The Life of a Content Asset: Tracking Real ROI

Content Marketing


We recently submitted one of our most successful content assets of the year, 2014 Sample Social Media Tactical Plan, for a content award on measurable ROI.  Instead of running a large report like I usually do to track all of our content assets, I got to do some deep digging into an individual asset to determine how successful it was. I looked at a variety of really interesting metrics to determine what impact, if any, this tactical plan had on Marketo’s marketing efforts and bottom line.

It is a fact that content marketers struggle to determine ROI of a single content asset—how well is it really performing and is it contributing to revenue and closed deals? In the case of this workbook, the answer is a resounding “yes”!

Let’s take a look at what I dug up.


OK, so this is a pretty standard measurement, but one that is relevant and that you should be looking at. This number constitutes the number of downloads from your website, as well as downloads from any paid programs that you run. Make sure to set the specific timeframe you want to look at.

This particular asset was refreshed in June of this year, so I wanted to make sure that we were pulling numbers only for the new piece. We ran the download report in Marketo and determined that our asset has been downloaded 40,791 times since June 2014. Not too shabby!

New Name Acquisition

So then I wanted to know out of those downloads in paid programs, how many were new names—meaning how many new people had entered our database for the first time due to this workbook. This would count as First Touch attribution if these new names were opportunities or closed won deals.

This content piece has generated 3,847 new names in paid programs for Marketo since we published. Clearly, it is bringing new people into our database on a regular basis.


In addition to new names and downloads, you want to look at how many opportunities this content asset has generated over time. Opportunities can be defined as leads who have been accepted by sales and are being actively worked by a sales rep. In the case of our workbook, we have 1,664 opportunities associated with the asset.  So not only are we getting a lot of downloads, but a solid number of those downloads are qualified buyers already.

Social Shares

Social sharing is another important metric to track for your content marketing initiatives. Are people engaging with the content and actually sharing it with their network? Make sure you track your social sharing across all of the different social platforms—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+–and others depending on your unique business case.

Of course with a social media topical asset, I was hoping that people were sharing it across their social channels. This asset has generated a total of 522 shares across social channels from our resources page. That means people who come to our page and download the asset have been compelled to share on a regular basis.

Revenue Attribution

Now for the holy grail of content marketing ROI—how has your content asset impacted pipeline and closed won deals? Is it moving the needle for your sales team? For this measurement, I ran a report in Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics to determine multi-touch pipeline and multi-touch revenue. Multi-touch gives you a holistic picture of how your asset moved your leads down the sales funnel throughout their lead lifecycle.

Our social tactical plan had really good numbers so far at $582,471 in multi-touch pipeline created and $381,671 in multi-touch revenue won. And that is only from June of 2014!

It is definitely interesting to track the life of a content piece to see its real impact on business and I encourage all of you to consistently track these metrics. What else are you tracking for your content marketing ROI? And to get more information on tracking content marketing ROI download our ebook, Solved Mysteries: Tracking Your Content Marketing ROI.