Proving the effectiveness of content marketing can seem daunting. But if you can’t prove your worth to the c-suite, why would they keep investing in you and content marketing?

To prove your value to the c-suite, you need an easy, repeatable method for measuring how well your content marketing campaigns are performing, how they tie back to business objectives, and what you need to do next.

To prove your value to the c-suite, you need an easy, repeatable method for measuring how well your #contentmarketing campaigns are performing. Click To Tweet

It’s time for a content dashboard.

Dashboards have been around a long time. The goal of a dashboard is simple: to convey the most relevant information about something in one easy-to-understand place.

A content dashboard is no different. But how do you create a dashboard that proves the ROI of your content marketing efforts without getting lost in a sea of data? And how do you go the next step to create a content dashboard for you, so you know what you should create next?

Let’s start with a content dashboard for your c-suite (I’ll show you the free template there), and then we will dive into creating an actionable content dashboard for your content marketing team.

Create a content dashboard for your c-suite.

What are your business objectives?

The very first thing you need to do when creating a content marketing dashboard for your c-suite is to understand what your business objectives are for your content marketing program. These objectives should tie directly to your content marketing goals.

If your business objective is to increase leads by 10% YoY, and content marketing needs to drive half of that, then your content marketing goal is to increase leads 5% YoY.

If your business objective is to decrease calls to your customer support by 25%, and it’s 100% dependent on being achieved through a new online FAQ your content team is creating, then your content marketing goal is to decrease customer support calls by 25%.

What content metrics matter?

You manifest what you measure.

What metrics will show you success or failure of your content marketing goals? In the examples above, total leads over time will show success or failure of the first example. For the second example, getting reports of total calls to the customer support team over time will be necessary.

Identify the metrics that matter most. You don’t want to throw in metrics just to have them. Yes, it’s great that site traffic went up, but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s not part of your overall goal for content marketing. It creates clutter and takes away from the point of the content dashboard.

Some metrics may be easier than others to get. Leads, inbound traffic, e-commerce revenue, etc. may come from Google Analytics. Other metrics, such as call volume, may need to come from another source. Make sure you know how you’re getting your metrics and how often you need them (are you reporting monthly, quarterly, or yearly?) Remember, you’re only getting the metrics that matter the most.

How do those metrics translate to money?

When measuring ROI, you’re comparing money in to money out. So you need to understand how much money each of your goals is either making or saving the company.

In the example above, you can calculate the value of the average lead you get (total revenue from previous leads / total previous leads = revenue / lead). If you can go a step further and get the lifetime value of the clients brought in through leads, that’s even better!

For the call center, you should be able to calculate the cost savings per month of reducing call volumes by 25%. Someone must have that data, or else why would it be a business objective?

You also have to document how much money went out to…