Even if your content management team is lucky enough to have a generous budget, you can’t write everything. And you can’t measure everything. That’s why I stress to my clients how important it is to focus on the content and the metrics that matter. And this challenge arises a lot. Content marketers have a mandate to create content, but knowing how to focus isn’t always easy. At a recent PRNews Measurement Conference, I addressed this issue in a presentation, Content and the Metrics That Matter. Following are some of the main take-aways.
A Rallying Cry: Full-funnel, Connected content: Creating, Aligning, Optimizing and Distribution
No matter what your website is built for – whether it’s business-to-consumer or business-to-business – people are coming for a reason. Your ultimate goal – which should drive your decision making about what content you develop and how you measure it -- should be to move people along the customer journey from awareness to purchase. Everything you’re doing comes down to aligning content with your journey. When you audit your content and think through your distribution strategy, it’s important to map content where it is most relevant along each stage in the journey.
Segment Your Audience
If you accept the premise that you need to align your content along the customer journey (and I hope you do), then you’ll want to do a gut check on who your audience is – which means segmenting that audience. Knowing that most of your audience consists of females or males is not enough. What is their age group? What content are they looking for? And on what device are they consuming it? This insight gives you an understanding of who you are speaking to and what content need to dial up.
Audience segmentation helps you understand gaps in your content. (Click to Tweet!)
If your audience of millennial job seekers is, say, looking for information about your corporate values, and you’re not sharing any, well, you have a content gap that needs to be addressed.
Better Insights with Valid and Reliable Data
Once you’ve aligned content with the customer journey and have segmented your audience, you can identify deeper content gaps, or topics you are not ranking for. This is where keyword research can be useful. Keyword research can identify areas you are not ranking for. Tools such as SEM Rush can help you do that. In addition, tools such as Google Trends can help you identify potentially relevant topics more broadly although Google Trends might be best applied to identify broader content themes as opposed to subjects to write about at a tactical level.
Now, how do you measure your content? You need to walk before you run.
Build Better Insights with Valid and Reliable Data
You need a detailed measurement plan to support content planning and distribution. I recommend a three-phased approach as depicted here.
1.) Phase One: creating a foundation for reliable insights.
2.) Phase 2: building user-specific measurement. Understand touchpoints that align with content. For example, if you have a form-fill, do you have it set up? Are you tracking its success well?
3.) Phase 3: Isolating site performance and interactions to specific user types. Create a specific report such as Google Data Studio. This kind of reporting can be a labyrinth, which is where data studio comes into play.
It’s just as important that you create an analytics road map. The goal of a road map is to take the information you collected via the three phases above and attach tangible outcomes aligned to specific phases of analytics development.
In a recently published blog post, “The Three Website Metrics That Matter Most to Senior Marketers,” I dig into some site-level metrics that you should prioritize at a more tactical level. Investis Digital provides Analytics Optimization services to help setup, fine-tune, and analyze the data you have to inform your digital marketing strategies and business initiatives. If you would like to find out how analytics can help inform your digital strategy and provide measurable evidence of its success, please contact your Account team or email us for more information.