Everything That You Need To Know About Content Analyticsposted on 20-3-17-Tue 02:22
|What is Content Analytics?|
|Why Content Analytics?|
Content Analytics refers to the branch of business analytical studies that studies various performance parameters of the content employed by an organization, particularly in online media, as part of their marketing strategy for brand promotion and sustainable growth.
What is Content Analytics?
Companies are always on the look-out for finding ways to improve the connection they have with their customers. As a marketing professional, you will always aim to increase the brand value of the company. Most marketing professionals work by attracting customers towards the company’s products and services.
At the same time, there has been a significant increase in interest shown by organizations to educate their customers and help customers make an informed decision. Educating a customer on different aspects like - the best practices to follow or the best features to look for before buying a product - enables them to decide the best for them.
This is how you make a potential customer realize how your products are the best for them. You will see that customers have a more favorable view towards a brand that helps them to make an informed decision, rather than pushing their products on them.
Conversion rates are much higher when the company decides to go for pull marketing strategies. Additionally, the customers come back with repeat business rather than being a one-time buyer once they are made to understand that they are buying the product that is the best choice for them.
A company can generate more than one type of content – structured-content and unstructured-content. Structured content is generally captured in the form of databases. Unstructured content is generally in multiple forms like texts found in email, document uploaded on web, blog or non-texts like video-blogs, images, voice clips, etc.
Content analytics provides insights into the quantum of the content generated, the characteristics of the content including the quality and effectiveness and helps in uncovering an otherwise invisible sequence from the huge amount of unstructured contents.
Why Content Analytics?
Suppose you are heading an online marketing campaign for your company. Your primary objective will be to build content that will be aimed at attracting potential customers. You will try to provide a holistic view of the product along with the technical aspects and key aspects of it.
Thereafter, you will try to showcase your company’s products and explain why your products are the best choice and how your products will address the pain points faced by the customer. One thing to understand here is that you will be needing significant resources to develop content that is suitable to improve the brand position of your company.
With all this investment into your content strategy, you will be eager to have a report card from which you can understand if the marketing content is having any positive impact on the business and also, how much is it contributing to the achievement of goals set by the organization.
You can consider the following steps sequentially, which could be followed to have a successful content marketing strategy. This is imperative because let us face it, you will not want to keep investing in a content marketing plan if it does not yield the desired results!
Prepare content but bear in mind the objective behind it. Content should be objective-specific, i.e., it should be done with a certain target in mind. This target could be part of the larger marketing plan envisaged by your organization.
Once you have created your content based on the objective, you now need to define the key parameters which can help you understand the effectiveness of the content strategy. Basic parameters like number of clicks, number of views, number of shares or visitor location, among many others, are just not enough in today’s dynamic business ecosystem.
You need to define indicators that provide deeper insights. We will cover these in detail later in the subsequent sections.
Your next step will be to collect as much data you can about the marketing content you have released. The data can either be unstructured or structured form.
Once you have the data, use any of the various content analytical services to obtain key observations about your published content. Armed with these observations, you are now capable of formulating action points for course correction.
Based on these formulated action points, the next obvious process will be to upgrade your initial content marketing strategy by updating the content and incorporating the necessary changes.
After you have released the updated content on the online platforms, observe how much the up-gradation is contributing towards the realization of the pre-set objectives.
Content improvement is a continuous process. Along with observation of the impact the upgraded content marketing strategy is having, you also need to again start the collection of data. This will again be followed by the formulating, upgrade and observe action points.
Apart from helping to gain a clear understanding of your content marketing plan, content analytics has some qualitative benefits:
Your content strategy team will always feel more inspired to deliver results, once they are provided the understandable performance reports of their content productions. Unless your team is not apprised of the performance indicators and the corresponding results, they will not be feeling the inspiration to upgrade the content.
Collaborative team functioning is fostered when there is a focus on the value derived on investment. Understanding the cost-benefit analysis will help driving the team to put their minds together to develop content, using which you can further have a significant contribution to the marketing campaign.
You will find the insights delivered by content Google Analytics content experiment to be very credible and will compel you to enhance your content marketing strategy. It will direct you towards the kind of content that will be more engaging for the customer and the type of content that will best serve the purpose of the overall online marketing strategy and goals set by the company.
