If we can measure it, it must be important. So our task is to determine how accurately we can get that number?
Nothing. If any measure makes sense, the first task is to agree on what equates to success. It’s one of the unwritten secrets of all marketing metrics. Agreement on measurement is much more important than accuracy of measurement.
@Robert_Rose via @CMIContent said, agreement on #ContentMarketing measurement is more important than measurement accuracy. Click to Tweet A few weeks ago, I had this conversation with a marketing executive at a technology company. We are talking about the precision of digital marketing and how senior leadership guides him to become “sharper” (i.e. better) at content marketing measurement Contribute to the overall marketing strategy.
His first planned initiative was to learn the details of the accuracy of analytical tools . He wants to make sure they’re generating the right numbers, which all fit together.
I told him that getting more accurate data was his least challenge. What senior leadership really wants is an agreement on its merits.
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Agreement is more important than accuracy
Look at TV ratings. They were never accurate. In the early days, participants in selected homes listed the shows they watched and the duration in diaries. Do you think any of them made wild guesses about what they watched on Tuesday? And, until a few years ago, the representative sample of television ratings was about 20,000 households in the United States. When you consider 100 Millions of homes in the United States have TVs, it’s like walking into a 10,000-person basketball court and finding out what Everyone wants for dinner by asking two of them.
As I explained to the marketing director: TV advertising is not $60 billion industry because it is precisely measured. That’s because everyone has agreed to a standard that defines “good” TV based on ratings, regardless of their accuracy. ”
TV advertising is not a $60 billion industry as it is precisely measured. That’s because everyone has agreed to a standard that defines a “good” TV, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet The same should be true in content marketing strategy yours . You must first define, align, and agree on your goals and define a clear measure of success.
How do you do it? Well, I like to treat measurement as a “design problem,” not a technical one, but here is a three-step process that has worked for us:
Step 1: Set your goal
Targets presented clearly clear, concise and use simple language. They also imply or explicitly refer to the time horizon to reach them. The goal is the most important thing that needs to be agreed upon.
Set clear goals with a timeline to achieve them. That’s the most important thing to agree on, @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent said. Click to Tweet For example, a clearly stated goal might be: After the first year, our content marketing program will generate 30% new qualified leads in our demand generation efforts. we. ”
Setting and agreeing on strategic goals doesn’t mean they never change, change, or evolve. It just means you are aligned on the target.
Step 2: Agree on main results
Now that you have a consistent strategic goal, you need to agree on the second most important thing – a clear definition of success. This is really what it means for senior leadership of marketing executives to gain a better understanding of how measuring content marketing will contribute to a business.
Identify key results and (most importantly) agreed measurements to determine if goals have been achieved. Again, clarity and simplicity are important.
To be clear, these key results are not key performance indicators (KPIs). Your primary outcome is the definition of the goal. KPIs, which I’ll look at in a moment, are metrics to help you gauge your progress toward those goals.
For example, the goal is to drive 30% of new qualified leads. It’s a general purpose, but it’s undefined. No one has yet agreed on what that means. To determine what that means, the three main outcomes that can be agreed upon are:
- Accelerate existing qualified leads into sales by 15% as measured by filling out sales support forms.
- Increase the conversion rate of free trials by 25% as measured by the number of trials created.
- Reduce the cost-per-thousand ad ratio by 20% as measured by the average digital CPM.
Notice how I use the words “measured”. When constructing your key results, you can use hard numbers instead of percentages, or you can have no numbers at all. It is important that all agree on what the unit of measure will be.
Now, take the time to pause and socialize your strategy. Chances are you’ll have more than one strategic goal made up of multiple key outcomes. Use this method to gain traction from your senior leadership.
Once you’ve shared your goals and agreed on how to measure them, it’s time to take a little care in the veracity of your metrics.
Step 3: Design your metrics
If you have understood this, you may have realized that no analytical tool can give you the direct answer you need. The information filling out your sales support form will most likely come from your CRM system. Your free trial conversion could literally call Mary and ask, “How many free trials did we have from this landing page last month?” And reducing your CPM can be a view in Google Analytics or the average across multiple ad technology systems.
Your KPIs – the first level of metrics – will likely be drawn from a variety of data sources. They can help track your progress toward one or more goals. Where multiple numbers make up a KPI, separate out another category to identify all sources of those numbers.
Example: Content Marketing Award Winner ServiceNow publishes a Quarterly Workflow with the goal of generating leads. One of their KPIs is what they call “interaction KPIs,” a custom metric that combines pageviews, time on page, and scroll length. Engagement KPIs are used to score articles to help ServiceNow measure the effectiveness of content in providing value to readers.
Put these things together and you’ve designed a program of metrics that everyone will agree on.
More than exact numbers – you know numbers that everyone agrees on.
Just remember that accuracy is how close we are to a standard or truth. However, to determine accuracy, you first need to define what the measurement is trying to evaluate. In other words, you have to define the standard or the truth before precision means anything.
Now you are measuring what really matters – the truth that we all believe.
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Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute