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[New Research] Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact

Susan Etlinger

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About a year ago, Rebecca Lieb and I had a series of conversations about the emerging need for analytics that would allow content and marketing professionals to evaluate the success of their content strategies. We discussed the predominance of “volume metrics” in content performance analysis, and the focus on linking content to conversion.

As we’ve both written before, that can be a significant challenge, for reasons having to do with attribution, browser complexity, and the complexity of human behavior in the buying cycle. So we wanted to take a look at some other ways that content marketers can gauge the success of their efforts.

The resulting report, Content Marketing Performance: A Framework to Measure Real Business Impact, is a look at six ways that content marketers can measure value. If that sounds familiar, it is: the social media measurement compass—which looks at brand health, marketing optimization, revenue generation, operational efficiency, customer experience and innovation—is relevant to content’s value as well.

Business Value of Content Strategy

You’ll notice that some of these case studies only include a few metrics; that is partly because some companies are reluctant to share their “secret sauce,” and because we are still in a very nascent state for content measurement. For that reason, we enriched the case studies with other metrics we’d recommend, so you can see how we might approach a measurement strategy to support specific business objectives.

We hope this report starts a conversation on content measurement, and will be happy to link to substantive posts that discuss the issues in detail. As always, thanks for reading, and we hope you find value in this document.

Rebecca Lieb and Susan Etlinger

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  1. Anthony Power says:

    Thanx for pulling a lot of diverse thinking together, good stuff.

    I wonder if there isn’t another framework that gets to the question: “How does content work?” We often talk about the outcomes illustrated here, but not so much about the attributes of the content itself. Can we develop a means to classify content so that we can direct the creation of more successful content?

    We make emotional choices yet defend them rationally which suggests we need at least two types of content. Given that we’re often dealing with ‘sales’ there are two other potentially useful archetypes that lower the barriers/risks – promotional (“but wait there’s more”) and communal (what do others think). In the end can we develop a personality test for the content itself to better understand what to serve when and where along the consumer journey?