Many companies are building increasingly sophisticated content marketing strategies to support their business goals. Despite this effort, they’re failing to meet their objectives. It’s clear that something is missing.

Unfortunately, many teams are still relying on technologies that weren’t built to provide the level of data and analysis that today’s content marketers want. In fact, Content Marketing Institute shares that nearly 60% of businesses aren’t getting the insights they need from their content. 

Let’s take a closer look at what needs to change in your content measurement approach.

Understanding the Gaps in Your Content Measurement

The topic of measuring content ROI is top of mind for many marketers. The Semrush ‘State of Content Marketing’ study found that “how to measure content marketing success” is ninth in the list of questions asked in relation to content marketing, and “tools” is the fourth most discussed topic in tweets about content marketing.

It’s no surprise then that most of these marketers are actively using tools to support their content marketing efforts. The same study by Semrush found that 88% of marketers use website analytics tools, 82% use SEO tools, and 52% have a content management system (CMS).

But these technologies are falling short. Erika Varangouli, Global Content Strategist at Semrush, weighs in on why this might be the case. 

“Content marketers need to invest more in the right technology and in acquiring the right data. Producing content just for an audience persona you created two years ago isn’t enough. Content marketers need to understand not just who their audiences are, but where they hang out online, what their decision-making journey looks like, what they appreciate, and what puts them off when buying online.”

Unfortunately, most of the website analytics tools and CMS platforms don’t provide these kinds of insights. This makes it challenging for content marketers to make strategic decisions, understand the ROI of their efforts, or drive tangible outcomes. That’s why a recent survey of over 1,500 companies by Semrush found that the top challenge facing content marketing teams was creating content that generates quality leads.

Time to Adopt a Modern Content Measurement Approach

You might be thinking: “But I already have a content strategy that seems to be working well. Why would I want to change up my martech stack now?” According to Fernando Angulo, Influencer Lead at Semrush, it’s difficult to understand how effective your strategy is without the right data in hand.

“Many content marketers struggle with monetizing their content and driving ROI. Yet, they keep building their content strategies around their own assumptions and guesses, which doesn’t lead anywhere. Without technology that can transform thousands of data points into actionable insights, we are simply walking blindfolded.” 

Here are four other reasons why you need to tap into a more contemporary approach to content measurement, and how you can get started. 

1. Content Competition is Growing

94% of respondents in the Semrush Content Marketing Survey claim that they focus on content marketing. This means that a majority of companies are putting out content, which may potentially compete for the attention of your customers. So what can you do to cut through the noise? The first step is to understand what your direct competitors are doing. 

Recommended tools: 

Knotch’s platform allows marketers to conduct in-depth competitor research, whether that’s surfacing trending intel or conducting customized searches about specific companies—without the bias of web search engines. The Content Audit tool by Semrush also helps marketers understand how their existing content is performing compared to their competition. 

2. The Customer Journey is Becoming More Sophisticated

The buyer journey is far from linear. Even though, as marketers, we think in terms of funnels, the reality is much more complicated. To truly understand the customer journey and provide value at the right moments, it’s key to use technology, data, and predictive analytics. Mapping out the nuances of the customer experience also involves a close collaboration of various teams, including UX, sales, marketing, product, brand, and other business units.

Recommended tools: 

A tool like PathFactory can help you fuel every stage of the customer journey with intelligent content. The platform measures meaningful metrics, such as the amount of time each person spends on every asset and webpage, to help you create personalized content journeys. With Knotch, you can also collect and analyze a complete 360-degree content dataset across all your channels, which can inform every step of the customer journey. 

3. Customers are Demanding Better Content Experiences

Today, it’s not enough to publish a blog post and call it a day. Content marketers need to get much more sophisticated about what they create and how they create it. This means producing a wide variety of content that’s comprehensive, valuable, innovative, and personalized.

Recommended tools: 

Ceros is an experiential content creation platform that allows marketers and designers to create more engaging content. Whether it’s building an interactive infographic or turning static PDFs into interactive experiences, this tool can help your content stand out from the rest. 

4. Search Engines are Becoming More Complex

Organic remains one of the most sustainable strategies, but it’s not getting any easier to rank on search engines. One of the main problems we see is that many marketers are relying on shallow keyword research for their content creation process, which usually fails to yield the expected results. 

Recommended tools: 

The SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant by Semrush exist to help marketers strategize their SEO content efforts. These tools support SEO-optimized content and provide recommendations to guide the writing process. 

By relying on more modern technologies like the ones we recommended, you can measure your content in a way that helps drive the business outcomes you want to achieve. If you’re curious to learn more about this topic, be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, which we’re hosting in partnership with Semrush: "Eliminate Content Chaos with a Modern Martech Stack."