CMOs are still struggling to measure the effectiveness of marketing and prove its value, according to a new Gartner report, but what can you do to overhaul your analytics efforts and ensure that you focus on the right data for content success?
Effective measurement starts with a clear content marketing strategy. You should define your business goals, develop a content plan, and create high-quality editorial materials that dovetail with business objectives and serve end users’ needs. Afterwards, you should measure results and then update and refine everything that came before to improve.
Useful over popular metrics
In-vogue metrics are not always the best for defining the success of your content marketing campaigns. You need to show the wider business how content is having a positive impact on goals and objectives. Try not to get too drawn into “activity metrics”, including impressions, reach and engagement. While these are useful at the micro level, they do not tell you whether the content is helping the business. A few metrics that you should take a closer look at include:
- Sales data – sales are the lifeblood of any successful enterprise, so you will find it easier to boost your budget for marketing if you can show that articles, blogs and videos are having a positive effect on bottom line.
- New customers and average customer lifetime value – again, proving that content is driving customer acquisition and aiding upselling is an excellent way to showcase its worth.
- Click-through rates and time spent – CTRs will give you a clearer picture of the success of your calls to action and are crucial for understanding whether your content is moving customers through the sales journey effectively, while time spent will simply demonstrate how much people are engaging with content you publish.
While the last two metrics are not business-focused, they will tell you whether your strategy is working and help to identify areas of weakness that can be overhauled.
However, marketing expert Rand Fishkin warns against a one-size-fits-all approach and believes that brands should be more flexible with measurement. He concludes: “We should be asking, ‘For this particular situation, where we are trying to accomplish x, what are the metrics that we should be using to measure whether we’ve done x?’”