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Question: ‘Is it working?’
Answer: ‘Who’s asking?’
Who is doing what with the content we’re producing? Why are they doing it, and what does it mean? These are all questions at the heart of the conversations we at CPL are having with clients now.
Who is reading or watching our stories? Are they the people we expected – and wanted? And, beyond who’s reading or watching, what are they actually doing in response?
Whether you talk about metrics, KPIs or analytics, it is the tools we are using to measure those patterns of behaviour that are helping us to answer the killer question: ‘Is it working?’
But here’s another question that should be on the measurement checklist: ‘Who wants to know?’
With more technology and tools than ever available to measure the impact and effectiveness of content, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with data and lose sight of what it’s actually telling us – and why we need to know in the first place.
At a recent digital breakfast hosted by the Content Marketing Association, we were reminded of the need to tailor measurement and reporting to the requirements and interests of those who will have to make decisions as a result of the insights.
Different people in your organisation need to know different things. Which aspects of the picture are going to resonate with them? Whether it’s about traffic, engagement, revenue – or something quite different – the budget-holder needs one set of statistics, the content creator another.
Pick out the figures and findings that are important to your internal audiences, then structure the way you present them with the right balance of narrative or facts and figures.
In essence, make sure you give the right metrics to the right people.
Your finance director may want to know about return on investment, and therefore need top-line numbers when presenting next year’s budget. The communications team has to know which items are getting the most traction, so they can steer the content calendar efficiently.
Your CEO wants a strong story about evidence of engagement with the right audience – to see that the strategic objectives of the organisation are being met. Meanwhile, the head of marketing needs to see that the items most closely aligned with the sales and commercial objectives are making the necessary impact (and leading to conversions).
As with everything content-related, when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of what you’re doing – and using the analytics powerfully – it’s back to the same principles: know your audience, define your messages, then communicate in a format that is going to grab attention… and be talked about.