The theme of this interview, Content Marketing Metrics, is centered on the idea of, “What insights can be delivered to help the content marketing processes meet the goals of the organization?”

cmx_content_marketing_metricsA common occurrence observed is the idea that folks get caught up in this rat race of “trying to make everything go up into the right.” That is, use graphs and numbers to show progress versus the idea of examining numbers to help understand what can be improved or changed. Robert mentioned that, “More traffic does not necessarily mean more relevant traffic, more conversions don’t necessarily mean that they’re better customers, more followers more fans, all of those things don’t necessarily equate to meeting the goals.”

If the CMO is meeting their goals, then the CEO shouldn’t care about the minutia of web traffic, likes, followers, etc. Rather, allow the marketer to experiment and leverage metrics to improve the process.

One of the biggest challenges organizations face is the disparate disconnected repositories of collected data. These silos of CRM data, web analytics, destination details, visitor behavior, etc., serve the initiatives of the various teams, but are difficult to unify into meaningful 360 degree view of what is going on. The CIO doesn’t necessarily know how to deal with it yet and, even if they did, the CMO doesn’t really know how to ask the right questions to get the right insights. As a result, CIO and CMO alignment is very hot right now.

From a metrics stand point, the significant opportunity is to unify and examine the collection of unstructured data, the semantic data that comes from social or behavioral activities from the cross-channel social networks, including mobile, web, print, physical stores, etc.

Action Steps

Depending on where you are in your content marketing strategy, there are a couple of different takeaways from this interview.

For those just getting started, consider focusing on getting your infrastructure in place. This means, setting simple goals, getting the strategic plan and calendar in place and producing consistent output of content. Set up the target destinations for posting content, and engage with your visitors. Align your goals with the metrics that actually matter and, after a couple of months of being active, establish benchmarks to measure success and then continue to track those metrics. Depending on what you see over time, these measurements can serve as insight to refine or identify new goals, and pinpoint where modifications and/or improvements may be required in the content marketing lifecycle.

For those already “in motion,” build on what you are already doing and establish benchmarks on those efforts. Focus on the metrics that can be associated with your goals, while using your current content tactics to try to either drive some efficiency or amplification to receive a larger ROI. Moreover, consider a more aggressive look at retrieving unstructured data that can help you discover new opportunities. Pull the CIO and their team into the process if they’re not already involved. There may be tools and big data initiatives that can serve your pursuit of characterizing new insights and discovering process improvement opportunities.

For any business, an incredibly important challenge is bringing the CIO and CMO together to start looking at how to bring all that data together in a more holistic way so that they can learn how to process that unstructured data so it can actually have some meaning derived out of it, instead of just being volumes of big data.

And finally, regardless of where a company lays in the process, keep focused on the quality of the content, not the quantity. More does not always mean better and with value-added content the quality of each lead will be strengthened. Robert emphasizes the problem of letting data drive the content marketing initiative: “Focusing on data-driven strategies hampers the idea of creating remarkable content as a core marketing approach. Focusing on the quality of the content we’re creating instead of the quantity, and focusing on metrics that matter for our business to really give us deep insight into how we improve our process over time—that will be the real key.”

Join the Conversation:

  • What specific metrics do you track to measure the success of your established content marketing goals?
  • Can you see areas where quality content is generating better rather than just more leads?
  • What ways has in-depth data analysis impacted your content marketing goals?
This article highlights selected excerpts from CMX’s interview with Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at the of Content Marketing Institute, and Martin van der Roest of the Examiner on the topic of Content Marketing Metrics – June 19, 2013.