For many years, marketers have struggled with proving the ROI and success of their content efforts. While everyone instinctively knows that they need to invest more in their content and digital marketing tactics, it’s difficult to justify the spend when there aren’t tangible results that show how effective the campaigns have been.
So we’ve pulled together our key steps to measuring your content marketing efforts:
1. Have a clear objective to measure against
Defining clear objectives is vital for any content marketing strategy. Usually, in their simplest form, objectives come down to either driving a direct response from your customers (be that sales, sign ups to a mailing list or downloading an app), or raising brand awareness / changing brand perception. Working out the main priorities will help not only shape the content and messaging you produce, but will also give you a foundation in which you can effectively measure the success of your efforts.
2. Defining your audience
Pulling data from various sources to understand the relationship your audience has with digital content is a great way to help define where your brand should be, and the type of content that will engage your customers. Through this process, you can begin to segment the audience depending on their relationship with the brand (are they new? An avid purchaser? A brand advocate?), and thus understand their needs and the value they require from the content you produce.
Depending on your activity or campaign, you could then consider defining objectives per audience segment in your customer journey. However, it’s key when setting objectives per audience segment, that there is a clear priority. Trying to drive brand awareness and sales, for example, with the same piece of content is extremely difficult in terms of getting the right messages across, as well as having clear KPIs in place to measure its success.
3. Measuring success
With partnerships now forming between platforms like Facebook and Nielsen to measure brand uplift, and the ability to add pixels to websites from social platforms to track customer journeys and conversions, we’re beginning to see a shift from merely measuring channel performance indicators, to tracking right through the journey and having tangible brand or direct response measurements.
We’ve devised a measurement framework which we use for our clients to demonstrate the impact of content marketing campaigns in relation to their key business objectives. While it’s still important to monitor the performance at the top of the funnel in order to optimise content and understand customer behaviours, we can now begin to understand how reach and engagement with content can be measured in relation to driving a direct response from customers, or raising the brand’s profile.