Nothing seems to brings marketers more joy (or stress) than metrics and measurement. In the report – Eloqua Community: The State of Content Marketing 2014, we teamed up with LookBook HQ to understand how well content marketers align their content with their buyer’s journey. We discovered that, due to the broad range of variables involved, modern marketers need more and better metrics to be better able to align their content with their buyer's journey and that as little as 12% of modern marketers consider their content alignment and measurement strategy sophisticated.
So what are marketers doing? Here are 4 of the report’s core findings about content marketing metrics:
1. Generating the right metrics is #2 challenge - 30% of respondents selected "understanding what is useful & interesting" or "linking content consumption to sales process" as their biggest content marketing challenge.
Tip: Prioritizing your content metrics should be a collaborative effort between the content manager and your demand generation teams. Avoid the “gate debate” by having a workshop discussion with your teams about which metrics are important to your objectives.
2. Different metrics work for different content - Only 37% are recording the time the audience spends actually reading their content, which may be for blog posts rather than other types of content assets such as white papers.
Tip: Our good friend Joe Pulizzi from The Content Marketing Institute, breaks down the metrics that matter in his book, “Epic Content Marketing.” The focus of the book’s metrics chapter is to determine which metrics matter to different business functions and titles within your organization. For instance, while vanity metrics may be important to measure for your social media marketing team, your CMO is likely more interested in conversion metrics from social posts instead.
3. The value of contemporary metrics – Content marketing effectiveness is currently measured (66%) based on the volume of leads generated from gated content assets (effectiveness is tied to quantitative metrics like specific CTAs and conversion rates). But, given that only 37% measure time, Modern Marketers are likely stuck between intent (i.e. Bob Smith downloaded our white paper presumably with the intent to read it) and actual behaviour (i.e. did Bob Smith actually read the white paper? How much and what part of it?).
Tip: The saying “quality over quantity” is well applied to content marketing measurement. While readers may not spend an extensive amount of time engaging with a particular content asset, it’s not necessarily a sure fire sign of “ineffective” content. While it’s easy to get hung up on impressions, downloads, and engagements, remember that the effectiveness of content should be measured across the buying process. We’ve even heard that content as simple as a blog post has helped sales reps elevate the discussion to a meeting.
4. Measurement is a work in progress - It’s not just about more metrics, but better metrics. As mentioned earlier, it’s no surprise why only 12% of Modern Marketers think they are sophisticated in their content alignment.
Tip: Developing a sound metrics strategy takes time and patience. Understanding which formats work across different channels for your various personas is a developing process. Metrics should never be a “set and forget” effort as technology is continually evolving to help us learn more about the effectiveness of our content.
The full Content Marketing Benchmark report can be downloaded here.