Do you know if your content strategy is delivering business results? When we asked chief marketing officers what their top challenges were to implementing their content strategies, their responses revealed that they weren’t sure. Content teams are creating too much unused content, aren’t able to create timely content, and don’t know which content is effective. With more than $1 of every $10 marketing dollars spent on content development and production, it’s essential to know what return you are getting on your investment.
Start by defining the business goals you want to achieve with your content strategy and how you will know whether your tactics are designed to accomplish them. Content that is built from the perspective of enabling buyers to make business decisions is far more powerful and effective than content that is designed to describe your products.
If your business goal is to increase net flows by 8% by year end, your content strategy goals must reflect increased awareness of your brand, engagement with your content, lead conversion rates, and asset retention. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)—like search volumes on brand terms—then must tie to the goal of raising brand awareness. And in turn, the metrics—like number of website visits from organic search—to the KPI.
Conduct a Content Audit
Do you have a process in place to audit your content inventory, analyze whether and how content is being used, and score its effectiveness in influencing decision journeys to make purchase and retain business? Our research finds that one in three firms uses AI-powered technology to score the effectiveness of the content in its inventory and make decisions on whether to keep, optimize or rationalize each piece.
Start with the analytics solution you have in place for content analysis, which can provide a wealth of information on content popularity, time on page, entry points and exit rates. Most firms aren’t tapping into the rich insights that Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics can provide. With a relatively modest investment of time, a broad array of dashboards can be set up monitor how your organic traffic is developing, which topics perform best on which platforms, what the engagement rates are for each platform, and which content is getting users to take desired actions.
Auditing your own content inventory is a good way to start seeing what is and isn’t getting used. But you also need information on what your competitors are producing and what your audience is interested in away from your site. Reviewing competitor and industry news websites is time-consuming, but important, if you want to express a distinctive point of view and not just replicate what others are publishing.
AI-powered solutions can be used to gain efficiency and insight by automating content audits, informing topic research and enabling performance tracking. They help assess your competition by auditing their content resources and benchmarking your content performance.
Demonstrate ROI with the right metrics
Marketers need to report on the business results their content strategies are achieving. While vanity metrics like page views and time on page are most commonly used, these don’t provide real evidence of customer engagement and business impact without further analysis. Marketers should match metrics to KPIs that support achieving business goals.
Analyze what traffic from different sources is doing, for example, which traffic source yields the highest subscription, share and completion rates. Your analysis should uncover the characteristics of visitors who share content, what are they sharing, at what stage they are sharing it and which method they use. This type of insight is valuable to understanding which content is effective in earning consideration and building advocacy for your firm.
Each piece of content you develop should have a purpose—to educate, convince, convert or retain. Analysis of content performance metrics will inform you whether your content is meeting those goals, and what needs to be optimized to build a high-performance content strategy.
Marketers who consistently connect their content strategies to boosting engagement metrics will, over time, be able to show the business impact their efforts help achieve.
Written by Julia Binder
Head of Strategic Marketing Research