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Don’t Trust Your Gut: Measure Content Marketing with Data

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This is our utopic goal: to achieve relevance with behavior-driven content. To follow taste, not dictate it. To know and fulfill every nuance of my customers’ needs along their buyer’s journey – all because we skillfully measure content marketing with data.

It’s utopic, in part, because of the narcissism prevalent on marketing teams. We try to drive our business agenda, our marketing goal, and change perceptions to our point of view. What we totally forget about is the voice of the customer. And that customer is selfish. If we annoy them and don’t present real benefits, we won’t sell more products.

If you measure content marketing effectively, you’ll understand what they value. Content motivates. It persuades and provides the stops customers need on the journey towards our product or solution. Content is also the only scalable medium that’s widely trusted; apart from word-of-mouth and online consumer reviews, content is the most trusted form of conversion. twitter-icon

Measure Content Marketing with Data, Not Instinct

Perhaps you’re still with me, and nodding your head in agreement. Yes, customers need content all along their buyer’s journey. Perhaps you’re already busy creating earned media assets.

But do you create and measure content marketing based on instinct, or data? twitter-icon Do you think you know what your customers want – or do you actually know, indisputably, verifiably?

Being able to measure content marketing meaningfully is complex and difficult. It’s really the billion dollar question. It’s a capability we’re getting closer to, particularly with better and better technology coming into the market.

Use the “Golden Thread” to Measure Content Marketing

At HealthFirst, we’re deeply focused on this problem – providing a journey for our customers through content that focuses on their likes and dislikes, verified by data.

Our solution is a “Golden Thread” philosophy. To measure content marketing, we first created archetypes: models of customer behaviors. Now, we analyze our content along three sequential dimensions: member data, engagement, and acquisition. Combine these, and you have a golden thread of content measurement. twitter-icon


This system is built around relevancy. That means the consumer first, and the product second. We’re looking at all these dimensions through aggregated data, drawn from sources like our analytics, Conductor Searchlight, and our tag management system.

Measure Content Marketing with Content Mapping

One of the ways we’re looking at this Golden Thread is through Content Mapping, a feature in Searchlight that allows you to look at the visibility and performance of content across your buyer’s journey.

Searchlight Content Mapping

At Healthfirst, we have multiple archetypes that follow the same journey, and they engage with different content at different times. We’re using Searchlight’s Content Mapping to better understand the content our customers are truly interested in. With that data, we can design content more effectively. Do they like long, copious content, simple and concise, or visual?

We’re also exposing gaps in our content strategy. If we don’t have content all along the consumer journey for one of our archetypes, they likely won’t make it to a conversion.

Stop Trusting Your Instincts. Start Putting Your Customer First.

When it comes to data, we need to shift our thinking as marketers. We should try to understand our customer and market to our customer. This shift is happening, whether we keep up with it or not. Just look at what Conductor or CRM or tag management companies are doing.

When we measure content marketing, we need to start making decisions based on analytical outcomes. twitter-icon

We aren’t trusting our data. We are still using just instinct. But – we’re finally getting the tools to make that shift.

How do you measure your content marketing?

Don’t know where to start? Find out more information about how you can measure your content with Searchlight’s Content Mapping.

One Response to Don’t Trust Your Gut: Measure Content Marketing with Data

  1. Yes, you are right, I was nodding my head in agreement because I am sure most marketers don’t measure the success of their content marketing or analyze its effects. A
    potential reason is that they either don’t know how to measure it or that it is simply too complicated. To simplify this process, I decided to create a tool called Impactana which measures the success and shows in detail how effective your campaign was. It even shows more since it gives you the Buzz (shares, tweets) and the Impact your campaign had (Comments, Downloads, Backlinks). To me personally Impact is way more important because it shows user engagement, it shows how many people were thrilled by it. Impactana is a useful addition or even a replacement for analytics since it can show you even more.

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