In an age where content is king, many marketers have, over the past couple of years, become adept at delivering and promoting content in a timely manner.
We all realise now: that’s the easy part.
The difficult part is defining which insights need to be gathered from the performance of content in order to determine its success, and then apply them to future campaigns. This is where effectively using data and analytics plays a vital role.
Most marketers don’t completely understand the value or yield on their content marketing activities because they simply aren’t looking at the right data.
In fact, I suspect most marketers avoid focusing on collecting data as a part of their content strategies because they simply don’t have the time to implement the processes to do the testing required or implement the reporting.
It is true that pairing content with data is not an easy process, but despite its challenges, data can reveal poignant insights about your audience, product and brand.
How do I get ‘actionable intelligence’ from my content?
In the digital arena, most organisations are using either Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics as their reporting platform for things such as site visits, e-commerce results and website health. However, these same tools can also be used for reporting on content performance
Google Analytics is a free yet customisable product, while Adobe’s system is the heavier and, some say, more powerful option. Both have good capabilities to measure user-behaviour attribution around content and most calls to action or events.
Some of the actionable findings that content marketers can glean from these tools include:
- The demographics of your audience.
- The channels your audience is using to find the content.
- How many pieces of content are needed to influence an action.
- Tracking your audience’s movements as they consume the content.
- Where the content should appear on the site.
- Keywords and phrases your audience is using to find your content.
- The gaps in your current content strategy.
Obviously the data opportunities and challenges vary from sector to sector, but there is no doubt that decisions driven by data can improve effectiveness, increase productivity and reduce costs.
For any marketer using or considering using content to reach or engage an audience, it’s vital to ensure that, wherever possible, content is linked with a data-measurement tool.
Tracking your content throughout its life cycle can help you identify at which point in the path to purchase your audience is consuming your content, how they are engaging with it and, as a result, the opportunities to take advantage of this data for future campaigns.
Finding that right content formula can lead to greater demand at the top of the funnel, more meaningful engagement throughout the path to purchase and, hopefully, a greater return on investment.
What to take note of when approaching your content analytics
- Topics driving the most visits.
- Content formats being shared the most (and the least).
- Devices being used to consume your content.
- The time it takes for your content to be consumed.
- Structure and type of headlines generating the most interest.
- Best-performing networks, partners and advertisers.
- Key influencers and referrers.
Marketers with access to data have great insight into consumer behaviour, which provides a valuable lens on what their customers like and don’t like. Actionable insights allow marketers to build on the content that’s working and reduce focus on what’s not.
Content intelligence allows a marketer to analyse and adjust a content strategy that is based on what works. This ensures focus on the content that resonates, engages and encourages users to take action.Header image courtersy of Keoni Cabral via Flikr.
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