It is very important to understand why defining the content metrics form the most significant part of determining if a content strategy has succeeded or failed. If you consider the data you collect on the content marketing plan that you have implemented, you will notice that the amount of unstructured data will be much higher than structured data.
Hence, it becomes even more important to understand what will help you unclutter the unstructured data and determine the performance of your strategy.
- Go past measurement of the number of times your content was clicked or shared
Start looking into your user. This user will be your prospective customer. This user will decide what content will captivate them; what content will benefit them most.
- Go for ways of measurement of the actual accomplishments of your content
Counting how many times your pages have been viewed or how many active unique visitors have been on your website is still important, but not enough to better understand how prospective customers interact with your content online. Technical indicators like Virality, completion rate, the subscription rate is more definitive, in terms of understanding the meaningful absorption of your content by the user.
- Go for content that enables you to retain customers
Contents that visitors find engaging are very valuable and can be considered equivalent to the currency from the company’s point of view. You must identify what has been the most engaging content for your targeted customers. Use the content metrics to gain a deeper understanding of how targeted customers can be captivated so that they continue staying invested in your content, continue to read and learn your content, and eventually get converted into customers through first-time and repeat buys.
- Find out which customers have the highest lifetime value and then, learn and replicate
You must have noted that some of your customers have a higher lifetime value than others, starting from the prospective stage and ending at the converted stage.
Understand the characteristics exhibited by these customers. Understand what makes them come back every time. Invest in these activities that help in retaining the customers and adjust your content strategy fund suitably.
- Make the most out of understanding the way customers behave
There are multiple parameters to determine which customer acquirement involved the most expensive option. Data like average revenue generated per user and return on investment generally turn out to be very important monetary indicators, for determining the success of your content strategy.
The content metrics can be broadly classified into 5 groups - Consumption metrics, Sharing metrics, Retention metrics, Leads metrics, Sales metrics. We will cover each of these in the following sections.
Do you know what your target customers like when they come across your content? What is it that convinces them to give you their business? If you have a better grasp of understanding what your customer likes and if you can map their behavior, then you will be able to develop your content marketing strategy to a better quality which can then be used to further improve customer connect.
You can use the following measurement parameters for content drilldown Google Analytics :
- Number of page visits
This parameter discloses the number of times your pages have been visited.
- Number of distinctive visitors
This parameter exhibits the number of fresh visitors to your webpage. The other side of the coin for this parameter is indicative of the number of recurrent visitors. A higher number of recurrent users imply that there is a specific visitor group who regularly consume your content. However, a higher number of distinct users indicate that there is a significant growth in the prospective customer base, through the steady addition of new prospects.
- Duration spent on the webpage
This is a clear indicator of how engaging your prospective customers have found your published content. Measuring the number of views is not enough, measuring the time spent by a customer on your webpage tells you that the customer has found interest in your content.
The number of users who choose to receive mailers or web feed indicate that prospective customers are interested in your published content and want to know more. This is a very good indicator of the customer connection that you have built.
In general, these above data are available as an average number, over a defined period. However, you should also examine these parameters, against a specific post or a certain webpage, because that will give you an understanding of which specific content is being preferred more by the users.
Depending on how you choose to deliver your content, there are specific measurement parameters you can use.
- Contents accessible through downloads
You can evaluate the performance of your contents that are only available when downloaded, using the following parameters:
- Opt-in count – Most of the downloadable content is generally made available only after the visitor fills up a form. The number of filled forms gives an insight into the prospective valuation ascertained by the user to your downloadable content.
- Conversion rate – The ratio of the number of users that filled the form to download your content to the total number of users that visited your landing webpage, provides valuable input into the effectiveness of the landing webpage. Analyzing this parameter for multiple webpages will help better understand how to present the landing webpage so that prospective customers are attracted to download the content.
- Contents accessed on social media
You can evaluate the performance of your social media content consumption-rate using the following parameters:
- Impression – This parameter is useful to understand how many viewers have been reached by your social media content post. Most social networking sites provide this data.
- Click rate – This parameter is useful in understanding the number of clicks that your social media content post has generated. Again, this is a solid indicator of the user interest your post has created.
- Comments – The number and quality of comments on your social media content post is a reflection of how invested and engaged your target customers are in your posts.
- Invitation – Feedback in the form of fan-mail or a LinkedIn invitation is how some marketing professionals determine the success of their social content posts.
