Perhaps the most valued business case for content marketing is driving conversions. When done properly, content marketing attracts prospects at the top of the funnel and guides them through the buyer journey until they convert to become customers. Therefore, content marketing conversions are the prospects who became customers because of either helpful, useful and/or entertaining content your brand provided them.

The core metrics we use to measure conversions are:

  1. Cost per lead: Amount your brand spends to acquire a lead
  2. Percentage of leads sourced: Percentage of leads sourced by content, compared to other marketing programs
  3. Conversions: Percentage of people who take a desired action

1. Cost Per Lead

Calculating your content marketing’s cost per lead is crucial in order to benchmark your program’s effectiveness against other marketing departments. Determining this is quite simple. To begin, we need to know the costs accrued to create and distribute your content.

In this example, we’ve created two pieces of content. For the ROI Guide, we spent $3,000 to create and invested $10,000 to distribute. For the Strategy Guide, we also spent $3,000 to create, but spent $20,000 to distribute. Combining these costs, we can see that the ROI Guide cost us $13,000 and the Strategy Guide cost us $23,000.

Content Marketing Cost Per Lead

Now that we know how much our content cost to create and distribute, let’s see how the content performed in terms of lead generation to calculate cost per qualified lead.

Our ROI Guide generated 550 new leads, 205 of which were qualified leads. To calculate cost per lead, we want to take the total cost ($13,000) divided by the total number of qualified leads (205). cost per lead 2

$13,000 / 205 = $63

Therefore, our ROI Guide cost $63 per qualified lead.

To determine an accurate average total cost per lead of content marketing, we’d want to take a larger sample, but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll simplify and average these two costs.

($63 + $177) / 2 = $120

Therefore, our average total cost per lead for content marketing is $120.

2. Percentage of Leads Sourced

In order to determine the percentage of leads from content marketing, we first need to gather the total number of leads sourced from other marketing programs. Looking at the gathered data below, we see that content marketing accounts for 205 of the total 710 marketing qualified leads.


To find the percentage, we take 205/710 to find that content marketing accounts for 28.9% of total qualified leads.

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Depending on goals and expectations from your marketing leadership, you can gauge how well your content is performing compared to other marketing programs.

3. Conversions

Finally, to determine the actual revenue sourced by content marketing, we need to look at conversions. For this example, let’s say our content marketing has a conversion rate of 50% and the average sale is worth $500. To find our total conversions, we need to multiply our total qualified leads by 50%.

205 * 50% = 102.5 conversions

Based on that finding, we assume these sales will average $500, so to find the total value we multiply 102.5 * $500 = $51,000.

Therefore, our total content marketing conversions are worth $51,000. 


Again, in order to gauge the performance of this conversion value, you’ll want to do some discovery within your organization to see how it stacks up against other marketing departments.


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