5 Key Things to Remember For Content Measurement

Measurement. 

It’s both a challenge and opportunity in the world of marketing. Marketers want to know the value of their hard work, execs in boardrooms across the globe want to know the ROI. It’s like an insatiable (but necessary) thirst that needs to be quenched. But how? There are so many new areas of marketing. Too new to really understand the whole measurement process. What’s a marketer to do? 

As content marketing takes a main seat at the marketing table, it raises a new set of questions regarding its measurement. People want to know what metrics to use, best practices, how much time and effort to dedicate? It has literally opened a Pandora’s box of measurement questions. And what if there’s not ONE right way to measure it. Since marketing itself tends to be subjective, what does that mean for its measurement? Should we all be bound to the same standards, the same quantifiable outcomes and the same metrics? 

Before you even dig into how to tackle content measurement, take a breath, breathe into a paper bag, do some yoga…whatever gets you to your happy place. And then consider these 5 takeaways from marketing experts: 

1. FIGURE OUT WHAT THE HECK YOU ARE MEASURING! 

Seems reasonable, right? But some of us are so keen on getting hard metrics, we don’t take a pause to think about what we are actually trying to measure. Is it clicks? Engagement? Conversions? Shares? The Content Marketing Institute, always a solid source for all things marketing, pulled together a great round up on how to measure content.

The most important thing is to identify from the outset of the content marketing initiatives what will be the metric sought for each content asset or approach utilized. Every metric — from video views, to emails opened, to tweets retweeted, to wall posts shared and, yes, to products and services sold — can then be woven together into a narrative of how well the initiative is (or is not) working.

Russell Sparkman @fusionspark

 

2. WHICH METRICS MATTER? 

In an article from Jay Baer, he cites four different metrics for content measurement:   Consumption, Sharing, Lead Generation and Sales. Does this mean these are the only metrics one should measure? Not necessarily, but it’s worth considering all of these areas since most organizations consider their impact crucial to business success. 

Content cannot be measured with a single metric, because no one data point can successfully or satisfactorily tell you whether your program is working. Instead, you need to create an array of metrics that are selected from four primary buckets.

Jay Baer @jaybaer

 

3. CONTENT MARKETING MEASUREMENT STRETCHES BEYOND SALES. 

We know content marketing should, and does, impact sales. But don’t forget about all of the other areas within an organization it touches, and be sure to measure those so you get a holistic view. It’s important to know the reach and success of content marketing for everyone! Rebecca Lieb wrote a great article for MarketingLand delving deeper into this topic.

Clearly, sales matter. But as participation in content initiatives increases and permeates outward-facing and non-marketing divisions such as human resources, customer service and support, product groups, research and development, etc., which we call the Culture of Content, the metrics and KPIs that are applied to content correspondingly shift.

Rebecca Lieb @lieblink

 

4. REMEMBER YOUR BUSINESS GOALS. 

Heidi Cohen, who often writes about measurement and ROI, gives great advice about why your business goals should remain top of mind when measuring content effectiveness. 

When it comes to metrics, many marketers will first monitor whatever is easiest to count. But, what’s most important is counting those things that help you best determine how well you succeeded in achieving your objectives. Therefore, to track your content marketing’s effectiveness, match your metrics back to your business goals.

Heidi Cohn @heidicohen

 

5. MEASUREMENT ISN’T ALWAYS A NUMBER. 

Of course we need metrics, and data and cold hard numbers to stare at and analyze. But sometimes, especially when content is involved, it’s bigger than that. Think about it logically – content is meant to be dynamic, right? Ever changing and evolving to meet the needs of your buyer’s as they coincidentally navigate through ever changing journeys! So sometimes you need to measure things BIGGER than a number on a spreadsheet. Contently published a great post all about the importance of measuring relationships.  

So what game are brands playing as publishers? Ultimately, they’re trying to build relationships. They realize that if they own the relationship, they can eventually speak to the audience much more often and for less money than if they have to pay to play every time. They won’t have to go through a middleman anymore, like a newspaper or TV station. So what they really ought to be measuring is whether and how relationships are being formed. That’s why it’s so silly that every analytics tool marketed to content marketing doesn’t actually measure the thing that matters: relationships.

Contently @contently

 

Now we want to hear from you. How do YOU measure content??