Do you know if your content strategy is achieving your goals? Most organizations don’t because they don’t have a well-defined measurement plan. According to our recent Content Operations Study, 65% of organizations aren’t regularly evaluating content impact and success.
When asked why they don’t regularly measure success, respondents gave several reasons:
The good news is that many of these challenges can be addressed using the steps below–and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time.
“Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction” – Kenichi Ohmae
A content measurement plan provides a framework for measuring success that you can use across your organization to inform decisions around strategy and execution. By having this in place, you can:
You don’t need anything fancy to begin, a simple Excel document will work just fine.
At the top of your measurement plan, list the various audiences you’re trying to influence with your content. If you’ve created user journeys, these user groups would be a good place to start as you likely have a good idea of key goals for each audience.
Your audiences will be important as you determine which segments you need to consider as part of your tracking efforts.
Your organization most likely has identified specific business goals. How your department supports those goals will be your objectives. Your objectives should answer the question, “why are we creating content?” Some typical objectives are:
After you have objectives, the next step is to identify the critical indicators of success or KPIs. In other words, what measurable value shows that you’re achieving the objectives you’ve outlined. A few rules of thumb for setting KPIs:
Using the objectives above, your KPIs might look something like this:
Drive community engagement:
Position the organization as a thought leader:
Once you have your KPIs, the next step is to identify the specific quantitative measurements you will track. Often, we find that companies overlook this step because the objectives and KPIs seem to sum it all up. However, this is where the rubber meets the road in having a plan to track the performance of your efforts.
Continuing with our examples, some possible metrics could include:
Drive community engagement:
Expand thought leadership:
Now that you have your list of metrics, it’s time to go through and confirm which are already set up for tracking and which you will need to set up. This usually involves checking sources such as:
This could also include reports from your sales team or offline activity such as event attendance.
Whether you or someone else handles the implementation, it’s important to spell out exactly how each metric will be reported as well as any specific audience segments to isolate.
If you find that there’s something you want to track that’s not currently set up, you might need to research a new analytics tool or approach. In this case, the measurement plan will help you communicate to stakeholders and potential vendor partners what you’re trying to achieve. You can find a worksheet to identify gaps and redundancies in your current content evaluation tools and methods in our Evaluating Content Effectiveness whitepaper.
Lastly, it’s important to establish a reporting method and cadence. If you work for a larger organization, you might have access to a dashboard tool through a platform like Klipfolio, Tableau, or Duomo. If not, Google Data Studio is a nice, free platform that allows you to easily visualize data from both Google Analytics as well as from Google Sheets. You can use it to create a simple scorecard to track data weekly, monthly or as often as you’d like.
Get certified with a Content Strategy + Analysis Certification, which is part of our Content Science Academy. This certification course not only digs deep on content analytics, but also provides an introduction to content strategy, content auditing, and user journeys that work for content and competitive content analysis.
Get Guidance from The Content Advantage, which includes a primer on conducting content analysis and a blueprint for developing content intelligence. You can use the information in the book to help you better understand elements and principles of effective and influential content.
Partner with Content Science: We are here to help you. If your organization is ready to get to work building a powerful content operation, you can engage Content Science to work with you and your team to develop a strategy that will put you on the path to success.
Last Updated: June 24, 2021
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