Does that mean you should skip them all together? Certainly not – though it’s not as cut and dry as the basic mathematical formulas used to calculate ROI with ad campaigns, there are ways you can determine the ROI on your efforts alone.

How to Use Analytics?to Measure Social Media

Tools like Google Analytics will help you see whether your content was read, how many people visited the content, how long the visitor stayed on the content, and more. It’s also possible to use it to track the path someone took after reading the content – letting you know if they filled out a form, made a purchase, visited another page, or left your site entirely.

Social analytics tools, like the native ones found on Facebook and Twitter, can help you learn more about the success of your content as it is passed around social media. Tailwind provides more in-depth analytics for Pinterest and Instagram, which can be helpful for businesses that rely heavily on those networks.

Another to prove value is by the number of other websites linking to your content. The more people out there linking to it, the more valuable you can show it to be. If you want to track the number of inbound links, you can take a look at a referral report in Google Analytics.

Login to your account. In the Acquisition tab, look for Referrals. This will show you all the websites linking to you, and from there you can see which pages they’re sending visitors to. When you notice a lot of traffic from one site to a certain post, then that’s how you know they’ve linked to you, and people are finding value. If the bounce rate is low, that means people are sticking around and taking the time to read and absorb the content.

How to Track Progress with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Your CRM software can give you an idea of who your customers are and what they are doing. You’ll see which customers are new, which customers are repeat, and learn who the most loyal and valuable customers are. CRM reports make it easy to prove ROI, while also showing you how to make adjustments to marketing campaigns to better target each segment.

How to Get More ROI From Your Marketing Efforts

  • Make sure your content is highly relevant to your audience. The more targeted, the better. That alone increases the chances they’ll take action.
  • Consider a charitable campaign. Whenever you volunteer to give resources to a cause that resonates with your audience, they’re more likely to take action. Whether it’s a percentage of sales for the day, week, or month, or just a percentage of sales on a particular item, it can go a long way toward boosting your ROI. Make sure to follow up with a blog post about the final contribution amount, and thank everyone for their participation.
  • Market to your best customers. It’s easy to focus efforts on customer acquisition, and you should. But, don’t neglect the people who are already spending money with your company. It’s much easier to market to existing customers than to brand new ones. A 2014 study revealed existing customers spend 66% more, and yet cost 10 times less.
  • Play to popular trends. What works right now won?t necessarily work in three months, six months, or a year. Monitor industry trends with tools like Google Trends to keep up with what’s going on and stay one step ahead of your competition. Think: seasonal marketing.
  • Stick with what works. Use your Google Analytics to see what your most popular content is. It’s popular for a reason, so see what you can do to repurpose it and expand the core ideas into a series of blog posts, or create additional types of content, like ebooks, infographics, or videos.

Proving ROI on marketing efforts isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be overly difficult. Make use of readily available tools to track your progress and generate reports along the way. If you notice something isn’t generating the ROI you’d expect, go back to the drawing board to see why it didn’t work, make adjustments, and try again.