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Effective measurement of content

News, 11 May 2016

LONDON: Marketers face challenges when trying to measure the effectiveness of content marketing, but one key piece of advice is for them to evaluate content marketing in the wider context of customer experience of the brand.

In other words, content marketing cannot be treated in the same way as broadcast media, nor should there be over-reliance on basic metrics, such as impressions, page views, video views or click-through rates.

So advises Jane Ostler, the managing director of media, digital and BrandZ at Millward Brown, who writes in the current issue of Admap that measurement of content marketing needs to include an understanding of shifts in brand perception, brand awareness and propensity to purchase.

That content marketing measurement is becoming a growing issue for the industry was reinforced recently by a Content Marketing Institute study, which found B2B marketers in the US allocated an average 28% of their marketing budget to content marketing last year.

Yet only 30% of them said their organisations were effective at content marketing while more than half (55%) admitted they were unsure what effectiveness looked like because they didn't know how to measure it.

Ostler says that the many different formats of content marketing have their own specific measures that are important for optimising within each channel, but they need to be assessed against the bigger communications picture as well.

"Like the content itself, measurement strategies are bespoke for each brand," she says, so marketers need to ask whether they are designed to enhance the brand, for example, or to enhance brand perception, or to reach a new audience.

Effective measurement of the wide range of channels now available is another challenge where different techniques should be applied.

For example, when dealing with a permanent platform like Tumblr, Ostler advises marketers to aim to develop a clear strategy for driving traffic and regular content updates.

"Key measures to assess the impact would be relevance, interest and perception shifts taken at key intervals," she says.

Snapchat, where the content disappears almost immediately, is another matter, and for this channel marketers should employ metrics that capture the level of engagement in the moment. That means the timing of questions has to be carefully considered.

"Different content channels will need bespoke metrics that allow you to optimise within that channel," Ostler says. "But these should not be at the expense of overall assessment of what the content is delivering for the brand."

Data sourced from Admap