- Contents distributed via emails
You can measure the success of your email content marketing using the following parameters:
- Open rate – This is a very basic parameter, which shows how many of the targeted customers have opened your email. This can be obtained by activating the read request option while sending the email. However, this is not a definitive parameter since opening an email does not guarantee that it has been read properly.
- Click rate – Generally, an email contains a brief of your complete content. The primary purpose of the email campaign is to attract the user’s attention and then get them to click a link provided in the email, that diverts the user to your blog or site. Thus, this click rate is a very good indicator to determine the success of your marketing activities.
- Mailer list – Users have the option to either subscribe or unsubscribe from your mailer list. The longer the mailer list, the more it shows that your email campaign is a success.
If a social media user finds a post to their liking, they tend to share it from their profile. This metric is a very strong confirmation of the fact that your content has hit its intended target.
- Websites and Blogs
If you have posted your content on a website or blog, then you must have added shareable links using which your reader can share it on their social media. A count of the shares gives a meaningful insight into the success of the content.
- Social Media Platforms
If you have posted your content on various social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. then analytical insights are available from these platforms that give you an insight into the data on sharing your post.
- Emails and Web-feeds
There is no useful tracker system available for understanding the number of shares your content has received through emails and RSS feeds.
This metric measures your customer’s allegiance towards your content. A higher retention metric value indicates returning visitors and faithfulness to your content.
- New and repeat visitors
The analytical services like Google Analytics, can provide a break-up of the number of new and repeat visitors to your webpage. Higher the returning visitors, the better the retention metric.
- Bounce rate
Bounce rates indicate the percentage of singular page view session. In other words, suppose a visitor landed on your webpage and they exited from the same webpage on which they had landed. This will be called a bounce.
If you have posted your content on a blog, then it is expected that your bounce rate will be high. It can be interpreted that the visitor came back to your blog because they were interested. However, a high bounce rate anywhere except your blog is not considered a healthy indicator.
- Social media
If you post your content on social media platforms, then your retention metric would comprise the number of followers you have on the said platform. A growing follower number will indicate that you are posting content that is helping you retain your audience as well as adding a new audience at the same time.
- Unsubscribe rate
If you are distributing your content through emails, then your intended recipient will have the option to unsubscribe from your mailer list. Even though it is common for users to unsubscribe, what’s important to check is that if the unsubscription rate is exceeding the subscription rate. If yes, then you need to re-evaluate your email strategy.
The objective of the leads metric is to link a lead to a specific piece of the content marketing piece. This metric helps in revealing the following important results:
- How many numbers of leads has a content post generated?
- Repeat engagement with the content post from a prevailing lead.
- The ability of the content to convert a visitor to a prospective lead.
- Identifying ineffective content from the overall marketing campaign, and thereafter getting these contents rooted out or edited.
You will need to have a highly capable marketing analytical system in place, to have an effective tracking of the leads metrics. With this system at your disposal, you will be able to:
- Lead mapping – Every lead will get mapped to a specific content marketing campaign.
- Timestamping – This metric identifies the “last touch”, the content matter that was being read by the user before converting into a prospective lead.
For determining the sales metric, you should create a matrix using the following variables. Up to 8 combinations are doable with these variables, you must choose one that suits your needs best.
- 1st Column
- Dollars — This is the first cell in the sales matric. True sales opportunities can also be used here
- Percentage — You must create a sales metric that is aimed to track the content value. Usage of percentage figures shall help in the quantification of the worth of your content marketing group and its content marketing strategies.
- 2nd Column
- Revenue — If you want quantification of actually converted leads, then make this revenue figure your second variable.
- Pipeline— If you want quantification of sales opportunities, then make this pipeline figure your second variable.·
- 3rd Column:
- Generated — If you want to assess the content which initially generated the interest, then make this your final variable.
- Influenced — If you want to assess content assimilated while in a sales cycle after the first contact, then make this your final variable.
You can choose to apply these combinations to a single content or a content drive or a specific type of content.
The marketing team must develop the habit of recording these content metrics, analyzing them to and then prepare developmental action plans for onward perusal. Using content analytical technologies, businesses can take improved business calls regarding their process, product, and strategy. This will empower them to stay a pertinent choice for their customers and maintain an edge over their competitors in the market.