When it comes to content creation, impressions aren’t impressive anymore. Content marketers want to see more than sheer reach so they can determine return on investment.

We asked five presenters at the upcoming Digiday Content Marketing Summit in Park City which metric is most important to them in showing ROI in content marketing. Their answers, edited for clarity.

Heather Green, editor-in-chief and head of content, Caesars Entertainment
Although impressions and social engagement are important to me, driving qualified website traffic to owned content is always my primary goal. If I can influence site visitation, I can then observe metrics like time on site and conversion. I can figure out which content is driving the most traffic and revenue and then scale that content.

Nicole Smith, global digital marketing strategy lead, Dell
The metrics that I consider vary according to the goal that governs my marketing activity. Let’s say sales has a goal that requires increased pipeline of a certain amount within a target audience in a specific time period. I could look at metrics, and benchmarks for them, that tell me about target audience behavior like revenue attribution, ratio of page visits to form completions, bounce rate, referral traffic sources, etc. I’m also going to look at the resources that were involved in achieving the goal and consider how resource-intensive content marketing was in relation to other approaches. So, tracking revenue attribution and completed forms would be important parts of documenting lead generation success, but they aren’t the full story on success.

Sadira Furlow, senior director, brand marketing, water portfolio, PepsiCo
It is not enough to have an impression. In a sea of content that is competing for a person’s attention, I care more about who is taking an action or interacting with the content and the quality of this interaction. Actions help us get to the greatest truth about what really matters to the consumers we want to reach.

KC Geen, ‎director, social media & content marketing, United Airlines
I like to look at both soft and hard metrics to truly understand the ROI of content marketing, soft being engagement rate and hard being traffic and conversions.

Rex Jackson, marketing and sales director, Legoland
There isn’t a single metric that can be used for content marketing because it depends on the channel in which your content is being distributed. For example, in social media I place greater value on shares and retweets than I do on overall impressions because impressions can be bought, but a share or retweet means the content we’ve produced has been relevant enough and compelling enough to encourage an individual to act.

Learn more about what we’ll be talking about at the Digiday Content Marketing Summit by clicking here.

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