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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?