The work of a content professional is never done. When you get a grip on your content analytics, it’s time to move on to content intelligence. Then it’s time to move up the content maturity ladder as you strategically nag toward content sophistication. Along the way, content teams must continue to prove the ROI of their content and avoid their content falling into the $958 million wasteland where inefficient and ineffective content languishes.
To help arm you in this ongoing battle for content excellence, we’re releasing “101 Ways to Ensure Your Content’s Impact with Content Intelligence and Analytics” later this month. This arsenal will equip you with key concepts, facts and data that will help move the needle on your content efforts with content intelligence. Until then, here’s a sneak peek at this ebook-style resource that will be available for download to our subscribers. The insights will be divided into several categories, such as effectiveness, consumption, and discovery, and will include research and know-how from content experts, including our CEO Colleen Jones, Contently, Neil Patel, HubSpot, Curata, and MarketingProfs, among others.
1. Ask specific questions
Data overwhelm is guaranteed to happen if you dive into data first. Instead, decide what you want to know and then look for those answers.
BuzzFeed Director of Data Science Ky Harlin’s stance that “there’s no silver-bullet metric for content performance wasn’t the easiest thing for the audience to handle.” — Joe Lazauskas Contently.
Since there’s not a perfect metric to focus on, asking specific questions is absolutely crucial to homing in on what you’re trying to discover because every single organization’s mix of questions are going to be different.
2. Get access to analytics
Obviously crafting the proper framework requires using a mix of content intelligence tools.
Each individual stakeholder tends to want only what they want without looking at the big picture. The ContentWRX recommendations helped them see how each of their slices fits into the big picture. They better understood … that we needed the right kind of content to provide to our membership and website users. — Director of Communications, Georgia Municipal Association
As Ann Smarty of Search Engine Watch said, “Content marketing includes so many tasks and processes that it can be very overwhelming. You need a solid toolset to keep it well organized.”
3. But remember that the technology behind big data is arguably the easy part
Once you have the implementation in place, the real work begins. Going through the data mining process and asking the right questions is the hardest part. — Does Your Content Work?
Google Analytics isn’t one of those tools that you should ignore. Installing this early on is a key decision. The data you can collect and review is extremely valuable. — Neil Patel
4. Stop seeking the metric unicorn
Rid your team of the thought that there’s one metric that could be used to measure the success of any content effort. It doesn’t exist.
In fact, Curata founder Pawan Deshpande identifies four types of content metrics: consumption, sharing, lead, and sales metrics.
5. But don’t ignore a few trusted standby analytics
I’d suggest the content marketing KPI that is most universally meaningful across campaigns is landing page conversion rate. — Lisa Hunter, CCA, BrainJocks
Start here and strive to outdo the median conversion rate of 2.35% and be among the top 10% who are achieving 11.45% conversion rates.
Comprehension is a combined property of the text and a specific user segment and indicates whether this target audience actually understands the material’s meaning. — Nielsen Norman Group
As Buffer shared, “One study showed that an illustrated text was 9% more effective than text alone when testing immediate comprehension and 83% more effective when the test was delayed.”
7. Make descriptions scannable
Do people understand what your product is, what it offers, and how the product meets their needs quickly and efficiently?
Few people actually READ online content; 79% of them SCAN and pick out individual words and phrases. Only 16% read word-for-word. — Forbes
8. Deliver value
Part of putting your users first is putting their needs first. If a piece of content does not provide value to your users, it should not be accessible to the public.
Today, both internet users and the search engines that catalog web pages demand content that provides value. This means no keyword stuffing, no copied content, no spamming. Everything has to be unique, natural, and informative to provide value to customers and be highly ranked by search engines. — The Social Savior
In other words, “solve a problem. Anticipate a need. But most importantly? Do it in a compelling way.” — Content Creation—What’s Worth Publishing (and Not) in Today’s Digital Age
9. Make product comparisons
Entrepreneur recommends providing comparison content at the consideration and decision stages. This approach will keep them on your site versus seeking out their own comparisons and adds value and credibility to your content.
The most compelling data-driven stories usually involve comparison, or seeing how your data stacks up against the past, against competitors, and against your expectations (or hypotheses). — 3 RAD Stories Your Content Data Might Tell
10. Utilize question research
Your content should answer as many questions as possible for potential customers. If it doesn’t, they will go elsewhere to seek out answers. Experts recommend tools including Serpstat, BuzzSumo, and StoryBase.
Search research can identify questions and needs that the creative team can answer … content that answers those questions will draw traffic. — Diane Bunton Langston, Dell eCommerce Director
11. Monitor for new questions to answer
Sure, your question research will unearth a majority of questions related to your organization, but new questions can be uncovered from direct contact, browsing Quora, and tracking Twitter questions.
This approach can be especially helpful with drier content as Lauren Moler of National Instruments explains: “We convinced people to write less technical and feature-focused content by showing them our users’ questions and needs.”
Follow Content Science on Linkedin to stay up-to-date on our new Content Science Review articles, reports and more released every week featuring content experts at brands like The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, and Disney. The full version of “101 Ways to Ensure Your Content’s Impact with Content Intelligence and Analytics” will be released later this month.
Make better content decisions with a system of data + insight.
Your content approach makes or breaks your digital transformation. Learn why intelligent content strategy + engineering are critical to your success.
Your content is integral to your product. You might have piloted content strategy and seen promising results. Now what? It’s time to get more strategic so you can sustain and scale. This whitepaper will help you start.
Does your content work? It's a simple question, but getting a clear answer from content analytics or ROI formulas is often anything but easy. This ebook by Colleen Jones will help you overcome the challenges.