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Content marketers around the web spend quite a bit of time telling you just how powerful article writing services and branded blogging is with today’s modern viewership – and for good reason. People love value-driven offerings, to the point that the name of the game on the web is giving these audience members exactly what they want. However, just because you know it’s an effective method of outreach, that doesn’t mean it’s always right to blindly assume everything is going just as planned. To ensure you have the cold, hard facts backing up your content decisions, let’s spend a few minutes pulling back the curtain on some of the common misconceptions surrounding content return on investment (ROI), as well as what it takes to accurately measure this return.

Dispelling the Misconceptions

As Arnie Kuenn of The Content Marketing Institute explains, there’s a lot going on in the ROI process, so it’s only natural for brands – both new and old alike – to muddle the interpretation from time to time. For instance, while the math behind calculating this metric doesn’t change, context is a big key to properly applying an evaluation. If you’ve only been producing content for a month or so, hammering out the numbers and making a rash decision is far from the right idea.

The truth of the matter is that accurately gauging the impact of your content rarely occurs within the first 30 days. Truly connecting with an audience isn’t a fast process, so giving your offerings time to actually build a last bond with the targeted viewers is necessary before you start crunching the numbers on the ROI formula.

Additionally, the analytics experts over at McBassi & Company note that another misconception brands bring with them to the table when the time comes to measure the value of an investment revolves around relevancy. Lumping in your article writing services and other content endeavors with the rest of your marketing budget might seem like a great way to get a “big picture” view of the success of your brand outreach, but all this does is create a vague, inaccurate portrait of what’s going on. Instead, drilling down to each particular sector of your marketing budget – content marketing, print media, etc. – serves as the best way to identify individual strengths and weaknesses.

Understanding the Basic Principles

So now that you have a clearer understanding of how to interpret ROI, let’s talk about applying this performance metric to the response generated by your blog and other content selections. According to The Guardian’s Jonny Rose, it all boils down to a fairly straightforward formula once you’ve pulled away the misconceptions and excess information.

(Revenue Generated – Cost of Content Marketing) / Cost of Content Marketing = ROI

It might seem like an overly basic metric, but when properly applied and interpreted, this crucial piece of information serves as the focal point of your content planning and strategy sessions. Naturally, if you’re data is refined enough, you can always go one step farther and gauge the impact of each type of content offered up by your brand, or even individual blog posts and other selections, if you so choose.

What’s the Next Step?

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with measuring the effectiveness of your content in the long-term, don’t be afraid to connect with your team of content experts and apply this newfound understanding. With this objective information guiding the way, there’s no reason for guesswork or assumptions to stick around in the discussion regarding what’s next for your brand in terms of subject matter and content platforms. Considering how important it is to get the right content out in front of your audience, having this tool added to your arsenal – and being able to properly apply it to the situation – can offer up some serious peace of mind going forward.