Case Studies and ROI: And the Beat goes On

For a business to exist beyond that first year or two it must show a profit. The savvy business owner looks at the bottom line and determines what is working and what is not. Advertising may bring in revenue but how is it known if the money spent was worth the cost– in other words what is the Return on investment or ROI? In today’s businessclimate content marketing has become an integral part of everyone’s advertising and marketing programs. But which avenues of content marketing should be used and how is ROI determined on specific content marketing efforts?

In the B2B world 47% of marketers do not measure ROI of content marketing efforts. The reason? 38% are not required to provide any justification for the content marketing dollars spent. For another 38% it’s too difficult – for 21% it’s too time consuming and 27% just don’t know how. In these fast-paced changing times all of this is understandable but to remain competitive a company must get a handle on the ROI of every aspect of the cost of doing business.

Content marketing includes everything from blog posts, email marketing, white papers, case studies, eBooks, articles, press releases and on and on—ROI calculation can include looking at a company’s overall content marketing program or looking at each individual piece. Here we examine calculating the ROI of a Case Study.

In general:

ROI = Revenue / (Production Cost + Distribution Cost)

Or another form: ROI = (Gain – Cost) / Cost

If the ratio is greater than 1 the campaign was successful from a sales perspective.

To even begin to determine this, first define specific goals and objectives. Suppose company A decides to hire a copywriter to produce a Case Study with 2 specific goals,

  1. (1) to increase brand awareness and
  2. (2) to increase customer advocacy.

Next metrics to be measured must be set.

  • Who is the target audience?
  • How do they engage with the content?
  • How often do they engage?

There are tools to track this information – Google Analytics measures demographic behavior and behavior metrics. Page views, bounce rate, average time on page, and demographics can all be tracked and measured.

Measuring various factors means attaching a dollar value to the elements to be measured.

To measure brand awareness, you might track how many people are reading your case study, to track increased customer advocacy, you might track how many shares and comments.

Tracking the progression of each of your metrics over time gives a more complete picture of what you are trying to define.

In the example above suppose the dollar value attached to the given metric was $10,000 and the cost of the investment was $2000 then the result would be:

ROI = ($10,000 – $2000) / $2000 = $4000

Case Studies are marketing gems for many reasons and in a recent CMI/MarketingProfs study, B2B content marketers reported a 70% effectiveness rate for case studies in their campaigns. The bottom line—Case Studies deliver in spades when it comes to ROI!

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