Why Content Measurement Is Never A One-Time Thing
Running a google search on the topic- “Content Measurement” or “Content Marketing ROI” throws up over a million results in a quarter of a second. Understandably so, considering one of the toughest battles faced by content marketers is getting organizational buy-in on the effectiveness of content.
The ‘elephant in the marketing boardroom’ is simply this- are the blog posts, whitepapers, case studies and other content pieces churned out every day, really working?
But here’s the problem with measuring effectiveness- When you look at it as a final step in your content strategy, you’ve already placed your bets with a blindfold on your eyes.
As Jay Baer puts it,
“Trying to measure content after it’s made is like trying to pinstripe a car once it’s moving.”
The solution lies in understanding the merit that lies in measuring content effectiveness as a constant activity that runs throughout the content production process.
You’re not alone in the content universe
There are countless whiteboards across the globe, that are being covered in an array of colours to draw out fanciful content strategies, at this very minute. What that logically means is that a lot of content also gets created on a daily basis, and that it isn’t necessarily coming out of your content factory alone.
Find out what’s working for you
There are two types of content we end up creating- the kind that we think will work, and the kind that works because it’s what the audience is looking for. The ideal scenario would be at the midpoint of both those situations- the ‘Mecca of content’. But we know that reaching the perfect middle isn’t that easy.
Which is why it’s important to make measurement of effectiveness a constant activity that happens alongside actual creation. So it helps you uncover hidden insights about what moves your audience.
Here’s a perfect example of what we’re saying. The image above shows that most of the efforts of the brand in question, are almost equally divided between creating how’s, listicles and guides. But clearly, the engagement that they receive from the how’s greatly outweighs the benefits from listicles. On the other hand, guides aren’t giving them returns that are commensurate with the effort they’ve employed in creating them. Maybe it would be a good idea to take that effort and put it into creating more how’s.
Find out what’s working for your competition
What’s the one thing that you have in common with your competition? Apart from the fact that you both are vying for attention from the same audience, it would also mean that you both talk about the same things. There’s a lot to learn from that realisation about what you should be creating.
We ran an analysis of Hootsuite’s content in comparison with the content generated by their top competitors. The graph above clearly shows that Hootsuite rules in their segment, creating content and resultant engagement that overshadows what their competitors can manage. But if we were in charge of content at Hootsuite, that little pink bar denoting engagement generated by Buffer’s content, would give us reason to scrunch up our eyebrows a bit wanting to know why. It’s evident that for the amount of content Buffer creates, the engagement it receives is far greater.
*Pat on the back to the content folks at Buffer!
There’s a lot to learn from your competition when it comes to finding out what you need to talk about too. And sometimes, what you shouldn’t talk about as well!
Find out the gaps that you can fill
A direct indication of whether or not your content is working lies in the level of engagement it generates. Which is why engagement is one of the truest indicators of success for content and it can help identify those hidden gaps of content, that you can possibly fill.
This graph tracks the content production for Hootsuite for the previous month, along with the level of engagement the content generated. Evidently, they are consistent with their content creation efforts and put out quite a lot of pieces on a weekly basis. But there’s something they put out on 3rd July that really worked. The level of engagement they received on that day, was far greater than even on 27th July, which was the day they put out a far greater number of posts.
A good clue about what they should be writing lies just a click away- clicking that trend chart to find out which posts were sent out on 3rd July!
Connect content goals to business goals
The goal is not to be good at creating content, it’s to be good at creating the content that’s right for you.
A good part of figuring out what you should be creating comes from connecting your content to your business. Your content should be reflective of your area of business. It sounds logical doesn’t it? But how do you really do it?
A good starting point would be identifying your broad areas of interest as a brand. The graph above looks at content created by Hubspot over their areas of interest or ‘topic profiles’. As a business that focusses on Inbound Marketing, their content is definitely on the mark. Not only do they create most amount of content in the area, they manage to generate a sizeable chunk of engagement for the topic too.
Taking your analysis to the next level would mean understanding how well your competition fares on your areas of interest to find out how you’re faring in comparison to them.
Understanding the effectiveness of your content doesn’t depend on a keen look at your strategy alone. It involves gauging your content in the context of your competition to get a sense of what’s really working.
Content measurement isn’t a one time activity that occurs at the end of your content production cycle. Creating worthwhile and effective content is just as much about flexibility and learning as it is about having a definitive plan and structure. Data helps us find that middle point where you know exactly what’s working for you, and what needs tweaking. It results in the creation of content that’s not only more reflective of your brand, but it’s more in tune with the voice of the industry as a whole.
EpicEnterprise by Epictions monitors and benchmarks all your owned and earned content against your competition’s to help you with digital+social brand monitoring. Request a demo here or talk to us about how we can help your brand.