Forrester projects that by 2022, businesses will be spending a significant amount of their marketing budget on analytics tools and services. But even with this loaded technological arsenal, why are brands unable to drive the desired outcomes with their content? Why are they struggling to increase the ROI of their content and marketing efforts?
Here’s why. According to the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 60% of businesses aren’t getting the insights they need from their content. While companies are using content as their prime driver to create brand awareness, build and expand their audience, and increase sales, their current marketing technology doesn’t provide the data they need to understand if their content is impacting their business goals.
The Content Measurement Journey
Last year, this time, we (Wells Fargo) had our marketing strategy put together but were struggling to understand if and how it related to our audiences and business goals. We weren’t certain if our target audiences were utilizing our content or not. And if they were, were they really benefiting from it? We lacked the ability to assess important nuances like degree of awareness, content preference, and audience sentiment.
So, while we as a team believed that our content was effective, we didn't have a way to confirm our assumptions. That’s when we realized we needed to fill these gaps. Safe to say we were starting afresh in our content measurement journey.
The Backbone: Analytics and Data
My biggest learning this last year has been to make time to pause and analyze. We get so busy chasing lofty goals, that it’s easy to lose sight of why we are doing it in the first place. So we vowed to account for our content and measurement efforts. It might seem like a lot of work and some may look at it as ‘speeding down’, but you have to put together all the data you have to get an understanding of what’s really working. And then as you begin to dive into it, you learn about the vital missing pieces. We began nailing down the questions we needed to answer in order to clearly see whether our content was achieving the intended goals.
That’s when we set ourselves up with Knotch. Why did we choose Knotch? Well, you could be using Google or Adobe to collect and analyze data related to your content, but to effectively condense all that information into an easy-to-understand format is an arduous task. And the Knotch dashboard was our ultimate savior.
To be able to see and understand how our content was ranking against each other and to get our hands on real-time information about how the audience was reacting to our content was game changing. Many analytics tools provide quantitative information but Knotch’s algorithm collects data that reflects the sentiment of your reader/viewer, and that to us was a revelation.
Tying Content to Business Goals
Before adopting Knotch into our martech stack, our marketing KPIs weren’t connected to our business goals. For example, we never defined what content engagement meant to us. While we’d figured it had to be more than just clicks on a page, we didn’t look deeper to understand how those clicks translated to provide real value derived from our content.
In essence, we’d pushed measurement as far as we could with the tools we had. Our KPIs gave us some direction, but they were oftentimes anecdotal. For instance, we’d say ‘the average time on page was good and our bounce rate was pretty good too’. Well, since two individual KPIs seem to be working, we can assume that our content reached our audiences and that they engaged with it. But here’s the catch - there's nothing that really proves what we really needed to know:
- Did our audience’s awareness level change?
- Did their sentiment change?
- Did it move the sales pipeline?
- Are we tapping into the right audiences?
- Did it get us more meetings with clients?
- Did it lead to increased business opportunities?
But after using Knotch’s dashboard, we were quick to realize that our content could drive business outcomes. So our top priority was to define and optimize our content strategy in a way that it was tied to our business goals. We were eager to learn how our content could motivate our readers to take desired actions and what that would mean for our business.
360 Degree View of Content
Content isn’t an asset exclusive for the marketing teams. If used effectively, it can benefit the entire organization. Which is why, when we started working with Knotch, we were determined to build a 360 degree view of our content and marketing efforts.
Our goal was to help teams across the organization to get the insights they need to be successful. We wanted to collect insights that could be shared with the content and marketing teams, the CRM teams, and also the sales team. Equipped with these crucial data points, our sales team could then provide statistics that would help clients see how we’re creating real impact with our efforts.
So we created a goal to get to a marked level of clarity on all KPIs associated with our content. If we were going to share five pieces of content with our executives or clients, we should be able to talk about every single touch point that was realized in the interaction of our readers with those pieces of content. We didn’t want to stop at ‘X no. of people viewed it’ and ‘Y no. of people read or engaged with it’. We wanted to delve into the granular details that went beyond traffic and engagement, and focused on the sentiment - what does this content make the reader feel? Does it meet their expectations? Did they derive value from it? Did they get what they hoped for when they finished reading it? Simply put, the no. of views is just a surface-level indicator of the success of your content.
But Knotch helped us get these important answers, and with these answers our teams had an exponentially better chance at presenting our case to our clients. We finally had the ability to share results that truly mattered.
Audience vs Prospects vs Clients
Targeting is crucial for us. When we're establishing our marketing measurement plans, the most important question we look to answer is - Who are we building this plan for?
On analyzing our audience segmentation post adopting the Knotch dashboard, we discovered that we were finally putting our content in front of the right people. 25% of our visitors belonged to our target group. And as we continue to move ahead in this journey, we’re looking to identify the undefined groups of visitors who could be potential customers.
Being able to reach our ideal audience and then weed out the remaining visitors based on our priorities demonstrates that the dollars we're putting in our campaigns are not wasted. Through our ongoing analysis, we’ve further established that our content exposure has increased leading to increased sales opportunities (10-15%) as well.
Martech's increasing demand has turned it into a $121.5 billion market worldwide. As you restructure and dedicate budgets to your martech stack, don’t forget to prioritize content. To better understand how to incorporate content into your martech stack, sign up for our upcoming webinar, where we discuss:
- the business outcomes you should be driving with content
- how you can get the best ROI from your content by using the next generation of content technology
If you haven’t already, sign up now.